8 Elements of Classic Kitchen Style

By: Rebekah Zaveloff

Many people are at a loss when it comes to defining their style. Some people know what they like but are afraid of getting the terms wrong, or they’re afraid of being pigeon-holed into one style when they feel like they’re in between a few different ones. The truth is, most spaces have elements of different styles and aren’t all one way. 

To sort all this out, join me on a tour of kitchen styles and sub-styles, from Classic to Modern, Industrial to Cottage, and lots in between. Today we’ll start with the most approachable of styles, classic style. 


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Classic kitchens are timeless and flexible. This comes with other givens, such as neutral color palettes and simple, unfussy details. Sure, a classic kitchen can be deemed too safe for the individualist and too ornate for the purist, but for me it’s like jeans and a white t-shirt: add a beaded necklace and heels or tennis shoes and black blazer and you can make the look your own. (And so can the next homeowner if you’re concerned about resale value.) 

1. White or cream cabinetry. Classic kitchens are timeless yet fresh. This is a style that almost everyone feels comfortable in, even some the modernists among us. White kitchens define this style.

2. Simple architectural details. You may see legs on islands, feet or furniture-style toekicks, crown molding and even a paneled hood, but these details are often restrained in a classic kitchen rather than being over the top and ornate.

3. Honed black countertops. Classic kitchens often go the timeless route with blacks or whites, whether it’s honed absolute black granite, soapstone, or cast quartz material.


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4. White marble countertops.Cararra marble and Calacatta marble are the two that really stand out in classic kitchens. In fact, marble countertops are often the focal point of a classic kitchen. Even though many homeowners know there are maintenance issues with marble, they can’t resist its beauty. 

5. White subway tile. It really doesn’t matter what size, though the classic is 3×6. It can be glossy, crackle, beveled or square edged, handmade or machine made, or even in white marble. If you’re looking for a twist on the classic, try a 2×6 or 2×8 or 2×4 — the proportions can really change the look of your kitchen, as can the grout color. 

6. Simple door styles, not too modern, not too ornate. Another aspect that defines this look is the cabinet door style — often either a simple shaker door or a shaker door with a bead moulding. You don’t see a lot of raised panel doors (of the sort often found in traditional kitchens) or flat-panel doors typically seen in modern kitchens.


7. Neutral palettes: Classic kitchens don’t have to be all white. This kitchen mixes stained and painted cabinetry, and even though the “white” cabinets have a glaze, the simple door style (shaker with a bead moulding) keeps it from going too traditional. The subway tile here has a bit more color than the classic white that’s so popular, but it’s still a classic.


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Black and white is about as timeless and classic as it gets. This kitchen with the shaker doors goes a bit more contemporary with the black island and dark subway tile with white grout, but its bones are still grounded in the classics.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alternative palettes like brown and white or black and white also find their way into classic kitchen design. Here, walnut cabinets, white marble and classic door style have all the elements of a classic kitchen.


8. Flexibility: What I love about classic kitchens is that they’re chameleons: You can take the same kitchen and completely change its look by mixing in modern bar stools or lighting … or industrial bar stools and lighting … or traditional — you get the idea. Classic can become eclectic by adding modern tile and mixing it with a vintage-style table and chairs and industrial-style pendant lights.


Classic can go more traditional when mixing it with an ornate hood, traditional chandelierand turned island legs.


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Classic white shaker doors can go more modern by adding a modern light fixture and terrific Saarinen table to the mix. This kitchen even has a bit of farmhouse modern because of the ceiling, but it’s still classic.


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Sometimes it’s the architecture alone that influences a classic kitchen in one direction or another. Here, classic goes country-modern with exposed beams and voluminous space. As you can see, classic-style kitchens are limited only by your imagination — or the imagination of thousands of designers. 

Smart Investments in Kitchen Cabinetry — a Realtor’s Advice

By Tiffany Carboni

The kitchen is the most expensive room in the house to build. The national average cost of a kitchen remodel is $50,000, though the real cost can vary widely, depending on where you live, the scope of the project and the materials you choose. New cabinetry can take up much of that expense. Make the most of this big purchase by treating your new cabinets as an investment. 

Realtor Victoria Gangi offers insider tips on how to get the best return on your cabinet investment, even if you’re not moving in the foreseeable future.


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Create an optimal layout. Long before a kitchen starts to take actual shape, there needs to be a well-crafted plan for how the kitchen will be laid out to offer maximum benefits to the homeowners and their guests. 

“Layout is the number-one feature home buyers are looking at in a kitchen,” says Gangi. “You will lose your audience if cabinets aren’t designed in a functional way with good flow.”


A kitchen or cabinet designer can help you get started. Don’t make any rushed decisions in the planning process. 

One way to help visualize a designer’s plan is to tape out the dimensions of the new cabinet configurations on the floor and walls. Granted, you’re going to need a really good imagination for this to work, but it will give you an opportunity to literally walk through the measurements to see if things feel well spaced.


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Invest in quality cabinetry. Once you’ve got a plan for where everything’s going to go, decide on a style and quality that will age well and withstand trends and changing tastes.

Quality cabinets are one of the smartest investments in a kitchen remodel, says Karl Keul, owner of Cameo Kitchens. “The lesser grades of cabinets tend not to age gracefully and often need more upkeep,” he notes.

The quality to choose will depend on your long-term plans. “Midrange cabinets are generally a good bet,” Gangi says. “If you intend to sell your home, these cabinets will look attractive to buyers, and you’ll likely see a return on your investment.”

She adds, “Even if you plan on staying in your home for the foreseeable future, this is still a safe option, because they’ll last. Choose top-of-the-line cabinets only if you have the money to create the kitchen of your dreams without any worries of recouping the money.”


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Integrate the door style. Choose a door style and color that integrate well with the rest of your home, especially rooms that look directly into the kitchen. If the rest of your house is traditional, you’d be better off steering toward a more traditional or transitional door style than going completely modern, and vice versa. 


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“Don’t choose a style that’s too ornate or too modern,” Gangi advises. “Modern is good; people like clean lines and clean finishes. But ultramodern or any style that’s too out of the norm isn’t what buyers tend to want.”


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In general the best kitchen designs are those that work in harmony with the rest of the home’s architecture rather than try to fight it. A harmonious house is easier for potential buyers to understand and, in turn, to want to outbid each other for. 

A savvy designer can help navigate you toward the best cabinet options that will work for your home and budget.

 

 

 

 


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Choose light colors. Lighter-colored cabinetry will appeal to more buyers. “Dark kitchens are out,” notes Gangi. “People prefer light and bright.”


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To integrate the appliances or not? Integrated appliances significantly increase the cost of a kitchen, not only because of the added cabinetry door fronts, but also because the appliances needed to facilitate this option are more expensive.

While this feature may look attractive to some home buyers, especially in a price range where integrated appliances are an expectation rather than an exception, your may not see the return on this high-priced detail in a midrange-price house.


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According to Gangi, your cabinet investment can be safe even if you don’t integrate the appliances. “Stainless steel appliances are still very popular and well accepted by buyers,” she says.


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Choose cabinet details that matter. What’s inside the cabinet is just as important as what’s on its outside. “Buyers are on the lookout for rollout and quiet-close drawers,” notes Gangi. “This is where that choice of midrange versus low-range cabinet quality becomes important. Spending the extra money it takes to get good-quality slide rails and quiet-close features will come back to you.”

 

 

 

 


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Opt for clean-lined hardware. “Buyers prefer drawer pulls and handles to be just as clean lined as the cabinetry,” says Gangi.


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If you like ornate hardware, go for it. However, should you sell your home, expect to replace those fancy pulls with a more streamlined set that will appeal to a broad range of buyers. The good news is that your fancy hardware can move with you.

New Kitchen: 7 Questions You Didn’t Know You’d Ask

Some of the questions you ask when planning a new kitchen are obvious, such as, “Do I want white cabinets or wood?” and “Do I want stainless steel appliances?”

But there are many design decisions that you might not even know to consider until the project is well underway. To help you avoid surprises and unfortunate mistakes, here are seven questions you should ask yourself before you begin your kitchen design.


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1. What are the rules? I’m not talking about design rules for what colors will match or what wood goes with what stone. I’m talking about the actual rules that are laid out by your local building code, which can affect many decisions or none at all, depending on your area and project conditions.

For example, many building codes dictate what type of hood fan you must use to ensure proper ventilation. These rules are especially important to know during a major renovation or new construction, as a surprise inspection that finds violations will leave you with a serious headache.

2. How should my cabinet drawers and doors open? Designers often point out that changing out the knobs on existing cabinets can make a kitchen look new in a snap. Putting knobs and hardware on new cabinets for the first time, however, can take a surprising amount of thought to get right.

One of the trickiest parts of designing a kitchen well is making the cabinet door and drawer fronts look elegant and consistent while the cabinets themselves serve different practical functions in a variety of shapes.

You might find a single handle that works for all your cabinets, but you may need two or even three coordinating styles to address all your different sizes of fronts.

Once you’ve chosen hardware, you should give careful consideration to where to install it to best achieve a sense of visual consistency. Free software can be found online to model your kitchen in 3-D, and you can adjust details such as the directions that doors swing until the hardware lines up in a pleasing way.

Or you can skip the issue altogether and use knob-free touch-latch cabinets.

3. What profile should I use for my countertops? The shape of the edge of the countertop may seem like a mundane detail, but it can make a world of difference to the look and function of your counters, and the kitchen as a whole.

This kitchen shows an “eased edge” stone counter (essentially a crisp rectangle with slightly softened corners) on the left and a cove edge wood counter on the right.

An eased edge is currently a popular choice for contemporary kitchens because it gives a simple, modern appeal. More ornate profiles usually carry a traditional air and a sense of warmth and personality.


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One of the most popular choices for a counter profile is the “bullnose” or “demi-bullnose” option, which means essentially a half circle or quarter circle. The look is less “sharp” than a minimalist eased edge, but so is the experience of bumping into it by accident. Ultimately it’s a decision that comes down to personal priorties.

It should be noted, however, that a very rounded edge like this is not always the best choice for laminates: The edge tends to give away that the material is fake because the curves look unnatural and the pattern does not align at the seam.

To simulate the look of a true stone when using a laminate, look to a simple rectangular profile in a dark color so the seams and edges appear natural and subtle.

4. What finish should my fixtures be? Selecting the material for your kitchen fixtures isn’t all about trends and pretty color palettes. Metals come in various finishes, and there can be major practical considerations as well. Try mixing stainless steel with brushed brass for a subtle contrast, as shown here.

For instance, brushed finishes tend to hide fingerprints and light water spotting much better than polished ones. Brass and gold-tone finishes tend to be warmer and more dramatic, while stainless steel and silvery-tone finishes tend to blend into the color palette more but add more sparkle.

There are lots of details to consider, so it’s best to research the pros and cons of a style that you like.

It can also become even trickier when trying to coordinate multiple metal elements.

It’s usually recommended to choose appliances from the same manufacturer, if possible, especially if they’re situated very close together, because differing product lines can have subtly different finishes that become more apparent once paired together.

Tip: Take one sample of a handle you’re considering (or other metallic element) to an appliance showroom to get an idea for how the different finishes will interact. If the pairing seems off, you can exchange the handle for a different finish.


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5. How will I mount my sink? Choosing an undermount sink or a drop-in model, as shown here, affects more than just the look of the sink itself, so it’s a decision that should be thought through early.

Undermount sinks, like the one pictured, are generally easier for keeping the surrounding countertop area clean because the neater edge of the counter allows you to sweep crumbs and debris directly into the sink without getting caught on a high lip. However, undermounts can’t always be installed in a laminate counter because the counter cutout would leave a raw unfinished edge in the core material.

Knowing what style of sink you prefer will affect what materials are available to you, so it’s best to answer this question as soon as possible and then research from there.

6. What finish should my stone be? Besides choosing what material you want for your counters, backsplash and flooring, you also need to decide the finish of the material itself.

Popular stone materials such as granite and quartz can take on a polished finish, like the one shown here, which gives a hard face and an almost reflective look. A honed finish appears much more soft and organic.

A honed finish, as seen here, also has the advantage of hiding scratches that can stick out in a gleaming polished stone. However, they can be more easily stained if not well-sealed, as the material tends to be more receptive to absorbing oils. Each has its advantages, so you should research your choice and not make a snap decision when meeting with the supplier.

When looking at stone samples, be sure to ask what finishes are available and look at each individually, as the finish can greatly affect the appearance, even radically changing the apparent color. Applying sealant can also darken the appearance to a degree, so you should ask to see a sealed sample — it may be extra work for the supplier, but it will save you a potential surprise on installation day.


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7. What material should my toe kicks be? You might assume your toe kick has to match the material of your cabinets. But what if your cabinets aren’t one consistent color? Or what if you’ve used a sparkling white cabinet, but you don’t want the toe kick to get dirty every time it gets, well, kicked?

If your island is a different material from the rest of the cabinets, you can let its toe kick differ from the main cabinets. Another option is to use a third material that ties all the cabinets together: Stainless steel makes a great toe kick if you have stainless appliances or handles, tying the whole palette together.

Nothing but the Best!

When you want nothing but the best where do you turn? To American Cabinet & Flooring, Inc. of course! Where you can trust your job will be done right, but don’t take our word for it see the proof yourself! 

Newly completed project:  Cabinets & Countertops

COUNTERTOP ECO SUSTAINABILITY: The How To Guide

Creating Eco Sustainability In Countertop Fabrication

When it comes to construction of any kind, environmental concerns are more important than ever. This is why The Top Shop Inc (AC&F) partnering with VT Industries, is committed to providing sustainable products and using environmentally friendly manufacturing methods.

Our production facility located in Denver, Colorado works hard to keep emissions and waste to a minimum, conserve natural resources, and protect local ecosystems. This strategically located facility, allows The Top Shop Inc. (AC&F) to provide the shortest lead times available but more importantly, reduce harmful vehicle emissions that contribute to air pollution and ozone depletion.

Every post form countertop we offer is GREENGUARD Indoor Air Quality Certified®. The Top Shop Inc. (AC&F) partnering with VT Industries, is the first and only laminate countertop product to receive this low-emitting certification, ensuring our product will contribute to healthy indoor air and building occupant wellness.

With EQcountertops, The Top Shop Inc. (AC&F) takes the sustainability of our countertops to the next level. Manufactured using 100% pre-consumer recycled particleboard, water-based adhesives and GREENGUARD Certified laminate, EQcountertops meet multiple green building standards, including Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) and NAHB’s green building guidelines.

Best of all at The Top Shop Inc. (AC&F), we’re continually adapting our manufacturing techniques and providing innovative products to ensure environmental responsibility. All employees—from production to accounting—are involved and encouraged to find innovative ways to make our business efficient and effective.

10 Pair-Ups for Black in the Kitchen

Article by: Laura Gaskill

It can be cool and modern, elegant and traditional, or something in between — black in the kitchen may be having a moment, but this classic color isn’t going anywhere. As in other rooms, remember that a little bit of black can go a long way, so consider the size of your room and the amount of natural light before committing. From cabinetry and tilework to floors, here are 10 ideas for incorporating the deepest, darkest hue into your kitchen design.

1. Black and white striped tile + polished concrete. Give simple subway tiles a fresh treatment by alternating horizontal rows of black and white tile. Varying the width of the stripes makes the look more dynamic; stainless steel appliances and polished concrete counters add a sleek, modern note.

2. Black floors + warm gray walls. Black stained wood floors and white cabinetry are warmed up by “greige” walls, a cozier alternative to stark white. Dark floors paired with a lighter hues on the walls and ceiling can make a room feel taller. Bright window shades and stools, plus a large framed beach photograph, give this space a playful feel.

3. Bicolor black and white walls + oak counters. Can’t decide between black and white? Split the difference: Paint the lower half of the kitchen black and the upper half white for a creative look. In this kitchen a line was drawn around the room and everything below it — including the bottom portion of the upper cabinets — was painted black, and everything above it white.

4. Shiny black appliances + aqua cabinets + brass hardware. Black appliances and a black sink surround add a polished note to this pale aqua kitchen. The bright brass gooseneck faucet and hardware stand out like jewelry against the watery-hued cabinetry.

5. Black counters + chocolate backsplash.Who says black and brown don’t go together? On the contrary, sleek black counters paired with glossy chocolate brown subway tiles make for a rich combination. The rest of this kitchen was done in crisp white, which keeps the space feeling light and spacious.

6. Black counters + black grout + white tile. For such a simple, easy change, swapping out light grout in favor of dark makes a big impact — not to mention it’s easier to keep looking clean! Classic white subway tile installed in a herringbone pattern calls attention to the spaces between more than if it were laid in straight rows.

7. Black cabinets + black trim + dark stained wood floors. If your kitchen is part of a larger, open-plan space, deep, saturated color can make the space feel kitchen-like. In this room, dark stained floors, black cabinets and black trim are enhanced by sculptural Tom Dixon pendant lights and a Carrara-marble-topped island.

8. Black cabinets + white and wood. Black cabinetry paired with white counters is a clean, simple and modern look. Stylish pendant lights, plus a few details in white and wood — like the paint-dipped stools shown here — keep this combination from feeling too simple. 

9. Black lower cabinets + white subway tile + white floors. Increase the sense of space in a small kitchen by using black on lower cabinets, and forgo uppers in favor of open shelves installed on a glossy white subway tile wall. High-gloss finishes on cabinet fronts and tilework help maximize light.

10. Black cabinets + pops of color.Sometimes what you put on your counters and shelves is just as important as the material they are made of. Here, a handful of brightly hued accessories pops against jet-black counters and cabinets.

Big Ideas for Compact Kitchens

Article by: Sara Emslie

Even the smallest of kitchen spaces needs to deliver big when it comes to form and function. No matter how awkwardly shaped or compact your cooking space, design tricks can help make even tiny corners work hard and look good too. These kitchens offer ideas for getting more from less and giving a high-function space a clean, uncluttered appearance.

Use open storage as display. If your tiny kitchen is part of a larger open-plan space, consider an island with built-in open shelves. This will add storage and display space and help separate food prep, cooking and clean-up areas from those for other living functions. 

Use attractive tableware, accessories and cookbooks to create a pleasing display.

Store high (and seamlessly). A clever way to add storage in a tiny kitchen is to position it high up the wall. Installing storage above seating, such as a built-in bench, can be a particularly smart use of space. 

For a clean, contemporary feel, fit the cupboards with push latches, removing the need for a door handle and creating a seamless finish that gives the impression of more space. A ladder stored away — perhaps inside a bench seat — can be used to access high cupboards.

Custom build a pantry cupboard. Well-planned storage makes efficient use of space and can help keep your kitchen organized. Consider a custom all-in-one pantry cupboard if you’re designing a kitchen from scratch. Install custom storage baskets for shelves and rail bars and baskets for cupboard doors to make the most of the space inside. 

A cupboard pantry can be used to store everything from food to china and kitchen equipment. And when the doors are closed, it’s all neatly out of sight.

Integrate built-in appliances. Shop around for appliances that will work in compact spaces and consider integrating them into your kitchen design. The framework needed for integrated designs eats up a little more lateral space, but the result will be a neater look. 

Think laterally, too — dishwashers are available as pullout drawers and can be paired with a storage drawer with the same front for a fuss-free finish. Microwaves and ovens can be fitted into a bank of wall cupboards, freeing up counter space for other kitchen essentials.

Think industrial. Utilitarian styling is ideal for making the most of a compact kitchen. It echoes the kitchens of days gone by, and its robust aesthetic says it means business, despite being a tiny space. Look for subway tiles, industrial factory lighting and Shaker-style units that combine beauty with utility.

Squeeze in an eating space. Having a space for sitting and eating in a kitchen, no matter how small, doubles the room’s functionality, making it feel more substantial. 

A compact breakfast bar, for example, can be both a dining area and an additional work surface for food preparation. To save space, choose bar stools that can be tucked under the counter when not in use. Try giving this tiny tabletop a separate visual identity with bold accessories, such as bright artwork and standout lighting. 

A fold-out, wall-mounted table is another option for a small kitchen.

Highlight character with color. Flashes of vivid color are ideal for adding a wow factor to a tiny space. It might be small, but it can still have presence. 

Against a pure white background, neon shades really stand out, so use these to emphasize any design features that have character and style. Maximize the different sizes and configurations of drawer and cupboard fronts to create eye-catching color combinations and design appeal.

Stick to a restricted palette, though, and keep clutter stored so as not to overcrowd your little kitchen.

Go for top of the line. Being small on space doesn’t mean a kitchen can’t be big on style. Adopt a high-end approach for fixtures and hardware in an otherwise minimal space to give a compact kitchen a designer look. 

Smart handles, inset lighting, state-of-the-art integrated appliances, contemporary faucets and molded draining boards are all design features often found in larger, more expensive kitchen designs, but they can add a big style hit to a tiny kitchen too.

10 Countertop Mashups for the Kitchen

Article by: Katie Pegler

Mixing materials for kitchen countertops has many benefits. For one, you can save money by using a less expensive material for your perimeter countertops while splurging on something more luxurious for an island top. Plus, mixing materials is a great way to add visual interest to your kitchen and avoid the overabundance of one color or material. With that in mind, designers are pairing marble with walnut, granite with reclaimed wood, engineered quartz with maple butcher block and more to create diverse surfaces for working, eating and gathering.

Marble Island With Wenge Bar

“Our overall design was form meets function throughout this kitchen design,” says Ashley Luberger, design associate at Osborne Cabinets and Millwork. “The island is the key focal point of this space, so we wanted to add interest combining heights and different materials to create a cohesive space.” 

Osborne designed and fabricated the island cabinets and wood top, made out of African wenge wood. “The wood has a really dark natural color along with a really tight grain pattern, creating a contemporary feel,” Luberger says. Collaborative Design Group chose the marble top.

The wood top was selected for the lower eating area because it is more durable than marble, which was used only on the island to avoid stain concerns. 

Marble Perimeter With Walnut Island

A white kitchen was a must for the owners of this Minneapolis home. However, both the husband and wife grew up in houses with wood countertops and were keen to incorporate wood. Nicole Bostman, owner and lead designer at Dezaar Interiors, found a happy medium by pairing a white marble countertop and oversize walnut island. “We wanted to introduce the warmth of wood to balance all the white, which can sometimes look a little cold and clinical,” Bostman says.

Walnut Countertops With Marble Island Top

In this Nunica, Michigan, kitchen by Meiste Homes, the perimeter countertops are oiled walnut, while the custom island is topped with a 10-foot slab of Arabescato marble with a built-up ogee edge. 

Be sure to follow proper maintenance routines for each material. Wood can chip and warp, especially in wet areas, such as near the sink. And marble can stain and chip. 

Quartz Perimeter With Maple Butcher Block Island

Before the remodel of this Los Angeles contemporary home, the owners had white marble countertops. Gabriel Abikasis, president of Kasis Construction, recommended engineered quartz as a durable alternative.

To add depth, texture and contrast to the white cabinets, Abikasis used 2-inch-thick maple butcher block in a clear satin finish for the island. 

Granite Perimeter With Reclaimed-Wood Island

This design of this kitchen reflects the homeowners’ desire to retain the old elements of the 1930s cabin.The main countertop is Jet Mist honed granite, while the island has a reclaimed-wood top fabricated by Grothouse Lumber. The wood island is sealed and cannot be used for cutting directly on. “The contrasting wood counter warms up the kitchen and makes it feel more cabin-like than if everything was dark granite,” says Kelly Ennis, principal at Ennis Nehez

Granite Island With Walnut Chopping Block Extension

Much thought was put into this kitchen, because it’s in the “forever home” of its owners, in Dartmouth, England. They wanted to make the most of the new space and were meticulous in defining their kitchen right down to listing what items each cabinet would need to store, so that Distinctive Living Kitchens could plan for the correct cabinet sizes and functionality.

The inspiration for the granite came from an existing granite countertop in the laundry room, which Distinctive Living Kitchens matched to the Shivakashi granite counters that are paired with the end-grain walnut chopping block island extension. 

Granite Island With Walnut Butcher Block Extension 

This Ottawa, Canada, home was built for a couple who wanted an environment conducive to entertaining large groups of family and friends, so a large, functional kitchen with good flow was key. “In addressing the functionality, I wanted to create a space that looked aesthetically balanced with functional and decorative elements,” says Nathan Kyle, senior interior designer at Astro Design Centre.

The island counters have silver wave granite surrounding the prep area mixed with walnut butcher block for the eating area. The inclusion of two materials was necessary to create the length that was required without having a seam in the countertop, and created a length that was ideal for entertaining. The butcher block also allows for a warmer touch on the area where people can rest elbows, versus a cold surface. 

“Using a two-toned kitchen allows for the back wall, which is utilitarian in nature, to stand on its own and juxtapose itself with a more detailed decorative island,” Kyle says. 

Concrete Island With Wood Inlay

For this contemporary Kansas City, Missouri, kitchen, Studiobuild blended poured concrete for the majority of the island and juxtaposed it with a wood inlay surrounding the cooktop on the same plane. Not only does this look have more visual interest, but a large island for eating and working eliminated the need for an eating nook.

Pietra Cardosa Stone Perimeter With Maple Island

For this center kitchen island, Brooks Custom used a 2-inch-thick premium wide-plank maple top. The light-colored wood contrasts with the dark Pietra Cardosa stone countertop along the perimeter of the kitchen. The seemingly simple finish on the island ties the modern farmhouse look together. 

Basaltina Perimeter With Walnut Island

Here a walnut island surface warms the basaltina perimeter and helps add contrast to the white kitchen. It offers the perfect fusion of natural materials and lower maintenance. “There is always a balance to strike between durability offered by manufactured options and the beauty and soul of living materials,” says interior designer Joelle Nesen of Maison.