I like concrete.
I like concrete floors. Concrete countertops. Concrete bath frames.
And I loved living in various concrete jungles for 14 years. (I've since traded in those jungles for trips to a real jungle in South America.)
It's sturdy. It isn't prissy, but it has a wiseness to it. Sophisticated.
But when a friend mentioned she was considering concrete countertops for the kitchen in a home she is building, I wanted to mention to her that they can be super high maintenance if one wants to keep them looking pristine.
(I like nothing to be pristine. Only occasionally my words.)
The reason I chose concrete was because I loved the patina it develops through wear. Scratches. Marks that indicate a usage. Stains from whatever comes onto it's path... It shows it's sagacity.
Probably every weekend, as I get around to cooking Sunday dinner, I look at my own countertops with a bit of dissatisfaction.
There aren't enough markings.
Sure, I could take a lemon, cut it in half, and then rub it all over the countertop. Or rub used coffee grounds into it, and let it sit for an hour. I could cut vegetables and cut them right on the surface.
"But that's cheating," I say to myself.
I'm not satisfied with the amount of patina on the surface after three and a half years. But I am not willing to fake it - instead preferring that it develop naturally. Indicating a life well-lived in the kitchen. Giving the space a personality. Experience.
"You realize there are marks on your countertop?" someone said to me last year. "Isn't concrete supposed to be durable?"
"Yep," I said. "It's durable and absorbs the energy you use over it. I can't wait to have more marks."
I love that patina.