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.
Plastic Laminate Kitchen Counters. Although it’s sometimes scoffed at by stone lovers, plastic laminate still has a serious fan base. The wide range of customizable edges and finishes means it can work in any design. At $8 to $20 per square foot installed, its affordable price makes it a winner for many. However, it’s not the most durable of countertops, so it may not be best for heavy‐duty cooks.
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.