According to RICKI – The Kitchen Think Tank, countertops are the first planned kitchen purchase that U.S. homeowners plan to buy in the coming year, and we can see why.
Kitchen countertops are a huge part of your daily routine. Whether you start your day by eating breakfast at the kitchen island, packing your lunch or preparing dinner, you are utilizing your kitchen countertops. Because they are so crucial to your everyday life, it is important that you consider purchasing a countertop material that suits your every need.
Contrary to some beliefs, wood countertops make for very versatile surfaces. They are not only kind to fine china and crystal, but can be sanded and oiled to look like new. Knife blades stay sharper longer, and wood is a naturally warm surface to cozy up to during any point in the day. When crafted by Grothouse, wood kitchen countertops are covered under our lifetime warranty.
Another advantage to choosing wood for your kitchen countertops is that they can be customized to your unique, personal taste. Choose from an assortment of over 60 wood species and a huge variety of features and options like laser engraving or integrated fruit bowls.
Next in line after countertops, the first planned kitchen purchase, are kitchen faucets, refrigerators, lighting and backsplash. RICKI states that millennials are significantly more likely than their older counterparts to be planning to buy lighting for their kitchens, but we are hoping to have changed their minds.
Custom Waterfall Wood Countertops, also known as Pastore™ counters, can be designed for use anywhere in the home. Most luxury designers choose to use them as a kitchen island, while some use them as a peninsula or bar top.
Designs with Waterfall Wood Countertops
Zebrawood is one of the most popular wood species designers use for waterfall countertops. This is because the wood grain naturally exhibits strikingly beautiful and exotic lines and striations. Karen Kassen, CMKBD, ASID, of Kitchens Unlimited designed a Zebrawood waterfall counter for the kitchen island, offering plenty of food prep space and room for seating.
Neena Corbin Kitchens Inc. designed a Zebrawood waterfall bar top to serve as a divider between an entry way and kitchen. The bar top adds warmth and visual interest to this otherwise white space.
Another popular wood choice for waterfall countertops is Walnut. For KBIS 2017, Wellborn Cabinet designed an American Black Walnut wood waterfall countertop for their modern display. Serving as a peninsula, the countertop also camouflages extra storage cabinets.
Paul Bentham of Jennifer Gilmer Kitchen & Bath designed two Wenge waterfall wood tops, one for use as the bathroom vanity top and one for use as a bench seat. The mirror frame was also crafted out of Wenge wood for a uniform look in this contemporary master bath.
Brass fixtures are an extremely popular kitchen trend showing up everywhere. Earlier this year, Houzz predicted that brass fixtures would gain popularity, and they were right. Combined with neutral components, like wood countertops, a new, elegant design is created that hasn’t been used for decades.
Kitchen Designs with Brass Fixtures and Wood Countertops
The featured kitchen design with brass fixtures pictured above is Olivia Brock’s kitchen via My Soulful Home. Below are more kitchen designs featuring brass and wood countertops.
Designed by Lobkovich, this kitchen mixes both warm and cool hues to evoke a rustic aesthetic amongst a desaturated backdrop. Brass hardware is used on the table crafted by Grothouse with a Reclaimed Chestnut wood top. Brass is also found on the range and light fixtures.
The Grothouse Anvil™ line of metal gilded wood surfaces includes a Magnum brass-colored finish. For House Beautiful Kitchen of the Year 2016, Matthew Quinn designed a Walnut wood table with an Anvil™ Magnum banded edge. Also found on the hood and light fixtures, the brass pops against the neutral tones throughout the rest of the kitchen.
Rutt HandCrafted Cabinetry designed this display for the Architectural Digest Design Show 2016 featuring an Anvil™ Magnum metal finished counter, Peruvian Walnut countertop and brass cabinet hardware.
Plain & Fancy also chose a Magnum counter for their display at the Architectural Digest Design Show 2016. This display boasts brass accents everywhere with matching cabinetry hardware.
Kitchen countertops are typically the largest flat surface in our home, so naturally a lot of things tend to end up being set down on them. The kitchen is the heart of the home, and a cluttered counter hinders the function and enjoyment of the space. Fortunately, we’ve gathered a few easy tips to declutter kitchen countertops.
4 Tips to Declutter Kitchen Countertops
1. Put away items that don’t belong in the kitchen
Put away items that don’t belong in the kitchen, like the TV remote or your children’s toys. Removing these items will help you distinguish what is left to be organized that belongs in the kitchen.
2. Organize your cabinets
By organizing your cabinets to create a space for everything, you will eliminate the need to keep anything out on the countertop. Make space in a drawer for mail or extra papers that you need to keep. Appliance garages are often incorporated into cabinetry for an easily accessible place to keep smaller appliances off the counter.
3. Make use of wall space
If you don’t have enough cabinetry space, make use of empty wall space. Mary Jo Peterson designed this kitchen to include a special rack for wine bottles and more.
Maximize every inch of your kitchen with shelves. Jon de la Cruz designed custom black walnut wood shelves for House Beautiful Kitchen of the Year 2017. The shelves created a pantry to store a variety of ingredients and decor.
4. Customize your countertop to make the best use of the space
Knife slots are another great wood countertop option for clearing counter space. By incorporating knife slots into your counter, you eliminate the need for a knife holder. KT Highland Inc. designed the Oak wood kitchen island countertop pictured below to include knife slots.
We hope these tips help you easily declutter kitchen countertops to properly use and enjoy your kitchen. To learn more about the wood countertop options available at Grothouse, click here.
Black White Kitchens feature a classic color combination that is timeless and sophisticated. Designers often use wood as a point of warmth among an otherwise cool-toned white and black theme.
Black White Kitchens with Wood Countertops
Here are some black and white kitchens including wood countertops and butcher blocks.
Stonington Cabinetry & Designs blends natural materials with modern finishes, using wood as a point of warmth among an otherwise cool-toned white and black theme. A Walnut Butcher Block matches the floating shelves and kitchen island cabinetry.
Showcase Kitchens chose a Wenge Butcher Block for the end of the island in this elegant kitchen. This black and white design is crisp and clean, while providing drama and contrast.
For House Beautiful Kitchen of the Year 2014, Steven Miller designed this mostly black kitchen. Featuring a Peruvian Walnut counter and matching shelves, the wood keeps the black and white aesthetic from appearing too stark.
Grothouse was selected to craft a Sapele Mahogany butcher block for this black and white kitchen in the Newton Centre Project by This Old House® Television Show.
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
Below are designs by some of the industry’s best featuring wood for modern kitchen countertops.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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!
According to Houzz, subway tile backsplash is one of the best options to pair with wood countertops – and we couldn’t agree more.
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.
Griffey Remodeling designed this small farmhouse industrial style kitchen to include a white subway tile backsplash and maple wood countertops.
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 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.
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.
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.
Some of the industry’s best have designed Grothouse custom counters to complement decorative backsplashes to create unique and outstanding designs. Whether it be a solid wood surface or an Anvil™ metal countertop, it can be designed to complement even the most drastic backsplash.
Designs featuring Custom Counters and Decorative Backsplashes
Matthew Quinn designed House Beautiful’s Kitchen of the Year 2016, which included this wet bar. Quinn covered the wall in gold-striped Calacatta marble tiles by AKDO arranged in a sunburst pattern around the window. A White Oak Rift Sawn Blank with Anvil™ Argentum Metal Finish bar top was designed to bring out the gray tones in the marble. Also designed for this space were custom floating shelves to match the bar top.
A Peruvian Walnut countertop and matching shelves stand out against Phillip Jeffrie’s Quartz wall covering made of mica shavings. This kitchen was designed by Steven Miller for the 2014 House Beautiful Kitchen of the Year at the San Francisco Decorator Showcase in California. This kitchen also featured an extraordinary backsplash composed of Black and Silver Iridized Chrysalis tiles by Ann Sacks.
This rustically elegant kitchen boasts a myriad of textures and materials. Designed by Peter Cardamone and Lynne Kaltman of Blue Bell Kitchens, a custom Walnut butcher block and leathered quartzite countertops complement the Mediterranean Sea inspired handpainted by Tabarka Backsplash.