One of the most common and coveted counter top finishes is a stone or manufactured slab material, such as quartz, in a white or off-white shade with a light multi tonal fleck or grain to give it subtle natural richness.
This snowy, sparkling look works well in many situations since it is very neutral but also contemporary and fresh. The pale tone brings a sense of cleanness and lightness to the space with a twist of subtle sophistication.
- You have a traditional or transitional interior.
- You want the space to look big and light without feeling clinical.
- You want white counter tops but don’t want every crumb and speck of dust to show.
Pure white counter tops, generally only available in manufactured materials such as Corian or Caesar stone, bring a contemporary, minimalist freshness that no natural stone can match. Luckily, these materials resist stains well, so they can stay a crisp white for years with just a little care.
In this example, the counters are paired with a more sumptuous backslash to balance the stark white with a little gentle character.
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- You love crisp, modern style.
- You have a small space that you want to look as big as possible.
- You want to break up modern wood cabinets or other bold finishes.
- You love a nautical white-and-blue scheme.
Warm wood, with its inviting air and natural richness, is a great choice for infusing a cool, breezy kitchen with some approachable character. Crisp white kitchens feel a little more “homey” and a little less austere with a wood counter top. It makes a popular choice for transitional kitchens that balance traditional and contemporary elements, especially since classic wood fits into both categories.
Notice in several of these examples how wood only dresses the island counters. Wood in general is an excellent material to use for an accent counter (often on an island or a small “chopping zone” in butcher block), contrasting with nearby stone or solid-surface counters in a pleasing way.
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- You want an accent counter top to contrast with other surfaces.
- Your white cabinets need a little warming up.
- You want your space to feel more approachable and intimate.
- You enjoy a dash of rustic charm.
- You can’t get enough wood.
Dark counters, in tones such as black or charcoal, can appear very Gothic in some situations and perfectly harmonious in others. If you have dark cabinetry, dark floors or other rich and weighty finishes, a dark counter top will fit right in. In this example, you can see that the white counter is the one that pops, compared with the island counter, which almost blends into the deep wood drawer fronts.
Choosing a dark gray rather than pure black will soften the look, so it’s usually preferable to stop at charcoal in most situations.
In this kitchen, the counter picks up on the black elements of the appliances, the dark legs of the furniture and the rich and complex parquet floors, so it feels integrated into the design rather than being a single exclamation point.
Again, it’s never wise to have just one large black element in your design, as it may stand out like a sore thumb, so you’ll want to introduce other sprinklings of black such as elegantly simple black cabinet knobs and pulls.
- You have dark cabinets and want the counters to blend in with them.
- You have colorful, fun cabinets, and you want the hue to really shine.
- You have a smoky mirrored backslash, a trendy favorite in condos and modern homes.
- You want to connect to other black elements in the space.
- You’re aiming to achieve a classic black-and-white scheme.
Soft gray counter tops and other mid tone shades, such as beiges or rich creams, are the most neutral counter options. In this kitchen, with creamy off-white cabinets and golden yellow undertones in the backslash and wood, the dreamy, creamy counters add to a harmonious, peaceful look, perfect for friendly family breakfasts.
- You want a soft, friendly vibe with muted tones harmonizing.
- You have colorful cabinetry or multiple tones of cabinets mixed together.
- You have a black-and-white scheme that could use a little softening.
- You love warm metallic accents and want to show them off.
Boldly veined stone counter tops can either make you stop and gaze in admiration or have the opposite effect and overwhelm your eyes.
- You have a large kitchen.
- You want the counters to be the primary statement.
- You have dark cabinets to offset a dark, moody stone.
- You can’t get enough visual drama.
Written by : Yanic Simar