Go minimal. Are you in the process of picking new cabinets for your compact kitchen? Consider this look. Ultra‐plain handleless cabinets in a nude hue are soothing to look at and give a sense of visual order. Pick a seamless backsplash such as this slab of marble since tiles with grout can look busy. Get in a tight corner. When space is tight an ingenious trio of pullout corner drawers is a lifesaver helping to solve the problem of lost space in those awkward‐to‐access base cabinets. If you’re remodeling think about how you’d use such drawers – for cutlery towels pans dishes? Here a slimmer top drawer is complemented by the two deeper ones so all the bases are covered.
Flecked or Softly Veined White. One of the most common and coveted countertop finishes is a stone or manufactured slab material such as quartz in a white or off‐white shade with a light multitonal 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. In more traditional kitchens this is usually a better choice than a true minimalist white countertop which can be too severe and fight with the elegance of other elements such as knotty woods Shaker cabinets or lantern pendant lights.
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 countertop 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. If you’re going for a dark‐on‐dark palette it helps to have lots of light sources natural or added (or both). This will keep the space feeling cozy and sophisticated instead of just cave‐like.
Most Viewed Gallery Kitchen
Softly flecked or grainy whites also work well paired with brass accents such as these contemporary lights. Again the subtle richness holds its own without fighting for attention and keeps the countertop from feeling too austere – great for a dining island where you want people to actually feel comfortable dining.
Island. No matter how modestly sized an island can provide invaluable space for working serving and storing. I recently interviewed a designer who advised that we take the recommended dimensions and clearances with a grain of salt as they tend to work only for mansions and in Fantasyland. As long as you’re not bruising a hip every time you round the island you have enough space.
Boldly veined stone countertops can either make you stop and gaze in admiration or have the opposite effect and overwhelm your eyes. In general the bolder the veining on your counters the less drama you’ll want to add elsewhere. This waterfall counter (with the material wrapped down the sides) is relatively muted but the large gray veins still bring enough character without any daring colors or other statement features.