Practical Luxury

(SUMMER 2008) - Louise Negri can't remember the exact instant she was introduced to soapstone but says it seems like forever she had dreamed of installing it in her kitchen. When she recently built a ranch outside Austin, her dream became reality.

Previously owning and operating an interior design franchise, Negri fell in love with the rich colors and rustic appeal of soapstone.
"Soapstone's combination of functionality and beauty gives it a unique character that surpasses other natural stones," says Negri.
A dense, non-porous metamorphic rock, soapstone is virtually indestructible due to its inert and thermal characteristics. Its integrity and beauty are steadfast, uncompromised by chemicals, food spills or heat, making soapstone the perfect medium for kitchen countertops.
Urban Home
Negri contacted Dorado Soapstone, an importer and wholesaler of authentic Brazilian soapstone varieties, including Beleza, Beleza Leathered and Minas, to learn more about its unique offerings."Dorado imports stone from a number of quarries all over Brazil. Our Beleza slabs are very unique because they're excavated approximately 1,000 kilometers from the coast, making them harder and larger with more intense colors compared to other soapstone varieties on the market," says Bo Barkley, co-owner of Dorado Soapstone.
Beleza soapstone is deep gray to black with dramatic veining. Beleza Leathered has been wire brushed to create rustic appeal, and Minas is black with white veining throughout. Limited edition seasonal stones are available when unique samples are unearthed.
Urban Home Soapstone does not require sealers. Its non-porous surface impedes bacteria growth, and imperfections are easily removed with light sanding and mineral oil, which also can be applied for aesthetic enhancement. "Many homeowners oil their soapstone to enrich the depth of color and movement throughout the stone," says Ashley Larrick, co-owner of Dorado Soapstone. "However, some prefer the stone's natural finish, which will patina with time."
Through its constant supply chain, Dorado is the reliable soapstone source for homeowners and contractors looking to impart timeless appeal to their homes. Negri was pleased with Dorado's expertise and customer-centric process that enabled her to personally select a deep black slab for her island countertop at a competitive price.
"Soapstone was the practical choice for my high-traffic kitchen," says Negri. "Its durable beauty means freedom from endless maintenance, and that makes life easier."
To add practical luxury to your home, visit the Austin showroom at 118 E. Alpine St, call 512-444-8600 or go online to http://www.doradosoapstone.com/.

Austin Urban Home - Summer 2008