What do you do when you order two entire kitchens worth of granite, to find that the finished product is just.not.right? This is the predicament my mum, step dad and I found ourselves in yesterday. Luckily we realised this before all the bench tops had been installed into the main kitchen and the studio in their nearly complete Greek villa.
Not knowing whose mistake this ghastly bench top was, we visited the kitchen man, who sure enough had approved documentation from mum and Vin citing the ghastly colour as correct. So, evidently and unfortunately this multi-thousand euro cockup was not his fault, but theirs. The granite was too jarring to live with in the kitchen, therefore the only option was to order an entirely new set of slabs to make the kitchen bench tops in a more appropriately toned granite.
Next port of call was the stone mason, located only a few kilometres down the road. As we pulled up, Vin said to mum ‘tears would be good now’. As expected, he couldn’t absorb the cost and labour of the wrong granite as it had been ordered specifically for us. We walked around his work shop trying desperately to come up with a solution that didn’t come with a $$$$ euro price tag.
The stone mason didn’t speak English, but his daughter did, therefore we had a very disjointed conversation with her interpreting to her father and back to us what the problem was and how we could solve it. We decided that we would make some tables out of the ghastly granite (which isn’t in fact ghastly in isolation, only against the grey/brown timber of the kitchen cabinetry).
So we found ourselves drawing sketches of potential coffee tables, side tables and an outdoor dining table in his workshop. Oh, and the outdoor BBQ bench top. The problem was the slabs that hadn’t already been cut for the kitchen weren’t quite wide enough for a dining room table. And so, I tried to explain to the stone mason via his daughter that we wanted to add an extra strip here and a border there to make it wider. This did not go down well. Fair enough, as this poor man was happily going about his business before being suddenly ambushed by three English speaking customers who wanted him to start making random tables. And a whole new set of kitchen bench tops.
Instead, as I imagine our requests were all too hard, he directed us to a big, beautiful slab of marble sitting in his warehouse and through his daughter communicated that he would give this to us as a gift to make us the table we were after. Perfect.
So, in the space of one hour we had a) found out the granite and kitchen cabinetry clashed, b) established this was no one else’s fault but our own, c) accepted that new granite would need to be ordered and d) made a new coffee table out of the old granite and were gifted a new outdoor dining table.
I guess we were lucky this happened on a small island where all the trades people are close to hand and accessible. Had this happened in Australia there would have been about 50 emails back and forth alone to establish who was in the wrong. It proved to be a lesson on how to make the most out of a very costly mistake.