An interior design blog with furniture reviews, interior decorating tips, DIY projects, and home furniture guides.

Posts Tagged ‘kitchen countertops’

From the design files of Heather B – Replacing Granite Countertops

Monday, February 28th, 2011

Design Question

Hi there…The countertops in my kitchen are granite. Two counter sections are fine but the granite counter between the stove and the fridge is pretty scratched up. Should I replace all of the countertops or just the one? And I don’t think I want granite again – if I wanted to replace all of the countertops so that they match are there any alternatives you would recommend?

Design Answer

Thanks for writing in. You might want to give replacing them some more thought. As a construction material for kitchen countertops, granite has more pros going for it than cons. It is a hard, nonporous stone, which makes it durable and heat resistant: you can take hot pots off the stove and place them directly onto a granite counter without having to use a trivet or a hot pad and being able to cut food on the granite itself eliminates the need for buying separate cutting boards.

As for the scratches, have you considered consulting a local retailer that features granite products? Because granite is so durable, often granite countertops, even severely damaged ones, can be repaired and restored. It might be less expensive than have to replacing all three countertops in your kitchen.

Should you need to choose new kitchen countertops, there are plenty of different types to choose from – one isn’t necessarily better than any other. It largely depends on personal preference. Three main factors to keep in mind when selecting a construction material for kitchen counters are: cost (how much you’re willing to spend; appearance (does it blend with cabinets and the other décor elements in the space); and lifestyle (you love cooking for friends or you can never remember to grab a hot pad when taking a casserole out of the oven).

Also take into account that each type of countertop material has its own set of pros and cons. Laminate kitchen countertops are economical and most versatile, but isn’t as durable as some kinds of stone counters. Stainless steel is very easy to clean but can be easily scratched if not sealed.

Come back next week when I will answer another one of your design questions. Don’t forget to keep sending them to. I don’t have a one-question rule; you can ask as many design question as you want; just remember to send one per email.

From the Design Files of Heather B – Mini Kitchen Reno

Monday, March 15th, 2010

Design Question

Hi! We are wanting to do a mini kitchen reno. We are replacing the countertop and backsplash only. Cupboards are a golden oak and will be staying as is. Our appliances are stainless steel. The kitchen is average size with a lot of counter space. The house is an open concept so the kitchen is open to the eating area and the living room. The countertop next to the dining area is wide 39″ and has bar stools on one side. These three rooms are facing south with a window in the kitchen, patio doors in the dining area and large windows in the living room so there is plenty of natural light.

The floor throughout is hardwood. All trim is hardwood.  Decorating colours are earthy.  We have found a tile that we really like and now are trying to decide on a countertop colour. The tile has three colours running through it (light beige, mid beige and dark brown) in thin inconsistent lines so that it has the look of a piece of fabric. The dark brown stripes have a sheen to them. I believe the countertop will need to be quite plain to not make the end product too busy. We currently have a light tan countertop and I was thinking that I would like something dark for a change, but of course want to go with what will look best.

Should we be trying to match the two or look for contrast between the counters and backsplash? With the backsplash having texture and sheen should we pick a matte finish for the counter? My husband is concerned that the room will look too dark if we go with the darker countertops.

Thank you for taking the time to consider our questions.

Design Answer

Because it is the second main focal point (the first being the kitchen cabinets) that one notices upon entering a kitchen, many professionals suggest that the countertop material should be selected first. Particularly if, as you mentioned, it has an open concept design, you will want to select the right countertops for the space; ones that add rather than detract from the overall look. However, by the sound of the richly textured backsplash tiles, I can understand why you chose the backsplash material as your starting point.

You will definitely want to pick a kitchen countertop color that appears in the backsplash tile. Matching the countertop color to the backsplash will give your kitchen a seamless, cohesive appearance, while picking a color that complements or is in contrast to the backsplash, provides visual interest by adding a little “drama.” Whether you match the two or choose a countertop in a contrasting or complementary shade, is entirely a personal preference and there is no real right or wrong choice, other than selecting a countertop color that clashes (stands out in a jarring way) with your backsplash. It all depends on the end look you would like to achieve.

Since the backsplash tile has pattern and texture, you will definitely want to take that into consideration when choosing your kitchen counter. But you don’t have to necessarily limit yourself to matte finishes or solid colors. Just make sure that it is in harmony with the backsplash: the pattern, color and texture of the countertop should not look too busy or too shiny when paired with the backsplash. A darker color countertop such as chocolate, espresso or even black will provide the perfect foil (make the tiles stand out) for the backsplash.

Thanks for writing in! Keep sending me your design questions, and especially if you’re asking for advice regarding wall color, tips on rearranging a specific room etc., include pictures if you can.

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