“listened thoroughly to my needs…”

Kitchen - After

“Karen remodeled my kitchen from a bad 70‚s remodel into a stunning timeless work of art. It is now the showcase room for my 1929 Spanish bungalow. She was such a pleasure to work with, she listened thoroughly to my needs and presented her ideas in a form that fit exactly what I needed. She helped me in every step of the process, from the layout to paint color, resulting in a beautiful, functional space. I know I will call her for many other projects in the future!”

– Elizabeth Clark, Long Beach, CA

Another view of the kitchen before

Kitchen - Before

“a truly delightful experience…”

“My husband Jeff and I have had the pleasure of knowing and working with Karen for over 20 years. In that time we have completed 2 major remodels, including kitchen, bathrooms and bedrooms. Throughout each project I relied on Karen heavily for her wonderful expertise in each phase of our construction and post construction decorating. Her depth of knowledge, encompasses so many areas, from electrical to tile to color and her ability to layout spaces changed the process from a nightmare to a truly delightful experience. We are so lucky she came into our lives!!! Check out our Master Bedroom in the portfolio section, and see what I mean.”

– Debra & Jeff C., Pacific Palisades, CA

“a magical sense of color…”

“We have worked with Karen since 1986. Our first two projects were commercial renovations for our employers and we have continued working with Karen since at four different residences. This includes homes in Orange County as well as the East Coast in suburban New York City. Additionally we are currently working with Karen on an income property in Irvine.

We have in the past, and will continue to use her services and refer Karen to others. She is a delight to work with; has an eye for sophistication and we have a developed a trust in her opinion and decisions when it comes to interior design. Karen has a “magical” sense of color and is truly remarkable with budgetary requirements that we ask her to be within. We love working with Karen and will do so on future projects.”

– Susan and Keith Sanders, Chatham, NJ

Soapstone Countertops

soapstone countersSoapstone has been used for centuries and in the past 10 years or so, it has been enjoying a resurgence in popularity. It is appropriate for both period and traditional interiors as well as contemporary. Soapstone is truly unique in the realm of natural stone. It is a metamorphic rock comprised primarily of mineral talc. It is softer than granite and scratches easily but it is also less brittle and the scratches will blend in as the stone wears. Part of the beauty of soapstone is the gently worn patina it acquires over the years. Small scratches can be sanded away and large gouges can be repaired by a professional stone service. It is inert to acids and alkalis and is so dense, it doesn’t stain like marble. Sealers are unnecessary.

Soapstone Characteristics

The only maintenance required is that you oil the stone with mineral oil. The oil darkens the stone and makes it uniformly dark in color. Soapstone is available in a very limited color range-dark gray/black. When looking at slab in a stone yard, they will usually wet the slab to give you a better indication of it’s color after oiling. In reality, the stone will be even darker with the oil application. Soapstone has a warmer look and feel than granite and it is not subject to damage from thermal shock like granite and the man-made quartz stones. You can place a hot pot directly on the soapstone with no fear of damage. It has been traditionally used for wood stoves, fire backs and hearths, so heat is not an issue.

Soapstone Installation

Soapstone slabs are usually 1 1/4” thick. The counter top edge detail that is best is square with a slightly eased edge. You can also have sinks fabricated from soapstone and have drain-board runnels cut into the stone. Soapstone seams beautifully, so the waste is minimal. Honed black granite and the black/charcoal man-made quartz stones imitate soapstone, but do not evoke the same aesthetic. Scratches are more evident and you get a limited warranty on the man-made materials in any honed finish. If you want the look of soapstone, there is no substitute for the real thing, scratches, dings and all. No counter top material is worry free. Consider your design preference and lifestyle and make the best choice for you.