Since I was a child, I have loved soapstone. It is a classic material that has a charming look. We even put soapstone around the stove of our English Tudor. The soapstone would have been more, but the kitchen already had tile floors. We chose wood counters as a complement to the tile. Wood counters looked stunning, too! The marble in our bathroom also made me fall in love.
When we decided what kind of counters we wanted to install in our home for our kitchen renovation, I knew I’d always choose organic elements. I needed to select something that would make us happy for years to come. Natural stone is not for everyone, but it was our best choice.
Our island was still being decided. We had chosen marble for the perimeter counters months earlier (see our mood board for kitchen design here), yet we were still determining what to do for it. We initially thought of using soapstone but decided to put that idea on hold for a while because we wanted to go with butcher block or wood.
We were so excited about our kitchen once we decided to go with soapstone! Once we chose to use soapstone, our kitchen was even more exciting! We felt at home. I learned not to rush when uncertain and take my time.
Marble and soapstone are both timeless. In New England, soapstone can be found around kitchens and fireplaces. It dates back to the thirteen colonies and is a classic. In Europe, soapstone is a classic. The beauty of marble counters and table tops in European cafes will permanently be etched into my memory. The patina on the real stone is different.
This is the patina and sense of history we felt was suitable for our house. You know that I love a cozy home, one that tells a story and reflects the family history. I am still trying to maintain a showplace-like home. Instead, I want to see, feel and sense the beauty that life has brought. We will take great care of our stone and be happy to do so. However, we will not live in fear that they will show signs that we are here.
The stone yards, contractors, and designers are all trying to convince you to choose soapstone or marble. This is because I really wanted to! These materials have a beautiful patina that will only get better with time. It makes sense that the professionals who sell these materials want to ensure you are aware of this, so they include caution.
In America, people seem frustrated when their marble or soapstone doesn’t remain “showroom-new.” Ask questions and know your goals and yourself before making a decision you may regret. There are granites which mimic the appearance of soapstone. However, I love the natural aging and beauty of natural stones.
Quartz was used in both of our homes, our Seattle Kitchen and our Craftsman House Kitchen. While it’s beautiful, there is nothing quite like the organic, historic look and feel of soapstone and marble in the right house. Other man-made materials that we have used are not foolproof or without their own downsides. It still had some stains and scratches, but it was not repairable, unlike soapstone. It also has yet to develop the beautiful patina that soapstone will. Quartz is not heat resistant. Soapstone, however, is.
Our counters will be in our kitchen soon! We are in love with the home we live in because of these organic, beautiful elements. We’re thrilled to have them become a part our family history. Once they are in my home, I will be able to tell you more about the stones and how we care for them.