So that's the overly detailed background on what we wanted. Here's how it played out:
I got to the Artelye Marble and Granite warehouse, which is in East Raleigh, and a very nice and helpful lady named Janet was quick to help me. She figured out how many slabs we would need based on the size of our kitchen, island and cabinets, which ended up being 3 full slabs. Our floorplan originally called for 2 slabs, but because we almost doubled the size of the standard island (now ours will be 8 ft x 5 ft) and our island would need a full slab itself, Janet let me know we would need to pick out 3 slabs. That meant I was on a barbie mission to find the best Colonial Gold slab they had for our island, and then to also find two other nice slabs for the perimeter counter tops. The island slab was totally my priority.
Here's a picture of Artelye's warehouse. It was such a thrill to be surrounded by so many pieces of such beautiful granite. They really had some amazing stuff.
Janet arranged for the forklift operator to pull out the Colonial Gold slabs one by one. There were a few I quickly vetoed based on their orangeness, but when I narrowed it down to three, the forklift operator set out those three so that I could pick which would be the all-important island slab.
Here they are all together. The middle slab will be a perimeter slab, as will the slab on the left. The slab on the right is the big winner and will go straight to the island!
Here are some closeups of our island slab. I'm in love!
We didn't pick out our bathroom granite slabs, because that species, Golden Fiore, has practically zero variation from slab to slab. It's a very consistent style of granite.
We're so impressed with the quality of the slabs at Artelye and so thankful that they let us handpick ours. I also cannot compliment Janet enough for being so helpful and sweet and for sharing her expertise and time with me. She was truly a pleasure to work with. I highly recommend Artelye Marble and Granite to anyone building or remodeling. They were fabulous.