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Fantastic countertops for 21st century kitchens

Amy Buxton Amy Buxton
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Think about your ideal kitchen. We're willing to bet you were thinking about fancy gadgets and appliances first, but somewhere in your mind you were also picturing your perfect countertop weren't you? We know that's something we always think about when discussing kitchens, as they can make or break your new design scheme.

Modern kitchen counters come in every colour, style, size and shape imaginable, with different materials being good for different tasks, so assessing your needs, available space and personal style is vital before making a choice. Reading this article is just as important too, as we have some great suggestions for you, so let's take a look!

A dark contrast

A kitchen with soft colours is all very well and can look stunning, but to really offset the gentle palette, a dark contrast needs to be introduced and we don't think that anything works quite as well as deliciously opulent dark stone modern kitchen counters. 

The Paulinho Peres Group certainly knew what they were doing when they put this impressive space together, as the dark counter is the perfect partner to the creamy striated wood cabinets and ultra modern reflective appliance doors. What a fantastic family kitchen!

With bright colours

 Kitchen by r79

Residencia 41BJ


When the main body of a kitchen has been finished in a bright colour, how do you make modern kitchen counters work with that? The answer is that you simply don't try to compete! That's what has been done in this example and we love the pale but wide counter that offers a neutral background for the red cabinet doors. The entire kitchen looks as though it's been doused in strawberries and cream!

Becoming the accent colour, due there being less of it, the cream works well to neutralise the potential brashness of the red and offers a wonderful alternative to primary colours.

Large enough to divide a room

Modern kitchen counters aren't just useful for preparing your food on, nowadays they can have a multitude of functions, including acting as a room divide! You may not think that's right, but take a look at this picture and you'll see that the fabulous white and grey marble top has been efficiently put to use to break up the open plan kitchen/dining/living room space and has made easy work of it too! 

When walls feel like too much of a harsh divide, large counters can do the same job, without negating any of the airiness that you wanted. Genius!

Small enough for tiny kitchens

 Kitchen by DoMilimetra

A small kitchen does not have to be seen as a handicap, you simply have to account for it in a reasoned way and scale back your inclusions. Take this luscious lavender example; no there isn't a lot of room, but by keeping the modern kitchen counters far narrower than normal, more floorspace is retained, while a usable platform is still on offer.

It's all about compromise and deciding what is important to you. Even a budding chef could make this small kitchen work to their advantage, you just have to get more efficient with a smaller area!

With the warmth of wood

 Kitchen by Estúdio 102
Estúdio 102

Bar Gourmet

Estúdio 102

How about something a little more traditional now? We are talking about modern kitchen counters and though there is a fabulous black granite in place in this space, there is also a far more old fashioned inclusion too, in the form of the upcycled wooden desk that has an electric hob mounted in it! What a fantastic and really unusual idea!

Looking perfectly at home next to all the wooden cabinets, this desk is a visual delight and certainly brings an alternative counter into play. Lovely!

With the precision of granite

 Kitchen by Marion Rocher
Marion Rocher

Coin cuisine

Marion Rocher

Is it just us, or do you also get the impression that this kitchen is part of a fantastic and contemporary bachelor pad? Something about the use of cool greys and white really gives a masculine feel, which has been supported in no small part by the use of a precision cut black granite worktop!

Modern kitchen counters are the biggest 'accessory' that you will put into your space, so making sure they match the vibe is vital. In this very stark, neat and angular kitchen, a black, skinny, perfectly cut counter looks absolutely right.

Timeless marble

 Kitchen by arQing

Cocina en los Tuxtlas.


It might seem like a while ago that a mottled marble worktop was the thing to have, but it's a classic for a reason! Adding warmth and fantastically camouflaging properties to your food prep area, modern kitchen counters don't get much more timeless or adaptive.

Marble counters can work in any style of house or kitchen, making them a firm and longstanding favourite and when they look as homely and pretty as this one, we can see why. Perfect for breaking up vast amounts of dark cabinets, they inject a nostalgia that is hard to beat.

Opulent material

If you have gone all out to create an incredible kitchen, you can't afford to fall at the last hurdle. Modern kitchen counters can handle the responsibility of looking dramatic, chic and standout, so don't be afraid to really push the boat out and invest in something particularly special. Granite with stone chips inlaid is a gorgeous, glittery and eye-catching material and for a kitchen with a difference, you won't find anything more impressive when laid in a huge and decadent slab!

If you are a kitchen fanatic, take a look at this Ideabook: Inspirational Kitchen Ideas. We think you'll find some tips you hadn't thought of before!

Which was your favourite counter and why? What style do you have in your kitchen?
Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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