Vanessa Hudgens is a longstanding trendsetter in the world of fashion, but she's now made it clear that she has serious taste when it comes to interior design, too. The actress, best known for her breakout role in High School Musical all those years ago, is now the epitome of elegance and sophistication (and so is her kitchen).
Among snaps of her glamourous getaways and glitzy red carpet appearances, Vanessa is no stranger to posting more down-to-earth shots of her home on her Instagram. In a recent video that shows her making a delicious-looking smoothie in her kitchen, it was the dark moody countertops contrasted with the simple wooden cabinets that really tickled our tastebuds.
With dark kitchens quickly becoming all the rage, we were itching to know more about Vanessa's simple and sophisticated modern kitchen. Here, we ask designers for their thoughts, getting to the bottom of the all-important countertop material in question.
If you've kept up with the latest kitchen trends, you'll know that dark-themed culinary spaces are having a serious moment right now. While sparkling white marble or quartz countertops have been mainstays in kitchen designs for decades, we've been ready to wave goodbye to them for some time. That said, a completely blackened kitchen can be a bit too imposing (not to mention impractical) - enter, Vanessa's simple wooden kitchen paired with a moody countersplash.
Where all-black kitchens can be a bit too much, Vanessa's space strikes the perfect balance. The light wood cabinets marry so well with the slate grey feel of her countertops and backsplash, proving that sometimes keeping things simple can be the best design decision of all.
'The dark slate colored countertops combined with the warm wood cabinetry creates a stylish and balanced look,' explains designer Elana Mendelson, founder of Elana Designers. 'The natural, warm wood tones evoke a sense of coziness and comfort and truly add an inviting feel to the space while the contrast with the dark gray countertops is visually striking and provides an element of sophistication and modernity.'
What material is Vanessa's countertop?
If you're ready to wave goodbye to the clinical feel of white kitchen countertops, take this as your sign. The question is, what material should we be using instead, and what type of stone features in Vanessa's space? 'Vanessa’s dark grey countertops appear at a glance to look like a more solid surface or quartz with a bit of movement,' says interior designer Amy Youngblood. 'They don’t appear to be concrete as they are quite smooth and clean looking. I think the dark quartz actually brings a more industrial feel to the kitchen versus a cleaner modern look.'
Elana suggests it could also be a type of granite. 'Vanessa’s counter looks like a very light polished version of a granite called Virginia Mist,' she says. 'It could also be porcelain, which is extremely durable.' It seems, then, that there are various materials out there to achieve this soft, dappled grey look, it just depends on the subtleties you want.
A photo posted by vanessahudgens on
Are dark countertops trending?
Dark kitchen countertops are everywhere right now, and their emergence does seem to be a direct reaction to the enduring popularity of whites. 'Marble and quartz have been dominating the last few years,' says Amy. 'I do see a trend in darker countertops coming but definitely not the black granite we were seeing everywhere 20 years ago! Darker quartz with white veining and even dark concrete is very stylish and different from simple white, but I still don’t see lighter countertops going away anytime soon as they're very classic and timeless.'
Elana agrees that darker countertops will have their moment this year as they're so much more dramatic and add personality to the kitchen. 'They’re also vastly different from the white quartz and marble countertops that we’ve seen year after year,' she says. 'The trends are leaning into more color, saturation, texture, and shapes.'
A photo posted by vanessahudgens on
While Vanessa has decided against the use of white in her kitchen, she's made up for its loss elsewhere. She's contrasted the beauty of her dark countertops with a beautiful white stone dining table in the room next door, and the curved shape and large pedestal base are the epitome of luxury.
Opting for this neutral stone dining table creates an organic feel that pairs so well with the surrounding boucle and wooden chairs. 'Vanessa’s white stone table adjacent to her kitchens adds a harmonious blend of textures and aesthetics,' says Elana. 'The juxtaposition of the sleek white stone against the warmth of the wood and dark grey counters adds a hint of modern elegance while maintaining a cozy, natural, and inviting vibe in the kitchen.'
Vanessa is clearly an expert in choosing beautiful stone materials for a natural feel, allowing an organic modern style to run throughout her home. As Elana notes: 'The rawness and warmth of these materials have a profound and uplifting impact on the home, embodying a sense of balance, well-being, and serenity.' If you're planning a new kitchen-diner redesign, Vanessa's Instagram grid should certainly be a source of inspiration.
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Lilith Hudson is the News Editor at Livingetc, and an expert at decoding trends and reporting on them as they happen. Writing news, features, and explainers for our digital platform, she's the go-to person for all the latest micro-trends, interior hacks, and color inspiration you need in your home. Lilith discovered a love for lifestyle journalism during her BA in English and Philosophy at the University of Nottingham where she spent more time writing for her student magazine than she did studying. After graduating, she decided to take things a step further and now holds an MA in Magazine Journalism from City, University of London, with previous experience at the Saturday Times Magazine, Evening Standard, DJ Mag, and The Simple Things Magazine. At weekends you'll find her renovating a tiny one-up, one-down annex next to her Dad's holiday cottage in the Derbyshire dales where she applies all the latest design ideas she's picked up through the week.
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