Rancho Santa Fe, CA, is an area adorned with mountainous terrains, expansive canyons and the Pacific Ocean. In designing a home in the area, it seems only natural to want to imitate the various, beautiful surroundings. Such was the case for Dr. Bob and Jackie Slotkin, who chose gauged copper slate from India as the main material for their home.

"We wanted a look that was both contemporary and Santa Fe," said Dr. Bob Slotkin. "Brown is also included in the house, and the combination of the colors helps to make it a real Santa Fe-style house."

The slate was selected after the owners saw it at the European Bath, Kitchen, Tile, & Stone showroom in Solana Beach, CA. The store is a retailer for products from MS International in Anaheim, CA.

Though they had an architect help with the design of the house, the Slotkins chose to select the stone themselves. "They had an idea of what they were looking for, " said Larry Sandberg, tile manager at European Bath, Kitchen, Tile & Stone. "When they came in, they loved how the floor of the showroom looked. They purchased about 6,000 square feet of the material in 16- x 16-inch tiles."

The Slotkins did think about using other materials, but the slate seemed like the natural design solution for their home "We have used slate in a number of houses," said Slotkin. "This will be the third house where we use the material. Though we also looked at poured-color concrete, we decided this slate would be warmer. It is more appealing to a variety of people -- the concrete floor was too austere."

Albert Villialobos, sales representative for MS International, explained that the material the Slotkins saw on the floor of the showroom came from India. "The slate was imported from northern India, in the state Haryana," he said.

The Slotkins chose a large amount of material for their 4,500-square-foot house, because they wanted it to flow throughout the space. "We did have about 1,000 square feet of carpeting put in, but the rest was slate," said Slotkin. "The slate is used around the pool, spa and Jacuzzi for the exterior, and in the interior living room, kitchen, bathrooms and showers as flooring. In the bathroom, it was also used for the shower walls. The color inside and out fit with the exterior surroundings."

The house was newly built, and construction began in August 2001 and ended in August 2002. Dambach Quality Tile, Inc. in Vista, CA, was commissioned to install the stone in the house. "We used a medium bed thin-set over mortar for the flooring, using Tec Specialty Products Medium Bed." said Paul Dambach. "The showers were floated. It took four workers about three weeks for the installation. The only challenge was moving the material around in crates, but we managed it. It wasn't a difficult job."

After construction was complete, the Slotkins were very happy with their new home. "Everybody loves it," said Slotkin. "It is warm, comfortable, and can fit any type of furniture. Our look is mid-century modern."

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Private Residence, Rancho Santa Fe, CA

Owners: Dr. Bob and Jackie Slotkin
Architect: Greg Castle, Solana Beach, CA
Stone Retailer: European Bath, Kitchen, Tile & Stone, Solana Beach, CA
Stone Supplier: MS International, Anaheim, CA
Stone Installer: Dambach Quality Tile, Inc., Vista, CA
Installation Products: Tec Specialty Products, Inc., Palatine, IL