A wall‐mounted rack like this one keeps things orderly without swallowing too much space. Buy decent knives if you can afford it as they should last a lifetime. One advantage of a magnetic rack is that you can slowly build up your collection of knives buying one at a time rather than having to invest in one large block complete with knives which can be pricey. If you’re starting from scratch a bread knife paring knife and chef’s knife are essential.
Wood counters naturally also work well in spaces that already feature wood cabinets – that is if you’re a true wood lover and don’t mind it dominating the palette. 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.
Granite Kitchen Counters. There are plenty of reasons granite counters are so popular – this natural stone has plenty of character with unique grains colors and customizable finishes. When properly sealed it’s one of the most durable options out there. While it can cost as low as $50 per square foot installed prices can go up quickly with more exotic slabs and difficult installations.
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Soapstone Kitchen Counters. Often used in laboratories for its resistance to stains chemicals and bacteria soapstone is a durable and natural choice for a kitchen. At $80 to $100 per square foot installed it might be on the more expensive side but it can be a lifetime investment.
The U‐shaped kitchen lends itself to high‐efficiency cooking: You can often pivot on one toe as you spin around from refrigerator to sink to stove. A good friend and accomplished cook swears by this kitchen layout. He loves it because it keeps people out of the way when he's cooking. Guests can hang out as long as they stay on "that" side of the peninsula! The U‐shaped kitchen (also called the C‐shaped kitchen) is the perfect expression of the work triangle we hear so much about in kitchen design.
If you're limited on space and storage in your L‐shaped kitchen adding a pot rack frees up space in a base cabinet. In its grandest expression the L‐shaped kitchen has a large island main sink on one wall range on the other and prep sink in the island. This creates at least two overlapping work triangles allowing for multiple cooks to work at the same time. Guest seating at the island creates a "kitchen as theater" feel. Even in some smaller spaces you can fit a L‐shaped kitchen small island and prep sink. No seating at this island but I'm sure having that extra sink more than makes up for it in the cook's eyes!