We had some great feedback last week on the recycled glass countertops featured in our blog on earth friendly design so this week we decided to explore the wonderful world of countertops! For the kitchen or bath, few things have more impact both visually and from a usability standpoint than countertops. The materials used, color and functionality all play into making the right choice and while granite is often the first one that comes to mind it’s not the only option available to you anymore. At Design Connection, Inc. we do a lot of kitchen remodeling and design, so we are always on the lookout for that perfect combination of form and function so this week we are bringing you some countertop choices that are off the beaten path!

Real Quartz Made Better!

Manufactured stone countertops have been around for quite some time, but these are something special. Made from crushed quartz, they have the beauty of stone countertops but with more consistent coloring, durability and need we say how pretty they look? With a multitude of colors to choose from, these countertops will easily match any decor.

Stainless Steel patterned bar top from Handcrafted Metal

Steel yourself! This will look gorgeous in your kitchen…

While it can sometimes be a bit on the industrial side, the fact is that stainless steel is a wonderfully neutral (gray) and affordable addition to any kitchen. Natural antibacterial properties due to the non-porous nature of the metal mean happy times for you and your food prep, plus easy cleanup with soap and water make this material one you can’t help but adore.

Award-winning concrete countertop design from Reaching Quiet

Did you say that was concrete?

You wouldn’t believe the possibilities with concrete countertops these days and if you don’t believe me, you have to click on the picture and browse the residential portfolio from Reaching Quiet. Truly stunning, concrete is like the chameleon of countertops. It can be embedded with details and accents like shells and stones or stained to resemble a slab of natural stone, polished to an ultra modern sheen, textured and formed. I really could go on and on here…

End Grain Carbonized Bamboo Countertop from Grothouse Lumber

Wood = Good

When you yearn for a countertop that is natural and warm, it’s hard to go wrong with wood. A huge variety of standard and exotic hardwoods are available now and many are eco-friendly. Consider reclaimed wood or even a distressed finish to give your kitchen a design boost!

ThinkGlass by Mailhot gorgeous backlit glass countertop

A Brilliant Idea!

Combine glass with light and what a delight you’ll find at night! OK so maybe we’re channeling our inner Dr. Seuss, but seriously, who wouldn’t be dazzled by this stunning and simple glass countertop?

Concetto by Caesarstone Puro Countertop

Leave No Stone Unturned…

In your quest for a one-of-a-kind countertop that is made of natural stone, you have to check out Concetto by Caesarstone. From Amethyst to Petrified Wood, you’ll find something to like. Semi-precious stones are individually cut to create these gorgeous countertops. A small sampling of options are on the photo above, plus some of them can be cut thinly enough to allow light to shine through. Gorgeous!

While I love to look at materials that are definitely not mundane, most of my clients do need some advice when it comes to practicality. When you choose a surface material for your countertops, be sure to consider your lifestyle and the amount of use those counters will get. Some of the more porous materials may be prone to stains while some of the non-porous ones could suffer from scratches. Research is key so that you can make a wise choice that will merge seamlessly with your design style as well as live up to normal everyday use. As always if you are looking to remodel your kitchen or do any other design work around the house that needs a bit of contemporary flair, I hope you’ll contact me. I would like to invite you to join the Design Connection, Inc. discussions on Facebook and Twitter I can’t wait to hear what you think!

Click on the photos to visit the websites of these fine folks: Caesarstone, ThinkGlass, Grothouse Lumber, Reaching Quiet, and Handcrafted Metal.