Modern Kitchen Countertops

Sleek, clean lines and simplicity make modern kitchens a popular design choice. Because modern kitchen designs typically have more of a cooler feel, designers choose wood countertops to add warmth. In addition to adding warmth, wood modern kitchen countertops can be custom crafted to feature a sleek and simple edge profile.

Wood Modern Kitchen Countertops in White Kitchen Design
Modern Kitchen design by John Troxell, Director of Design, Wood-Mode

Wood Modern Kitchen Countertops

Below are designs by some of the industry’s best featuring wood for modern kitchen countertops.

Modern Kitchen Design by Paul Bentham of Jennifer Gilmer Kitchen and Bath
Modern Kitchen Design by Paul Bentham of Jennifer Gilmer Kitchen and Bath

Paul Bentham of Jennifer Gilmer Kitchen & Bath designed a Peruvian Walnut Half Parsons Table for the 13 foot island in this modern kitchen design. The countertop includes a cooktop and a perfectly balanced overhang to provide space for seating.

Modern Kitchen Design by Shawna Dillon of Studio Snaidero D.C. Metro
Modern Kitchen Design by Shawna Dillon of Studio Snaidero D.C. Metro

Photographed by Gordon Beall Photography, this gray modern kitchen design by Shawna Dillon of Studio Snaidero D.C. Metro won the Kitchen & Bath Business magazine’s Showroom of the Year 2016 Award. This award winning kitchen features a Stained Ash wood table top.

Modern Kitchen Design by Nicklas Supply features a Walnut Pastore Countertop
Modern Kitchen Design by Nicklas Supply

Nicklas Supply designed this cool-toned kitchen to include a Walnut Wood Pastore™ Countertop on the left side of the island. The warmth of the wood adds to the cool charm of this airy kitchen.

Modern Kitchen Design by Lukejohn Dickson of La Source with Wood Countertop
Modern Kitchen Design by Lukejohn Dickson of La Source

 Lukejohn Dickson of La Source designed a Peruvian Walnut Pastore™ Bar Top for this neutral modern kitchen.

Modern Kitchen Design by Griffey Remodeling
Modern Kitchen Design by Griffey Remodeling

Griffey Remodeling also went with a Pastore waterfall countertop made of Walnut wood for their modern kitchen design featuring a fun green backsplash.

Want more modern kitchen countertops design inspiration? Check out our profile on Houzz.

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Designing the Perfect Kitchen Island

The kitchen is the heart of the house, and inevitably you find family and friends gathering around the kitchen island. Here are three important elements to consider when designing the perfect kitchen island.

Designing the Perfect Kitchen Island with Wood Countertops and Butcher Blocks
Design by Kelly Bailey of Coastal Cabinet Works

1. Function

The first step in designing the perfect kitchen island is to decide what the main function is going to be. Some kitchen islands are designed around food preparation, storage, entertaining guests, doing homework and even charging stations for devices. Islands are often designed to be used for a variety of reasons. The functionality of your kitchen island should be designed to fit your family’s daily kitchen activities. In addition to designing around what your family needs today, you also want to plan for the possibilities and create a kitchen island that can evolve as your family evolves.

Kitchen Island Design by Paul Bentham of Jennifer Gilmer Kitchen Bath includes Wood Countertop
Design by Paul Bentham of Jennifer Gilmer Kitchen & Bath

2. Size

After choosing the main function of your island, you can then figure out the size of the island. The size of your island should be proportional to the size and design of your kitchen. Professionals on Houzz recommend an island to have a width of 2 to 3 feet. For length, professionals feel that 4 to 7 feet is best, depending on how much storage and how many appliances you plan to incorporate.

If your kitchen already has a lot of cabinetry space, island storage may not be a priority. Designer Steve Justrich explains, “Typically, two 24-inch base cabinets back to back will accommodate most under-island functions,” in this article by Houzz.

If the island will be used as a main food preparation area, a sink and other appliances may have to come first in priority. Should you choose entertaining as the main function of your island, then seating arrangements should be the main priority of your island.

An important factor to keep in mind is the aisle space between the kitchen island and any perimeter cabinets or appliances. According to decoist.com, experts suggest that an ideal aisle space would be 42 inches between the counters. If you have a smaller kitchen, they suggest a minimum of 36 inches.

3. Style

The next step in designing your island is choosing the style. Style includes the cabinetry finish, countertop material, lighting and seating arrangements. Typically the style of the island follows suit with the style of the rest of the kitchen.

When it comes to cabinetry finish, some choose a paint or stain color that stands out against surrounding kitchen cabinets. Others choose a matching finish to bring the design together.

Kitchen Island Design by Pine Street Carpenters features a Tigerwood Countertop
Design by Pine Street Carpenters, Inc.

It’s important to choose the right countertop that best suits the island’s activity. For food preparation, a butcher block countertop is most recommended. Waterfall counters have a sleek look that works for both modern and traditional kitchens. For seating areas, a wood bar top is a warm place to cozy up to.

Kitchen Island Design by Karen Kassen of Kitchens Unlimited features a Waterfall Countertop
Design by Karen Kassen, CMKBD, ASID, of Kitchens Unlimited

Lighting above your island is a way to express your personality, while adding to the overall functionality of the space. Some designers choose recessed lighting, others choose pendant lighting. Some also choose to use a combination of both. Designers often use three pendant lights above an island, depending on the light design.

Kitchen Island Design by Denise Quade of Denise Quade Design features a Wood Countertop
Design by Denise Quade, CMKBD, of Denise Quade Design

Seating is another way to add to the style of the overall kitchen and island. Some designers choose backless bar stools, while others choose a chair style stool.

Visit the Countertop Image Library to see more perfect kitchen island designs.

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Wood in White Kitchen Designs

White kitchen designs have stood the test of time in beauty and popularity. However, reluctance to embrace a kitchen with white walls and cabinets is common due to the fear that the space will feel too cold. Wood countertops are a great way to create balance by adding warmth and texture into an otherwise all-white kitchen.

Wood in White Kitchen Designs

White Kitchen Designs by Stonington Cabinetry & Designs includes Walnut Countertop
White Kitchen Design by Stonington Cabinetry & Designs

Starting with this transitional white kitchen design by Stonington Cabinetry & Designs, a Walnut wood countertop matches dark wood flooring. The wood brings warmth, while white cabinets and perimeter countertops keep things bright.

White Kitchen Design by Pine Street Carpenters Inc includes Peruvian Walnut Countertop
White Kitchen Design by Pine Street Carpenters Inc

Pine Street Carpenters, Inc. designed this contemporary white kitchen to feature a Peruvian Walnut kitchen island countertop. Matching drawer fronts and cabinet mouldings tie in the dark wood floors and countertop.

White Kitchen Design by Luxe Kitchens and Interiors includes Peruvian Walnut Bar Top
White Kitchen Design by Luxe Kitchens and Interiors

A Peruvian Walnut kitchen bar top complements the dark wood floors and provides contrast to this mostly white traditional kitchen. This design by Luxe Kitchens and Interiors was also featured on homebunch.com for interior design ideas.

White Kitchen design by Jennifer Gilmer Kitchen and Bath includes White Oak Countertop
White Kitchen design by Paul Bentham of Jennifer Gilmer Kitchen & Bath

Paul Bentham of Jennifer Gilmer Kitchen & Bath designed this contemporary white kitchen to feature a large White Oak parsons table. This kitchen won Second Place Large Kitchen in the NKBA Baltimore/Washington Chapter Design Contest in 2016!

Visit the Grothouse Photo Gallery to view more white kitchen designs with wood countertops.

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Subway Tile Backsplash with Wood Countertops and Butcher Blocks

According to Houzz, subway tile backsplash is one of the best options to pair with wood countertops – and we couldn’t agree more.

Subway Tile Backsplash with Wood Countertops and Butcher Blocks
Subway Tile Backsplash with Wood Countertops and Butcher Blocks

Designs featuring Subway Tile Backsplash with Wood Countertops

Much like custom wood countertops, the classic look of subway tile is extremely versatile, permitting it to be easily paired with just about any kitchen style.

Farmhouse is one of the most common kitchen styles featuring subway tile and wood counters. Farmhouse style is often mixed with other kitchen styles, such as industrial and modern.

White Subway Tile with Maple Countertops
White Subway Tile with Maple Countertops

Griffey Remodeling designed this small farmhouse industrial style kitchen to include a white subway tile backsplash and maple wood countertops.

White Subway Tile with a Reclaimed Oak Countertop
White Subway Tile with a Reclaimed Oak Countertop

Phoebe Steinhoff-Smith of Coastal Cabinet Works mixed modern and industrial farmhouse style in this white kitchen. A large Reclaimed Oak counter was designed for the kitchen island. The subway tile backsplash is continued all the way to the ceiling, making the room feel larger.

White Subway Tile with Reclaimed Chestnut Bar Top
White Subway Tile with Reclaimed Chestnut Bar Top

Designed by Shawna Dillon of Studio Snaidero D.C. Metro, this transitional/modern kitchen won the Kitchen & Bath Business magazine’s Showroom of the Year 2016 Award. This award winning kitchen features walls of white subway tile and a Reclaimed Chestnut kitchen bar top.

Gray Subway Tile with Walnut Wood Kitchen Island Countertop
Gray Subway Tile with Walnut Countertop

White subway tile is a popular choice, but colored subway tile is often used as well. Stonington Cabinetry & Designs chose a light gray subway tile for this transitional kitchen. The kitchen island includes a large Walnut countertop.

Blue Subway Tile with Wenge Butcher Block Countertop
Blue Subway Tile with Wenge Butcher Block

Kate Connolly of Homestead Kitchens went with a soft, dark blue subway tile backsplash that continues along the wall under the cabinets. Conveniently located across from the range is a Wenge butcher block.

Tan Subway Tile with Sapele Mahogany Counter for a Wet Bar
Tan Subway Tile with Sapele Mahogany Counter

A distressed Sapele Mahogany counter was paired with a tan subway tile for this traditional style wet bar designed by Wood-Mode Inc.

Due to their design versatility, subway tile backsplash and wood countertops make the perfect pair. To see more designs featuring this pair, visit the Grothouse Countertop Image Library.

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