Field Trip: Selecting Stone


 Saturday we took a trip to an amazing stone yard in Ventura
to pick  slabs for our kitchen counter tops

 this yard has more interesting stone to choose from!
 above is the slab of soapstone we's huge!
almost 10 feet across and 7 feet high
 quarried in Italy
  near the soapstone was another really wonderful italian stone...similar to soapstone
called Pietra Grigio

it looks similar concrete and is a beautiful pure grey

here is an example of that stone used to make a sink


Restoration Hardware uses this stone
in some of their bathroom consoles
  I'm stuck on soapstone for this kitchen...but I have to say, I would love to 
use the grey Pietra for something

 these are just a few of the amazing large blocks of stone
 for steps and exterior garden details that they sell
this yard caters to DIY'ers too...there were alot of guys with a few kids, 
the wife and a big pick up

I count myself in that group too!

 they also had these big huge slabs of 8 inch thick marble
about 6 feet long
 these can be fabricated into double sinks for a bathroom!
how wonderful would that double sink be?!
 I loved these huge granite bubblers
for a garden fountain 
 there are two HUGE interior rooms
 of more incredible slabs
 some of the colors were so stunning 
and unique,
 mother nature at her best
 blues, greens, rust, black...

 a piece of stone similar to the one below 
was purchased by a customer to mount on the wall as art

what a great about a show stopper!

every rock that is quarried 
yeilds multiple identical slabs
all numbered and indentified
for use on a project 
 they had some really pure white 
Carrera below which was beautiful

the cost of that stone was about 5 times the cost 
of the ususal Carrera marble

when this type of special stone is specified on a project the rejection rate
can be really high too, sometimes up to 20 %

there is also some 3rd rate Carrera coming from Italy,
shipped to China then re-sold
with fillers and repairs as pure Carrera

it is labeled as "quarried in Italy" because that is
the Country of origin

buyer beware right?

thankfully none of that here

 and then of course the timeless Carrera 
that we all love with a touch of grey
and very affordable:
around $16 dollars a square foot
prior to fabrication 

 this showroom had samples of edge details 
and really great descriptions of the various types of stone they sell  
and where they can be found 
throughout the world
 lots of samples to take home...which is really nice
 the slab above was looked like clouds
can you imagine that in a kitchen or a huge bathroom?!!!
you would never stop looking at it
 the slab above looked like shattered 
green glass...I loved it

 and finally they had a variety of slabs 
with fossilized shells and fish
 the fish and large shells were sometimes
2 feet across

 I can see these in a beach house in Hawaii...
I think this was a limestone, but who cares
it was so amazing!

 and finally...we had to make a pit stop in a small little town called Saticoy 
to buy metal studs

I know
my life is so exciting...

 but this is the building supply store 
which was once a train station
 (my contractor told me)
 the trussing and rafters were amazing and so detailed
that I couldn't help snapping a few shots to share

so that was my Saturday

actually pretty fun... 
and it is always a treat to stumble across a 
bit of history in the process


ps:  I got to have really yummy fish and chips for lunch
  1. Oh my goodness!!! I would go bananas there!! I LOVE your choice!! I would have loved that for our kitchen counters but instead settled on butcher block, Darn budget:(

  2. Wow, this would be like a kid in a candy store for me. I have to agree with Simple Daisy: I would also go bananas there! Lovely choices by the way and thanks for the info about the Carrera marble. I am not doing a major renovation but want to make some improvements to my kitchen and want to use that type of marble. Great tips!

  3. I am probably the only person that doesn't like granite, I love the look of it but not for my counter tops. I LOVE soap stone and would love to have it in my kitchen, maybe someday. I also love butcher block so I am giving it a try. Beautiful pics you shared!

  4. I loved everything you showed, but what really intrigued me was the old train station! I would love to have a similar building for a shop one day!

    Looking forward to seeing your choices installed.


  5. That sounds like a pretty fun Saturday to me! I hear people say how expensive carrera marble is all the time, so I don't even look into it, but I love it. $16/sq ft seems pretty reasonable to me! I'm curious about the fabrication cost. Is the cost to fabricate/install way more than the stone itself?

  6. Hi Kelley, We just redid our kitchen last summer and chose soap stone for our counters. I LOVE LOVE LOVE them. They are so soft, easy and gorgeous! I too got to pick out my own slabs and had a huge trough sink made. This is such a fun process! I'm sure you will be thrilled with your final choice. If it helps here is a post I did about our kitchen and the soapstone counters and sink. I have a farmhouse inspired kitchen so my kitchen has a farmhouse feel... sorta.
    Good luck with your decision!!!!

  7. Hi Kelley,
    Fabulous post, lots of valuable information and the Satacoy train station materials yard...icing on the cake! Love the old building. I love, love, love those who preserve and reuse. Love your soapstone choice. On my next trip north, I will contact you to find the name of that stone yard. Loved the bubble stones. Trying to decide on some fountains here and that might be a candidate...I love going to the stone yards for a visual "fix"! I have my circuit of favorites here in OC. I have seen marble with every color in the rainbow, like my painting palette after I've painted awhile...unbelieveable, called van Gogh. Also, one that was called Raw Meat, with all of the irridescence...looked just like a raw steak after steak after steak...mother nature's amazing kaleidoscope. Great post!
    Can't wait to see your kitchen!

  8. I just wanted to pop by and say thank you! I have been getting a lot of traffic from your lovely blog! That means so much to me to be on your sidebar! I hope you have a LOVELY week!

  9. I love your soapstone and the veining in it. It will look so beautiful in your kitchen. How lucky you are to have such a fabulous stone yard nearby. Here in SW Florida, it took me six months and many trips to find my Calacatta Oro slabs. The perimeter counters get installed tomorrow. So excited.

  10. Hi Kelley. Thank you for sharing the beautiful pictures wih us. I love whatever you do with your house. If you will share the names of the stone yard and hardware store I would appreciate it.

    For all who garden, we were just in the same general area and here are 2 great sources for plants:
    Matilija Nursery .. For Cal Natives and Irises. Moorpark.
    Jon's Fruit Trees of Somis (I just purchased an Angel Red Pomegranate)

  11. How fun! Thanks for the tour. Like your soapstone it will be gorgeous.

  12. Hi Kelly, Love your choices. I have been thinking of soapstone and carrera marble but have been warned that they stain easily. Is this true.

    Indiana Janet

  13. I SO want a limestone fossil fish...

  14. Kelley,
    Sounds like a perfect Saturday to me! I'm curious...Pietre Grigio--Is it expensive? I love your soapstone. And the limestone with a fossil fish...that's pretty cool.
    Fish and chips...yep, that's my kind of day!

  15. I am having my white wire pantry shelves replaced tomorrow with wooden shelves - can't wait - and I never thought to store my cookbooks there and now I will have the space - thanks for the great idea!

  16. Now this sounds like my kind of Saturday! What a great place. Love the soapstone you've chosen. Can't wait to see how it all turns out. I'd like to use soapstone when I eventually renovate our kitchen, but I'm nervous about the maintenance.

  17. Wow- you must have been a kid in a candy store!!
    and that Pietra Grigio is gorgeous! It makes me want to drink some wine ;-) I think the soapstone is a great choice! but for me I was kinda intrigued with big "cloud" piece - I think I would have to have that one!

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