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A French-Inspired Garden and Home by Judith Stringham

Kitchen Budget Wise Laminate Counter

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Countertops Part 1 | Kitchen
The first in a series of three posts about budget wise countertops 

budget wise laminate counters in blue and white country French inspired kitchen
While homemakers dream of luxury marble, quartz, granite, and wood countertops, reality often calls for budget wise laminate kitchen counters. And, budgets are not the only reasons for choosing laminate countertops. 

budget wise laminate counters in blue with rounded corners on large kitchen island
Does a laminate countertop mean you have to settle for less or are laminate counters sometimes better options than marble, quartz, granite, and wood? 

budget wise laminate counters in blue with rounded corners with wood and stone ceiling and walls
Kitchen counters are the workhorses of a kitchen. They house canisters, small appliances, and cutting boards. Dirty dishes stand on them waiting to be cleaned. Clean dishes sit on drainboards to dry and then be put away in cabinets. Bags of groceries await storing in the pantry and refrigerator. 

Slicing, chopping, and peeling are part of daily meal preparations. And, rolling out cookie and pie doughs are part of yummy desserts, family traditions, and celebrations. 

budget wise laminate countertop with six sides in sunspace kitchen
Let's not forget another major use for kitchen counters beyond food preparation. Islands often provide buffet service for large social gatherings, and provide counter seating for small family meals. 

All of which means counters have to be CLEAN. Sparkling clean. Eat off of clean. No germs allowed. These laminate counters are routinely cleaned with Soft Scrub w/Bleach version. I feel confident that bacteria cannot survive (99%.) 

Plus, when the counter looks a little dingy after constant use, the Soft Scrub w/Bleach brightens it. 

budget wise laminate island countertop goes well with bead board walls
When I was choosing a countertop, budget was the most important factor. But, color was a close second factor. I wanted a soft blue counter, a large island, and rounded corners.  

At the time we built our house, there was only one Silestone countertop in a soft blue that I liked, but it was way over our budget. 

budget wise blue laminate countertop options years ago
Laminate comes in multiple colors, in large sheets, and is pliable for rounding corners. 

These were the sample chips from which I chose my countertop over thirty years ago. Yes, my kitchen countertops are approaching 31 years old. 

When we were building I kept samples of fabrics, wallpaper, tile, countertops, ... in a large two-gallon zip lock bag and still have that bag of samples. Over the years those samples have helped me find new items that go with my favorite shade of periwinkle blue. 

Over the years I added samples in the zip lock bag as changes were made to the house. New upholstery for the breakfast chairs, wallpaper for the utility room, and fabric for the living curtains have all been added. 

budget wise blue laminate countertop options years ago
The counters in my kitchen are Wilsonart Bluebell. They have held up remarkably well. There are a couple of small shallow knife cuts and a handful of tiny round dings, but none are noticeable. 

Lemon juice, wine, blackberries, ... do not leave permanent stains. All clean up with Soft Scrub. 

In addition to the normal kitchen uses, the large island counter also serves as my crafting space. Paint, hot glue, glitter, and stamp ink routinely end up on the surface regardless of how much paper I use to protect the countertop. 

All come up... even paint and hot glue. 

And the counter takes a pounding ... driving nails into projects, stamping vintage silver spoons, and drilling holes in wooden Christmas ornaments. 

budget wise blue laminate countertop for flower arranging surface
The island also is a flower arranging area where leaves are stripped off, water is splashed around, and bleach is added to flower water to deter bacteria. The laminate counter takes it without complaints. 

Marble, quartz, or wood countertops would not fare as well in my house. 

I love the look of marble in all the homes on Pinterest, Fixer Upper, and the internet. Do I dream of marble, quartz, and wood? Yes, many times over the years. 

But reality ... and periwinkle blue called Bluebell ... win every time. 

budget wise blue laminate countertop in French inspired post and beam house with limestone wall
And the best part? I still love my countertops after almost 31 years. 

The pale blue goes well with my French-inspired house.  

Limestone wall, pine post-and-beam ceiling, Chenonceau print, French wire basket, white painted cabinets ... 

Budget wise laminate counters are not second best, but a clear first choice, for my house and lifestyle.