With my 'Dream Kitchen' in mind (below), I set out to research kitchen worktops.
I love this white worktop with the grain/vein effect.
We knew we wanted something like this in some kind of stone whether it be granite or quartz or possibly corian.
After viewing lots of samples & visiting several showrooms, we decided that we weren't that keen on the look of corian as it was just solid colours & could also be damaged easily by heat (although easily repairable) therefore we focused on granite & quartz.
We were advised that quartz & granite were both very durable.
The advantage with Quartz being that it is non porous, upon looking at many samples the quartz was more appealing to us as the granite was very heavy looking.
Looking through my 'KITCHEN IDEAS' board on Pinterest it seemed that every photo had a Marble 'Bianco Carrara' worktop (example below).
I love the unique look of Bianco Carrara with the strong grey vein running though the white marble, so striking, yet so classic.
The only problem is that marble is very porous, suitable for bathrooms but not so ideal in the kitchen.
Therefore I had to find a quartz alternative that had the same look (easier said than done).
The options I looked at were mainly from brands that UK stone suppliers stocked being 'Silestone', Ceasarstone, Okite - here are some of those examples:
Silestone - Bianco Rivers
Silestone - Helix
Both above options were nice alternatives but quite subtle and very uniformed in their design. I was looking for something with more impact (considering the price we are going to have to pay, I want WOW)..
Okite - Bianco Carrara
The name says it all, they've really tried to recreate the effect of Marble Bianco Carrara.
This is a great alternative but I found this design to be too random, very condensed in some areas and quite sparse in others.
The colouring of the vein for me was also too purple rather than grey so didn't work with our colour scheme.
The quartz we ended up choosing is Silestone 'Lyra', it was the one I loved the most (also the most expensive out of all these options).
I felt 'Lyra' had more character than the other alternatives above.
There was a lot more depth to this design, the other designs were quite flat.
Being man made it is never going to have the randomness of a marble Bianco Carrara, but for me this was a perfect alternative.
Can't wait to see the end result.