There's a trending countertop color that feels bold, but still timeless – and this Manhattan apartment nails it

We speak to the designer of this New York home to find out how they used the color of the moment in this modern kitchen

a timber kitchen with a blue green countertop
(Image credit: Joshua McHugh. Design: McKay)

Kitchen countertops are steadily evolving. Instead of the standard dark grey quartz with white specks or gleaming white laminate that we're used to seeing in kitchens, designers and homeowners are beginning to embrace pattern and color on the kitchen counter. 

Enter this stylish Manhattan kitchen, where the designer opted for an ethereal green tone for the countertop and backsplash, characterized by ribbons of grey, gold, and blue tones, creating a space that feels calming and luxurious.

'Blue is an age-old choice for kitchen cupboards,' says designer Matt McKay. 'And I really wanted to do something that would stand out and be different. Vibrant green stone is really successful here.' We spoke to the designer to find out exactly what inspired his vision for the kitchen in this modern home.

The kitchen color palette

a timber kitchen with a blue green countertop

(Image credit: Joshua McHugh. Design: McKay)

For Matt, the choice of kitchen color scheme is all about bringing a feeling of continental luxury into the home. Matt's influences come direct from Europe - one being the French painter, Henri Rousseau - an artist who loved using rich, jewel tones to bring his artwork to life. Another influence is German textile artist, Anni Albers. 'We are taken away to a different time in the south of France, with Brigitte Bardot in St Tropez,' says Matt McKay. 'We see Anni and Henri in conversation through the textures and colors selected throughout the home.'

In this room, the green tone of the kitchen countertop and backsplash is the stand-out. Custom design by McKay, the counter and backsplash combination is made of emerald Quartzite from BAS Stone. 'It brings irreverence and vibrancy to the space,' says Matt.

'The clients had gravitated towards various shades of rich greens from the beginning of the project,' explains Matt. 'I had been shopping for stone for another project and came across this quartzite. This kitchen sits in the middle of the apartment and really is the heart of the entertaining areas. It needed to stand out!'

Mixing with natural materials

A kitchen countertop decorated with lemons

(Image credit: Joshua McHugh. Design: McKay)

To compliment the green tones, McKay used rich natural oak wood on the kitchen cabinet doors. The delicate caning and unlacquered brass hardware counteract any coldness and instead give off a warm glow in the space. 

Off-white Venetian plaster walls are the finishing touches that complement the natural wood and countertops.

For Matt, it's in the finer details too. An example of this is the dovetail joinery that you can clearly see on the kitchen drawers, really exposing and highlighting the grain. 'I love the exposed tongue and grove joinery on the drawers, it's a traditional way of putting together drawer boxes.'

A new take on dining 

A living room with triangular shaped table

(Image credit: Joshua McHugh. Design: McKay)

The living room, dining room and kitchen areas are all open to each other, so for an organic transition through each of the zones, Matt has incorporated the vivid blue and green verdant tones and continued the use of natural wood. 

'This is the only dining area in the apartment,' says Matt. 'This clients asked that the space be cozy for weekend morning coffee and reading but also elegant in candlelight for a formal dinner. The banquette in the window marries these two ideas and begs diners to linger a little longer.' 

The dainty caning is also continued through to the living areas - seen on the chandelier and room divider that helps separate the distinct areas.

Oonagh Turner
Livingetc content editor and design expert

Oonagh is a content editor at and an expert at spotting the interior trends that are making waves in the design world. Writing a mix of everything and everything from home tours to news, long-form features to design idea pieces on the website, as well as frequently featured in the monthly print magazine, she's the go-to for design advice in the home. Previously, she worked on a London property title, producing long-read interiors features, style pages and conducting interviews with a range of famous faces from the UK interiors scene, from Kit Kemp to Robert Kime. In doing so, she has developed a keen interest in London's historical architecture and the city's distinct tastemakers paving the way in the world of interiors.