Thursday, November 5, 2009

The essence of natural stone

There is no such thing as perfection-thank goodness!!!! How boring would life be if we were all perfect? Wouldn't the act of being perfect take away our uniqueness, our quirky little traits, our spontaneity, our spirit ? This is what distinguishes us from machines. If you want to live with a perfect person you might as well get a robot. The same is true for natural stone. If you are lucky enough to have natural stone in your home -enjoy. There will never be a piece of stone exactly the same, anywhere in the world! Man made tile and look alike stones always have a repeating pattern. Natural stone is 100% unique - even if we can't see the differences.

In our home we have a slate floor. We used 16x16 inch slate pieces from three different collections: California Gold, Autumn Mist and Imperial Forest. Each stone and each collection of stone is uniquely different. The California Gold stones are denser, darker and had more imprints/fossils of ferns. The Imperial Forest was a little more fragile but some of the stones almost look like rainbows, it is also more porous. Autumn Mist has a combination of light stones, purples and blacks. One of the Autumn mist stones look just like a sunset with a bird flying. Down our hall there is a California Gold with a little foot print in one corner. When we first unpacked the boxes of stone, some seemed boring, too light, too dark, but once we lived with the floor for a while we started see the beauty of each stone.

Each week while I vacuum, this floor amazes me. Each piece is like a painting- a work of art. I'm always making new discoveries. It's not just the colors and patterns but the textures. Sometimes, Dallas and I will calling each other into the kitchen to check out the stone. If you look from our front door to our back sliding door, in just the right light, the textures are incredible! Ridges, lines, bumps, left, right, diagonal, the textures can be just as beautiful as the colors.

When we go to homes where the stone has been coated or enhanced it makes us a little sad. The unique essence of the the stone was lost. In trying to create a look or something perfect the true beauty of the stone was altered, the colors distorted and the texture smoothed over. Each piece starts to look like the others-how sad.

It is true natural stone has certain characteristics which can make it a little harder to care for. You need to add more preventative maintenance and be aware of your cleaners and cleaning methods. But to be honest these should be done on all surfaces. Natural stone may not look exactly like the sample you chose, each piece may not wear the same, and it may require more care but in your home you have a little of nature's art-enjoy!!!

Wishing you a healthy and happy home,

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