SHOP BY DEPARTMENT
Houzz Logo Print
tamarahl

Decisions, decisions..Mother of Pearl vs. White Macubas Smackdown

tamarahl
9 years ago

Well I always enjoy reading everyone else's posts after their stone yard visits, so I thought I would share with all of you my day with my fabricator.

I need to tell my cabinet maker what color white I want my perimeter cabinetry to be, as well as what stain I want the walnut to be on my islands' cabinetry, so I went to the fabricator today to see if we can settle on a stone. I saw the White Macaubas AKA Luce Di Luna first, it was not as white as I had hoped, and had these black splotches that I was not crazy about, but otherwise seemed a good piece.

I had planned to use it on my two islands and as a backsplash behind the cooktop. Because it is so linear, I consider it a more modern looking stone, and thought I could use Quartz on the perimeter, esp. the L countertops, as I don't think the lines can match up well there in the seam. So, I looked at two Ceasarstones, (Cinder on the left and Pebble on the right).

The Cinder has some green undertones and brings that out in the stone, while the Pebble is more edgy with a cooler tone.

The White Macaubas stone had some golden veining in addition to the gray veining

Here are the two Ceasarstone Quartz stones in the sunlight

But, while waiting for him to type up the price, I discovered this Mother of Pearl Quartzite which kind of took my breath away, it is a mixture of taupe, cream, brown and green (I put styrofoam next to it to give it a white balance)

It has some brown spots, which I presume are similar to the rusty gold I saw in the White Macaubas, but I thought it might look good with the walnut cabinetry on the island or in the breakfast bar area.

And then I decided to look for quartz that might go well with this stone, if I decided to do the double island and backsplash in natural stone and the quartz on the perimeter countertops

Not sure this stone lends itself to the quartz option on the perimeter countertops as well as the White Macaubas did with all the modern looking lines. The Pental Chroma Quartz samples (Canyon on the left and Oasis on the right) are being held up to simulate countertops with the Mother of Pearl Backsplash by the forklift operators!

So, I am in a quandary and could use a second opinion.
1. Do you think I should use the Mother of Pearl on the prep island and perimeter countertops and backsplash behind the cooktop, but keep the smaller island top walnut?
2. Or do you think I should do the Mother of Pearl on the two islands and the backsplash but do everything else quartz (which one)?
3. Or should I do the White Macaubas (creamy white with silver and gold veining) on the two islands and the backsplash, with the Ceasarstone quartz (Cinder or Pebble) on the perimeter?
4. I am really psyched to do the backsplash in stone up to the ceiling, behind the cooktop, but I have seen Pipdog's onyx mini subway tile backsplash with the Mother of Pearl countertop and it looks stellar. If I do the Mother of Pearl countertops everywhere then do you think the tile would be a better backsplash?

Just to complicate matters I plan to have a 36 inch stainless steel countertop between the ovens and fridge as a landing zone for things coming out of the oven. This will be on a third wall of my kitchen, and not be part of the action on the L countertops or the islands.

Thanks for reading thus far, and I hope you enjoyed the pics if you are considering White Macaubas AKA Luce di Luna, Mother of Pearl AKA Monte Carlo, or any of the quartz options. The two next to the Mother of Pearl are Chroma Oasis (darker) and Canyon (lighter).

And now, I hope to have dreams of something other than quartzite and kitchens!

Comments (12)

  • sprtphntc7a
    9 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    unless i missed it, it would be helpful to post a layout of kitchen so we can make a better decision

    that said, out of the three stones, i would choose the mother of pearl. the 2nd one is hard to judge b/c there was no full shot of stone, just a close-up.

    i not loving the 1st one, not fond of lines.

    love the idea of walnut top to pull out your walnut cabs.

    maybe others have a better vision, but i would need to see layout to determine what to use where. i love the idea of running the stone behind the stove and wall.

    i not loving either quartz with the mother pearl, but there other choices and maybe you can find one to match better. i don't think i would use a white/lighter one, i would go darker to make the mother of pearl "pop"!

    hope you post a layout so we can get a better idea...

  • tamarahl
    Original Author
    9 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Here is the layout of the kitchen

    And a drawing of what it might look like, but the secondary island will be 63"x51" not as large as what is drawn here:

    And the first picture is the White Macaubas from afar so you can see about 9 feet of it.

    Thanks for your helpful comments, sprtphntc.

    One last question, there is a mudroom off the kitchen, that will have white cabinetry (one long window as a backsplash above the countertop) and brown tile, and I don't know whatr to put on the 8 foot long countertop in there. Walnut countertop or the same stone that goes in the kitchen or something totally different?

  • Gracie
    9 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I've had both Caesarstone and Pentalquartz (Chroma). Pental is Vietnamese quartz and something is not quite right with the resin. Mine is etched and shows water rings for a long time. I would not use it near a light source, where it's most noticeable. It also doesn't have the glassy reflectiveness of Caesarstone.

  • localeater
    9 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    So hard to decide. I love MP. I have MP. I love LdL too, but for me it seemed too cold and modern. I wanted a modern farmhouse vibe, so I needed more warmth which MP provided.
    I actually did walnut perimeter cabinets and painted island( a flip flop to your plan) which made it easier I think. The MP looks stellar on the walnut cabinets and on the painted(olive) island cabinetry, but IMO walnut countertop wouldn't look good on walnut cabinets so if I had down a walnut cabinetry island I wouldn't have considered wood there. I think that means I don't like your option 1 with the smaller island with wood cabinets and wood countertop-sorry)
    My original plan was MP on perimeter and walnut bb on island, but because I also have post and beam structural elements it seemed like too much going on so I simplified and went with a single countertop surface, all MP. I am quite happy with that choice- ecstatic actually.
    You are trying to make a lot of choices and thinking about alot of scenarios. I can tell you what I would do, but it might be better to figure out which stone you love and then, as Tim Gunn says, "Make it work" even if that means re-jiggering some of your other ideas.
    If you consider all your elements and potential elements and then figure out what you must have then you will know what to do or at least where to start.
    Now to add to the confusion, some things that popped into my head: Stainless backsplash behind stove would also look great. Where you have stainless countertop next to oven, you could alternatively do walnut butcherblock with embedded stainless steel heat bars. This would put the walnut on the white cabinetry which I think would look lovely. The island eating area and the eating area behind the sink could be butcherblock and everything else could be stone. Definitely go look at more quartz options to go with the MP. Think about which of the tones in the MP you would want to bring out, there is gray green gold, mine has purple streaks too. Would the Pebble go with the MP?

  • Molly Phillips
    9 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    That Mother of Pearl made my heart sing too. I would go with that.

    I would choose a different quartz, though. For some reason, neither of those seemed to have the right undertones for the MOP.

    Because I love that stone, I would put that wherever I could in the kitchen. That said, I also love walnut. I'm always nervous about using wood where I'm doing a lot of prep - I'm a messy cook and I get the heeby-jeebees thinking about meat touching wood and having to deal with the potential problems. So, if it were me, I would only put wood where there wouldn't be much of a mess...but that's just me.

    Why are you planning to use quartz at all? Not to knock it - I'm using quartz, but it's a budget thing for us. If I could afford quartzite, I wouldn't bother with quartz at all. The only place I'd consider it is in the mudroom where few people would get to ooh and ahh over that MOP.

    To sum it up because my 3 year old is demanding my attention and I'm probably not making any sense, is that I'd put as much MOP around as I could and do walnut as an accent. I would use the quartz in the mudroom.

    Nice choices to have!

  • tamarahl
    Original Author
    9 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    The quartz option came up because it was a way to avoid lining up the LdL/WM lines at the seam of my L perimeter cabinetry. It was also a way to shave the price down.

    With the MoP not being linear that is no longer an issue, but the budget is still a consideration. If I can find a way to not use the MoP everywhere then I should do so, as long as it won't compromise the kitchen's beauty.

    Personally, I like the Ceasarstone quartz, it seems like a cool contrast to the stone if I can find a color that works. Thanks for the heads up on the Vietnamese-made Pental Chroma, I have crossed it off my list!

    I can definitely put a counter in the mudroom that is not quartzite or even walnut, maybe just ask the fabricator for a remnant that is in the right family of color?

    The smaller, entertaining walnut island is giving me a bit of concern. I love the idea of it being warm and a contrast (both physically and visually) to the MoP stone on the bigger prep island. Could the base cabinetry on the entertainment island be stained light and the top be stained medium or dark walnut? Or vice versa?

    I appreciate your idea about doing a stainless backsplash behind the cooktop and wood next to the ovens, with metal trivets, but prefer not to go down that road. I really love the look of a small stainless counter next to the ovens and some dramatic stone behind the cooktop.

    One last consideration, where is the best place to put 3 bowls (2 for food and one for water) for my two cats? I would like to be able to store their food nearby as well.

    Thanks, everyone!

  • localeater
    9 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    In case they help:
    Stained island with light butcherblock counter

    [

    [(https://www.houzz.com/photos/1305-ranch-rustic-kitchen-denver-phvw-vp~787539)

    [Contemporary Kitchen design[(https://www.houzz.com/photos/contemporary-kitchen-ideas-phbr1-bp~t_709~s_2103) by Denver Architect ROWLAND BROUGHTON ARCHITECTURE & URBAN DESIGN

    [

    [(https://www.houzz.com/photos/portfolio-traditional-kitchen-denver-phvw-vp~207343)

    [Contemporary Kitchen design[(https://www.houzz.com/photos/contemporary-kitchen-ideas-phbr1-bp~t_709~s_2103) by Denver Kitchen And Bath Angela Otten; WmOhs Showrooms Inc

    [

    [(https://www.houzz.com/photos/mill-valley-arts-and-crafts-craftsman-kitchen-san-francisco-phvw-vp~46381)

    [Contemporary Kitchen design[(https://www.houzz.com/photos/contemporary-kitchen-ideas-phbr1-bp~t_709~s_2103) by San Francisco Architect Mahoney Architects & Interiors
    Didn't have a lot of time and so couldn't find light bottom with dark top- sorry

    Also I notice you said "I love... some dramatic stone behind the cooktop" That's great to know. If that is a goal focal point keep that as your mantra and make a diesng that makes that happen. Will MP behind the cooktop achieve that goal? Look at Laura in Lincoln's kitchen she has all MP and full MP backsplash. Will Pip's MOP tiles achieve that goal? Or did you really want the dramatic lines of the LdL behind the cooktop. These are just questions to help you clarify your own thoughts. Feel free to disregard if you want.

  • tamarahl
    Original Author
    9 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Thank you for posting those pictures, I think a light colored walnut top on my entertainment island could definitely work, with the darker walnut slab cabinetry below.

    As for the backsplash, you bring up a good point, I fell in love with the linear nature of the LdL, and until I saw it in my own home, thought for sure I wanted that to be my backsplash.

    Now, I have seen the MoP and it blends so well with my home, the earth tones of my walls, the Moroccan-themed sunroom (that connects to the kitchen) which is all tans and dark reds. But, I don't know if it is dramatic enough to be the backsplash. It does have a glow, though. And large slabs are so dramatic, in a way that I don't imagine tile can achieve.

    More food for thought. Which is appropriate, since this is a kitchen we're talking about.

  • sprtphntc7a
    9 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    just a thought on your b/s behind stove...

    i have a full granite b/s behind cooktop and i have to say it is one of the best decision we made. cleanup is a breeze and we don't have to deal with any grout lines.
    i absolutely love the look of uninterruption (if that's a word)...just easy on your eyes and gorgeous to boot.

    expensive - yes, but sooooo worth it!!!!

    your kitchen is going to be awesome/beautiful. best of luck!!!

  • localeater
    9 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    TL1969 your processing sounds so much like mine. I saw Sochi's kitchen and really fell in love with the dramatic lines and clean whiteness of the LdL. When it came to my own kitchen however, no matter how hard I tried that didn't feel right. My house is in the middle of a blueberry barren, it is an open floor plan post and beam it is totally at one with its surrounding. That dramatic look felt too cold and too, I don't know, urban?
    I saw the MOP IRL and fell in love. It is perfect in my kitchen. My cabinet maker said he has never seen a surface that he loved more particularly on walnut. It is just such an earthy and organic combination. I have dark, enhanced walnut slab doors and drawers BTW.
    You are right the large slabs of MOP aren't glitzy and glamorous. They are, instead, quietly beautiful. I have an 8" high slab behind my sink and it is so lovely to gaze at.
    I haven't decided on my stove wall yet, it is complicated by some other issues so it remains just paint. However I did actually template for it to be MOP directly behind the cooktop and have recently been regretting my decision not to go that direction. Who knows I may pull the trigger and do it within the next few weeks.

  • tamarahl
    Original Author
    9 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Oh, localeater, thank you so much for your affirmation of my MoP decision. I would love to see photos of your space, it sounds absolutely amazing! I looked in the Finished Kitchen blog but did not see it.

    I found a paint color today, Benjamin Moore's Paper M�ch�, for my perimeter cabinetry, and the MoP countertops looked so rich and creamy next to the white 18 inch square painted poster board. When I came down the stairs this evening the white board caught my eye, and looked so lively and light compared to my cherry-stained cabinets. I immediately got a spine-tingling sensation of what I may be looking forward to in a few months.

    And the walnut looked so pretty next to it as well.

  • msrose
    9 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Well, since I'm currently looking at Taj Mahal, which is similar to Mother of Pearl, that's definitely the one I would choose. If you can afford it, I would use it on the perimeter with walnut on the island. I don't know what it is about Mother of Pearl and Taj Mahal, but it seems to cast a spell on everyone that sees it :)