Here’s one solution to that aforementioned seating problem in U‐shaped kitchens: This terrific bench seating allows for that coveted kitchen table. On the minus side there is no casual counter seating.
Lighter woods tend to have more of a casual or rustic feel compared with darker‐stained options. Light‐stained or unstained woods can have a cottage‐inspired feel or a Scandinavian vibe depending on whether you pair them with traditional or modern accouterments. In either case a traditional runner rug makes an excellent complement. Darker woods come off a little more formal and polished than lighter tones. They lend a certain gravity to a space which can work well in areas that are already bright and breezy with lots of windows. When mixing wood counters with other wood finishes it’s often best to stick to either warm or cool tones across the board. Red‐brown woods are more traditional while ashy gray tones have been a popular modern trend in recent years. Whichever tones you prefer they will be less likely to clash if you stick to one family or the other.
Concrete Kitchen Counters. Pigments stains and dyes can create concrete counters with color and visual texture. With the right sealer a concrete counter can be well worth its cost – at least $100 to $150 per square foot installed.
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Soft gray countertops and other midtone 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 backsplash and wood the dreamy creamy counters add to a harmonious peaceful look perfect for friendly family breakfasts. Softly flecked gray stone has a look similar to concrete and it works perfectly in contemporary spaces with a bit of an architectural bent. It has the advantage of hiding the occasional spot while still looking clean and tidy and not too dark or busy. It’s great if you don’t always have a perfectly organized space but still want a put‐together look.
Zinc Kitchen Counters. You don't see zinc countertops in many modern kitchens but this metal has a warmth that has made it popular for centuries. Zinc's tone darkens with time adding patina. Its antimicrobial properties make it a smart choice for a cooking space. This beautiful material typically costs $100 and up per square foot installed.
Double‐dreamy: a U‐shaped kitchen with an island and a peninsula! I'm taking a little creative liberty here again since I'm not sure where the stove is. But this looks like a great way to for your guests to be in the kitchen and out of the way at the same time. A sleek and modern U‐shaped kitchen with a creative twist: The peninsula is part island/part kitchen table.