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Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Finding the Perfect Kitchen Counter

There is no other surface in your kitchen that attracts as much attention as the countertop. It gets used (and abused) on a daily basis, serving as the genesis of culinary masterpieces, a resting place for wayward glassware and a collaboration table for homework or craft projects. Therefore there are many things to consider when selecting the perfect countertop for your dream kitchen to ensure you have a space that is not only beautiful but functional for years to come. 

Crema Marfil Okite 


The material itself


You have the layout for your cabinets and counters arranged perfectly- sink inset here, cooktop there. Now what is that surface actually going to be made of? 


Natural stone, solid surface/composite, stainless steel, concrete, recycled material...

The possibilities are becoming increasingly endless, which can result in decision fatigue. So an easy way to narrow down the pool is by deciding what functions you will perform most often and ruling out materials that don't offer the durability, flexibility or performance that you require. One benefit of solid surface and stainless steel as opposed to natural stone and concrete is durability and cleanliness. Materials such as Okite, which is composed of up to 93% natural quartz, are non-porous, durable, highly heat and scratch resistant and less likely to stain or  develop water rings.


Stainless Steel & White Okite 



Why stick to just 1?


Having trouble deciding on just one style, function and/or material? 

If you see yourself cooking a large meal with Iron Chef flair while friends and family gather round to enjoy the show, why not include space for both.  

You can easily integrate a counter height eating/seating area into an industrial chef's galley by clearly defining each function by a different material- like durable stainless steel for cooking and luxurious quartz composite for entertaining. 

Dual material counters offer flexibility of design as well as function, allowing you to juxtapose contrasting colors and textures within the same space. 


Seafoam Granite


Color, color, color 



Once the material palette is chosen, there comes the all important decision of color. While solid surface and composite counters can often offer a wider range of color choices, nothing beats the earthy tones and unique variations of natural stone. 


A well chosen granite slab can introduce a much needed breath of life into a space, without overwhelming the eye with a flat expanse of color because of the material's natural variegation. 


The ever popular Seafoam granite slab coordinates just as easily with a mulit-colored mosaic glass tile backsplash as it does with a stone or ceramic tile. And in our example to the left, the green hues of the counter enhance the warmth of hardwood floors and setting the tone for the kitchen as a whole. Granted, counter color choices are a big commitment, as they're not as easily changed as paint color. But don't be afraid to choose a vibrant or bold color for your counters! 


Color coordination


While the counter color is a huge decision, perhaps most important thing to consider is how the counter interacts with the cabinetry. 

If you intend to integrate color through cabinets, paint or other accents, it is key to select a versatile countertop that ties the entire palette together.

Absolute Black Granite (polished shown in both photos) is a fantastic example of a classic and flexible material, that feels just as at home atop dark wood or stainless steel cabinets as it does with crisp painted white cabinetry. 


To View a great Houzz article with 5 suggestions for pairing the perfect granite counters with cabinets for your Kitchen, click HERE