The natural stone is on the rise and is becoming increasingly popular in Scandinavian homes. But what makes it so sought after? And what feeling do we want to achieve with natural stone in our homes?
We had a chat with Alexandra Olausson, owner of Vårvik & Co, who specialize in limestone.
– I have been working with limestone for almost two years and really love it, says Alexandra Olausson. Limestone is unbeatable when it comes to feeling, and it is a fantastic material to use in the home.
Before Alexandra found her passion for limestone she worked in sales at telecom.
– I usually say that I have gone from working with a digital product in physical channel to a physical product in digital channel. Many things are the same – such as marketing, sales and customer contact – but the product is completely different.
– I have long been interested in stone, and I’ve almost always had it in my homes over the years. Some time ago my family and I moved to a house where limestone is used throughout and that led to a job offer to work as a consultant with the sale and marketing of limestone.
– In the spring (2018) I chose to invest in my own supplier and now work entirely with my own company that I co-own with my husband.
So, living in a house with lots of of limestone, you have opinions on how limestone works in a home?
– I certainly have! When you live with limestone, you experience its many sides. For example: it felt as though a feeling of summer rain came into our bathroom after we showered, and that’s due to minerals that are released when the stone gets wet and it smells wonderful. The stone doesn’t get too slippery either, which makes it a good choice in bathrooms.
“Both the look and the feel of limestone is much “warmer” compared to, for example, marble.”
– Another great thing about limestone is that it is a “warmer” stone both to see and feel compared to, for example, marble which is also a very beautiful but “colder” stone. In the summer, limestone floors are wonderfully cool in the home and do not get hot even if the sun is pouring in.
– Last but not least, limestone is a flexible and practical choice of material in everyday life. The “greige” shades of the limestone are great for hiding dust and dirt. It’s a good idea to choose a grout in a similar shade to the stone because a white or light joint will get dirty over time.
But be honest: Isn’t limestone very sensitive and delicate?
– I often get questions about how limestone works in a household with toddlers – dirt, spills and general abrasion. And I always say that you should think about your needs and lifestyle, but that you should never refrain from limestone because you are afraid of wear and tear.
“Yes, it might get a few marks on it but over time this just creates a beautiful patina.”
But limestone wears out doesn’t it?
– Yes, but limestone is a natural material which grows old gracefully. it might get a few marks on it but over time this just creates a beautiful patina.”
– If you decide you want limestone in a kitchen where there is a risk for acids, you can combine it with amore sturdy surface such as stainless steel.
How do you care for limestone in order to maintain its beauty?
– If you have limestone in your kitchen then you should be careful to remove spills immediately before they get absorbed. Also it is good idea to maintain the surface with linseed oil soap which cleans, protects and smells good too.
There are many different kinds of limestone with various shades and patterns. Is there anything you should think about when choosing limestone?
– If it’s for your kitchen you can either start with the colour you have chosen for your kitchen and look for a stone that works with it. Or, you can turn it around and adapt the color of the kitchen to the stone you have chosen.
– It is important to think through all the stages and make an informed choice based on color, hue, warmth and light input. Limestone comes in many different hues and shades depending on where it comes from, which is important to keep in mind when deciding what feel you want to achieve.
Facts: Vårvik & Co
Vårvik & Co sell limestone for floors and walls in kitchens, bathrooms, basements and halls etc. The stone is light grey with a warm tone and a speckled pattern.
The limestone comes from a quarry in Estonia. The stone is quarried by hand without large machines. The stone varies in colour and quality depending on which layer it comes from. The processing of the stone also causes variation.
Vårvik & Co markets its stone mainly through their instagram account but they also have a showroom in Saltsjöbaden.