Inspiration and DIY 4 Stylish Ideas for Kitchen Countertops

Photo features One Quartz Micro Flecks in Cancun Beach on the countertop with Glass Pebbles in Wheat on the backsplash.

Photo features One Quartz Micro Flecks in Cancun Beach on the countertop with Glass Pebbles in Wheat on the backsplash.


4 Stylish Ideas for Kitchen Countertops

In the 1970s, kitchen countertops were often made from laminated plastic, such as Formica, because it was easy to clean, practical, and family-friendly. Countertops didn't have a lot of style or personality to them, but they did their job as a place to prepare a quick breakfast or a larger family dinner.

Just as families and meals have evolved, so have kitchen countertops. They're no longer just places to park a slow cooker, blender, or popcorn maker. They have become places where you can stand with a glass of wine and prepare elegant restaurant-worthy meals. Kitchen counters have become stylish, even cool.

It's time to replace your dated countertop with more modern materials such as granite, quartzite, porcelain, or ceramic. These alternatives can easily kick your kitchen design up a notch or two so that you have a beautiful spot to cook and gather. Here are four design ideas that will turn your countertop into a conversation-starting centerpiece.

Monochromatic White

Kitchen countertops don't have to stand out to be decorating superstars. They can blend in seamlessly with the rest of your kitchen design to create a streamlined, monochromatic effect. For example, consider cream-colored tiles on the countertops and the main part of a backsplash, finished off with a row of matching subway tile with beveled edges. This is a nice counterpoint to a white brick area above for stacking white porcelain plates. Continue the cream-colored theme with matching cabinetry underneath that lacks doors in order to showcase wooden shelves and crockery.

Photo features Yorkwood Manor in Pecan 6 x 36 field tile.

Matching all surfaces allows stainless steel sinks and appliances to really stand out and shine. You could keep the neutral theme for the kitchen floor going by adding large planks of Season Wood in Snow Pine or Winter Spruce. Try a staggered pattern for a dash of textured white. Finish off the look with some white faux fur throw rugs for three-dimensional detail.

Dark and Somber

Another option is to go with a darker design, and use a glossy black subway tile as the backsplash, black matte tile on the kitchen countertops, and stainless steel faucets and sinks. To soften up the scene, opt for floors made of Yorkwood Manor in its darkest available option: Deep Walnut. While this reclaimed wood-look tile is still dark, it will warm up your kitchen a bit and keep it from becoming too severe.

A deep red or maroon countertop might seem too intense, but in the right kitchen, it's the right call—especially if you like to be surrounded by dark shades of color. For a kitchen countertop unlike anything ever used in the 1970s, go with a rich shade of Liners tile for the countertop and the backsplash. Go with a deep-stained cabinetry, and for a bit of contrast, try Levaro porcelain tiles. Accent the space with dark vinyl-covered chairs and cushions.

Sparkly Glass

Young children are often attracted to metallic rocks on a beach, t-shirts with glittery decals, and jean jackets with rhinestones. Capture that same youthful energy in your kitchen, which is easily the most used room in your home. Go with a neutral countertop material, and add a special touch to the design with the reflection of a sparkling backsplash made of Glass Pebbles or Egyptian Glass.

Photo features One Quartz Micro Flecks in Cancun Beach on the countertop with Glass Pebbles in Wheat on the backsplash.

For an even more bold option, you can use the shiny mosaic tile directly on your counters. And if you like the look of sparkles, but want something a little more low-key for your countertops, opt for Cancun Beach tile, which offers neutral but sparkly options. Go with a glossy finish, and consider adding a metallic tile backsplash and overhead ceiling lights that reflect and bounce off the tiles to create an eye-catching sparkle. A metallic backsplash will automatically jazz up your countertops, and will make kitchen design truly stand out.

Groovy Granite

If you're looking to make an affordable statement that's completely unlike what you might have found in your parents' kitchen, it's difficult to go wrong with granite. For starters, granite is very long-lasting. With the proper care, it's resistant to damage and scratches, making it more family-friendly than it appears. It also comes in many more colors than just beige and gray, is available in various patterns, and comes in many sizes, giving you a range of options to add a bit of sophistication to your kitchen.

Keep the size of your kitchen in mind, so that you don't overwhelm your cooking or baking space with a stone that's too busy or overwhelming. Use a simple pattern and neutral colors for smaller kitchens, and try to go with a bolder pattern or color granite for a larger kitchen. When choosing the granite slab for your countertop, make sure it plays well with existing design elements, such as the cabinetry, flooring, lighting, and appliances, as well as paint color and window treatments. This will help to ensure that you create an appealing kitchen design.

Polished granite is a popular countertop choice that's well known for repelling stains and withstanding heat, which are important considerations for a well-used kitchen. And that's not all—while polished granite is functional, it's also glamorous. It has as a glossy, mirror-like shine that reflects light and bounces it off of any metallic or shimmery materials. The finish will definitely add richness and elegance to your kitchen. Polished granite can also turn your kitchen island into a stunning conversation piece.

Honed granite can also be used as a countertop. It's a great design alternative to a classic polished finish, and is a terrific choice if you're trying to create a slightly muted look in your contemporary kitchen. You get the durability, longevity, and performance of a natural stone in a modern-looking finish. Whatever type of granite you pick, you'll find that it's easy to clean and will last a long time if you care for it and seal it according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Whether you opt for a monochromatic porcelain tile, a reflective glass tile, or a stunning granite kitchen countertop, odds are high that you'll create a gathering space that's unlike anything from the past. Explore your countertop options, get creative, and make some new memories with your design.