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A sneak peak - norsu Cabin stone reveal!

Hello everyone! If you’ve ever seen me on instagram you’ll know that I’m not shy of sharing my updates on everything from new stock arrivals in store to the tiles we've selected for our renos. On Friday, our norsu Cabin benchtops were installed so in this new blog article, I’m sharing snapshots of my learnings and my very best advice to give you peace of mind for renovating your home.

We couldn’t miss the opportunity to use some colour in our little Cabin. Given this is a home we won’t be living in permanently, we wanted to be a little bold, showing that while our cabin kitchen is small, it can still pack a punch!

To get us started, here are some pics from installation day...the nerves certainly kicked in!

Let’s chat stone need-to-knows!

So let's get stuck into it. First up I’ll share the step x step process.

Step 1 - Pick your colours and find our what slab sizes they come in (slab sizes all vary!)

Step 2 - Send your kitchen drawings to a stonemason, cabinet maker or architect for a cutting sheet (more on that in tip 2 below).

Step 3 - Buy those slabs quick smart

Step 4 - Get your appliances organised because you’ll need these on hand for the template (more below in tip 4)

Step 5 - Check your reinforcements before install (see tip 5)!

Need-to-know Tips

1. The early bird gets the slab

It’s quite the unexpected early purchase but trust me, shop early, secure your slab/s and get prepared for cutting sheets and templates (more on those below).

True story - for the Cabin, we missed out on our original stone selection! Unlike engineered stone, each natural stone slab is unique and shipped from quarries to Australia in limited quantities. When we discovered the divine London Pink, we wasted no time zipping into CDK Stone to view in person and quickly secured what we needed.

Mark my words, as soon as you know you’re renovating, start stone shopping. You want to see them in person if you can. Here are some pics of our actual slabs in the CDK Stone Showroom.

2. Maximise your stone slab (because you do need to buy a full slab).

Ask your designer or stonemason for a cutting sheet. What's a cutting sheet you ask? It’s where your designer will determine from your drawings how many slabs you need to buy (as you definitely want to secure it all from the same batch) - and give an idea of what offcuts you’ll be left with. You can definitely get creative with ways to use your offcuts (and I have been in my own home reno with adding a strip of stone on the shelves in the bathrooms instead of tiles - very bougee I know) but please be aware that honing these pieces adds up quickly!

Another idea for your offcuts is using them as infills for stair risers, or as a stone splashback in small places - which is exactly what we’re doing in our home’s bathroom. Or, just keep them on hand as you never know when a little project might pop up.

Final note on this point - you will need to ask your stonemasons to give you your offcuts as they often don’t! I forgot to ask ours (clearly not practicing what I preach) but to my delight they did. If anyone is looking for a great Stonemason in Melbourne, I HIGHLY recommend VPKay Marble and Granite in Derrimut.

3. What’s better? A 20mm or 40mm benchtop height?

Most people don't realise that all stone benchtops are 20mm thick except for at the edges.

When it comes to benchtop height, the truth is there is no right or wrong, just changing trends. Whilst the 40mm was the go-to just a few years back, the more architecture style of now is the slimmer, original 20mm profile.

At the cabin, we’ve specified 20mm with waterfall edges. In my own home it’s a mix but for the kitchen I've also selected 20mm without the waterfall as we have curved edges.

Who is excited to see what it looks like in the norsu Cabin? We are beyond happy with the result!

4. Be Prepared for Templates and Check them Twice

Firstly, I’ve talked about what templates are below but to briefly summarise, the templates show the stonemason where to cut holes into your stone for placing things like sinks, cooktops and taps.

It sounds obvious but to get these templates prepared, your builder is going to want to have all your actual items onsite (again, your sink, your cooktop, your taps etc) to measure and draw up these templates. The template stage starts the very minute the cabinets go in - so get those appliances ordered and delivered early (or if you can’t, at least have the exact appliances/items you will be ordering so the spec sheets can be looked up).

Double, triple check this template with your builder because once that stone is cut, it’s cut! There is literally no room for error at this important stage.

5. Watch Your Weight!

Natural stone like marble is very heavy and special preparation before installation is key. A strong substrate is necessary for a heavy marble installation so please have this chat with your builder.

Let me give you an example. If you, like we’re doing at the Cabin, need or want to replace your existing kitchen benchtop with a heavier option like natural stone, you will want to ensure that your substrate is perfectly level, perfectly straight and strong enough (eg. reinforced) before your new stone is installed. If you don't, you face the very real chance that your beautiful new stone will crack.

Where I shop

norsu’s relationship with CDK Stone started years ago when we worked together on charitable Project Seven - and it’s ongoing with my own home reno, norsu Cabin and across many of our Interior Design clients through norsu Design.

For over 40 years they’ve been hand selecting each and every natural stone piece from across the globe and I love that you can (and highly recommend you do) easily book a visit to one of their selection centres to view the slabs in person. Seeing a sample piece of stone is great in a moodboard with your other materials, but to view the whole stone slab in all its glory is a gamechanger in my books. You’ll truly appreciate just how beautiful and unique these natural stones are up close and seeing them in true scale before you decide is as much of a delight as it is a sensible thing to do. Luckily there are CDK Stone centres across the country and in New Zealand so to find your nearest one here - Find a CDK Stone Selection Centre

The range available is enormous really and you’ll be choosing from options like marble, quartzite and dolomite. If you’re anything like me and adore a good inspo gallery, CDK has a great project gallery to explore! Check out CDK Stone Project Gallery Here are some snaps from our visit...

Can we give you a hand?

You’ve got the tips and you know where to shop, but perhaps you could use a professional interiors expert to guide you through the best choices for your home’s needs? It’s what our norsu Design team does best, and we’re here to help.

Want to see our stone installed?

Here's a sneak peek at our stunning London Pink marble on our norsu Cabin benchtops, along with some of the other elements that are about to be installed. Our thanks to the legends Tony, Tiffany, Adelle and Rebecca at CDK Stone who have given us so much help to find the perfect slabs as well as incredible advice, inspiration and a tonne of patience too! It’s a privilege to have your most beautiful and best in Australia stone in our home and at norsu Cabin. Nat xx

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