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.
If you're doing tile or stone floors work on picking those materials at the same time as cabinets backsplash and countertops. The relationships among these materials is critical. It's tough to mix different types of stone and tile unless you want your kitchen to look like a showroom.
Assign dedicated storage areas. Kitchen clutter can easily accrue so it makes sense to assign different cupboards a specific purpose and stick to it. And dedicate a few minutes every couple of weeks to returning stray plastic lids or pot covers to their homes and sweeping out spilled spices and coffee grounds – it really will make a difference in how pleasurable (and easy) your kitchen is to use day to day.
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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.
Recycled Paper‐Based Kitchen Counters. Recycled paper sounds like the worst possible material for a kitchen countertop but this ecofriendly choice has surprising durability. When blended with resins and pigments it has the look and feel of soapstone – but at $40 to $80 per square foot installed it's a fraction of the cost.
The layering and mixing of finishes in this kitchen give it an old‐world charm. Note the glazed blue‐gray island and its relationship to the pendant above. The choices for a mahogany‐tone wood countertop dark trim around the windows and a custom hood surround in particular were all made during the process of designing this kitchen and impact the overall finished look and style.