The right mix of materials will yield beautiful results in your kitchen...
Choosing your worktops is not something to be done in isolation. The materials, colours and textures you choose for your floors, walls and cabinetry will all impact your selection and the overall look and feel in your kitchen.
So consider whether the style you’re going for is luxurious and minimal, or rough hewn and rustic. Perhaps you’re after an industrial vibe or simple Shaker style?
Once you’ve narrowed down the looks you’re drawn towards, you’ll be able to simplify your decision about the worktops, as some materials will naturally be ruled out and others will contribute towards a certain aesthetic.
Think about whether you prefer natural materials, such as timber, marble or granite which will add texture and character, as they age. Most natural materials will develop their own patinas over time, and many people like the scuffs and scratches that occur as they evoke a ‘living feel’.
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If a more ‘perfect’ look is your thing, you’ll achieve this with Corian® or a composite such as quartz stone, which are generally more uniform in their colour or pattern.
It’s not just about aesthetics either, composites are often harder wearing and easier to maintain. A spray of gentle cleaning fluid and a quick wipe with a wet cloth is usually all you need to keep them in good condition, rather than the regular oiling that’s required with timber, or the polishing of some stone.
Concrete and stainless steel are both hardwearing too – and the latter will bring a professional edge to your kitchen, as it’s the material of choice in restaurant kitchens, which obviously see a lot of action.
It’s not necessary to stick to typical worktop options either, two of our favourite examples in the selection below are made with wooden flooring. And you can mix it up too, with a different surface on an island. So read on for ideas and inspiration.
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A carrara splashback unites the white cabinetry and almost-black basalt worktops.
Get the look Richard Webb of Webb Architects designed this extension. The white-lacquer and pippy oak kitchen units were custom-made by Rick Baker. The Carrara marble splashback and Italian basalt worktops are from London Marble Ltd.
Rounded corners make the kitchen more child- friendly, while charcoal-coloured bricks and cabinets along the spine wall streamline the look and define this space as a work zone.
Get the look The charcoal glazed bricks are from Euroa Clay Products in Melbourne. Try grestec.co.uk for similar. The island was custom-made from bleached American oak and Calacatta marble, and the kitchen cabinets were made bespoke from charcoal-stained American oak with powder-coated handles. These are the Albert bar stools by Massproductions – Twentytwentyone stocks this design. The tap is by Dornbracht. This is a Bertazzoni oven.
By dressing the kitchen to match the living area with warm timber, the two spaces work in harmony.
Get the look The walnut-veneered island and breakfast bar, Corian worktop and run of high-gloss cupboards were designed by Roundhouse. The ceramic vase is from Pitfield London. For Bridget Riley prints, go to Karsten Schubert.
This kitchen boasts rich, masculine materials – concrete, steel, dark walnut – and looks to Europe for inspiration.
Get the look The island and cabinetry were custom-designed by P&T Interiors. The black metro tiles are from Waterworks.
The rustic-looking island was inspired by an antique table, while the metal cabinetry took its cue from a Danish kitchen.
Get the look The bespoke cabinetry is made of metal: for similar, check out the Phoenix design by Varenna/Poliform. These are H stools by Chantal Andriot for Tolix. The suspended storage-cum-display unit is bespoke– to create something similar, see Ikea’s Omar modular shelving system.
A wheeled island is the perfect mix of versatility and style. This vintage stainless-steel island was sourced from a bakery but any butcher's block or large kitchen trolley would work as well. The worktop, sink, upstand and splashback are in stainless steel.
Get the look The kitchen is from John Lewis of Hungerford. The island is from Peppermill Antiques. The shelving is by Alexander Owen Architecture. The flooring throughout is Dinesen.
The standout island worktop was crafted from reclaimed parquet flooring, while two structural beams became the perfect spots to hang lighting and a quirky display shelf.
Get the look The bespoke kitchen was built by Gregos Builders and is painted in Farrow & Ball’s Black Blue estate eggshell. The pendant lamps are vintage German Bakelite found at Sunbury Antiques Market. This is the Grottesco tap from Stockholm-based company Tapwell.
The sleek lines of these pure white kitchen cabinets are broken up by a Murano glass chandelier and the swirls of the marble flooring and worktops.
Get the look The kitchen is by Boffi. The chandelier is from Caira Mandaglio. The black and white jar is by Jonathan Adler.
A simple palette of materials set the tone, using mostly black, white and grey, granite and oak.
Get the look Bespoke fronts were made for the lkea carcasses, which were spray to a matte finish using ‘Wiltshire White’ from Dulux. In lieu of tiles, the black-painted tempered glass panel is from Preedy Glass. The bespoke flamed granite worktops are from Luxury Granite Worktops.
A rustic feel has been created in the kitchen with reclaimed scaffold boards, deep concrete work surfaces and plenty of wood and aluminium accessories: utilitarian, practical and beautiful.
Get the look This kitchen was designed by Studio Arc architects and built by Davey Construction both based in Cornwall.
The clean lines and minimal looks of the cabinetry are softened by the rich, textural warmth of herringbone oak floors and the energetic patterning of a white Quartzite worktop and kitchen island. The Quartzite imitates the feel of marble, but it is much more hard-wearing.
Get the look The kitchen is from the Tio Collection by Rational, teamed with White Fantasy Quartzite from Stone World.
In this sleek kitchen, crisp white Corian contrasts with the deep matt texture of a black polished plaster splashback and a limed oak joinery box.
Get the look The kitchen was designed by The Vawdrey House and made by Higham Furniture.
Wood is the dominant factor, from the beams and floors to the cabinetry and worktop.
Get the look The worktop running along the wall is made up of a single piece of Dinesen HeartOak, measuring 5.6 metres in length.
The cool concrete worktop is one of many raw textures that flow through the house.
Get the look The cabinets are by Howdens. The handles and lights are by Buster + Punch. The worktops are by Concreations. The range cooker and appliances are by Smeg.
This kitchen is a classic Shaker style from deVol with hardwearing white Silestone worktops, while the floors are white oiled wide-plank engineered oak. A painted timber prep table makes a beautiful kitchen island.
Get the look The Shaker-style kitchen units, Silestone worktops, prep table and oak stools are all by deVol. The range cooker came from Esse. The chopping boards are from Daylesford and the big glass storage jars are from Ikea. The fisherman’s lights are from Color Worx in East Wittering.
The design for the kitchen was created around the wall clock. The owners had the clock first and wanted it to be a feature, so the stainless-steel island by Bulthaup was specially positioned to highlight it. White cabinetry and stainless steel worktops complete the look.
Get the Look The Eastern European train station clock is from Trainspotters. The Fifties bar stools are by Frank Guille for Kandya. The exposed concrete floor is by Lazenby.