(Go here to check out more of our kitchen, if you haven't seen it!)
For the counters, we ended up going with marble. I read every blog post I could find about how well it holds up, what people to do maintain it, and all the things. I found this post and this post super helpful, and also this one that has a little quiz about your personality and how you will be able to handle marble, plus she talks about other stone options to show you the kind of look you can get in quartz and quartzite.
I thought and thought and thought about this. Like everyone says, people will try to talk you out of it. And it's a big scary decision because it is a lot of money and a lot of space.
We went twice to the stone yard, which I think was a really great way to see what is there before making a final decision. We went in January (well before we actually needed to decide) and looked at the options. They marked the slabs with $$, $$$, or $$$$ signs so you can know which are the most expensive. We started looking at granite to check that off the list, but I just didn't love it. I didn't love the quartz options, either. I found one piece of quartzite that I loved, but it tends to be the most expensive, and it was.
I was surprised to find that there were lots of marble options with the $$ mark. And I loved them, so I decided to do some research to figure out if it was the right decision for us.
After talking to friends who also have marble counters and reading countless articles, I felt like I had a pretty accurate set of expectations for what we would be dealing with if we went with marble. (It's also worth noting that our rental house had granite counters, and it already had some chips in it before we moved in, so it wasn't entirely indestructible).
At the end of the day, I'm not a perfectionist and I love things that have a story and feel lived in and loved. Plus, when you are at the end of the project with a dwindling budget, we didn't want to pay more for counters that we didn't truly love, and we found a marble slab that was beautiful and in the $$ price range, so we went for it.
Also, per Emily's recommendation, we went with a honed finish (it's gorgeous, and I can't recommend it enough), which I think does make scratches, etching, and scuffs less apparent. And I literally pet the counter all the time - I can't stop touching it because it feels so so nice. (It's called Super White Marble, by the way - even though it's really more of a pretty gray than white.)
Of course, we have only lived here for three weeks, so I have nothing to offer on how well it will hold up, but I'll be sure to post an update when I have some data to show on how our counters look.
Hopefully this is helpful to some of you finding yourselves in the same dilemma; I really think finding or talking to friends who have marble and seeing how well theirs had held up and hearing if they have frustrations is the best way to find out how you will feel about it!