30 Stylish Kitchen Countertop Ideas You'll Love



These days, designers have gone way beyond Carrara and Calacatta marble — they'll use just about anything for kitchen and island countertops. With options like limestone, zinc, concrete, wood, and tile (just to name a few), these finishing layers compliment the rest of the space.

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Inspired by the blue-gray veining on the Silestone countertops (Nebula Code in Helix with suede finish), designer Matthew Quinn chose matching subway tile and then warmed up the cool colors with brass trim in this Kips Bay Decorators Show House kitchen.

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Designer Eldon Wong topped a pair of architects' drafting tables with glass to serve as the kitchen island, and the adjacent Carrara marble top reminds him of a candy shop.

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This sunny Aspen kitchen, designed by Ann Wolf, showcases a blend of wood tones. The island countertop is iroko wood, with remaining countertops in a granite called Verde Eucalyptus.

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Carole Lalli, former editor in chief of Food & Wine magazine, designed this butcher-block-and-marble island in her Connecticut kitchen. "The really large island is because my daughters cook with me when they visit, and my husband is America's best prep cook."

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With modern amenities and vintage touches, no-fuss zinc countertops suit a casual kitchen by Ruthie Sommers.

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In an Atlanta house decorated by Robert Brown, the pair of kitchen islands are topped with Imperial Grey marble and edged in a band of riveted iron.

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Touches of brass accent a New Jersey kitchen designed by Caitlin Wilson. The Silestone countertops in Lagoon have the look of marble but are impervious to stains.

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In the kitchen of a Long Island beach house decorated by Rob Southern, the gray veining in the quartzite on the island complements the color of the Caesarstone countertops.

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"The mahogany-topped island can easily fit 12 stools," says Parrish Chilcoat, who designed this masculine Southern California home with Joe Lucas.

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In an Alabama apartment decorated by Doug Davis and Hannon Kirk Doody, an entire wall of the kitchen is clad in Calacatta Gold marble tiles from Kenny & Company and laid in a chevron pattern for extra drama. Simple slabs of the same marble cover the countertops and island.

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Designer SuzAnn Kletzien transformed this Chicago kitchen, contrasting the Absolute Black granite with a leathered finish of pale wood on the island. Gray cabinets are topped with a Silestone counter in subtly-veined Pulsar. "The wife is a great cook, and she wanted every surface to be durable," says Kletzien.

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Located in San Francisco, this Victorian home has plenty of charm. "I chose marble countertops because I thought it was more faithful to the Victorians and just took the attitude that the more it stains, the better it looks," says designer Antonio Martins. An island made of weathered barnwood, with a built-in Carrara marble cutting board, adds warmth and texture.

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Designer Gary McBournie slathered this kitchen's wood countertops in several coats of polyurethane. "I wanted it to resemble the galley on a boat," he explains.

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Since you can look right into the kitchen from the front door of this 1909 Beaux Arts townhouse, it had to live up to its surroundings."An island can look like a monolithic block unless you do something to make it interesting," designer Christopher Peacock says. He found a gorgeous chunk of English wych elm at Grothouse Lumber and used it to anchor the seating area, keeping the live edge as a reminder of the garden outside. A bit of leftover wood was turned into six drawer-fronts, flanking the range.

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Simple Shaker-style kitchen cabinets in a creamy color are set off by dark counters made of Vermont soapstone, "a living material that will age and stain over the years, and that's part of its beauty," says designer Ramsay Gourd of this Vermont farmhouse.

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"There's something soothing about gray," says designer Angie Hranowsky of this Indianapolis kitchen. "It's neutral but not dull, and I'm so tired of white kitchens." No wonder she was excited to find the Marmara marble, vein-cut to show off the striations that look like stripes. "It feels more modern than the usual Carrara, but it's also classic, which is exactly the mood I wanted — clean and fresh, but traditional at the same time."

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Designing a thoroughly modern kitchen was a welcome challenge for California designer Tyler Pankratz. Caesarstone's honed Pebble surface does double duty as countertop and backsplash, creating a seamless quality and minimizing contrast in this small footprint.

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Jeff Lincoln and Hillary Thomas designed a contemporary kitchen in a Georgetown townhouse by using Absolute Black granite countertops for a contemporary look.

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To balance the oak cabinets in his Los Angeles kitchen, designer William Hefner topped the counters and framed the range area with a warm Calacatta gold marble, for a style that's still soft.

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Stained oak countertops "ground the white in the kitchen," designer Lynn Morgan says of her Savannah row house, and make the painted checkerboard floor feel "a little less sweet."

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In the kitchen of a Shelter Island beach house designed by Suzanne Shaker, the countertops are pre-cast polished concrete, unstained — like the cypress walls — so they'll gain patina over time.

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In the kitchen of a Nantucket beach house designed by Frank Roop, the countertops are jet-mist granite, honed to mimic soapstone — but it holds up better.

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The countertops and backsplash in a Connecticut kitchen designed by Beverly Ellsley are made of cedar limestone, lending a country feel.

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The countertop of a San Francisco kitchen designed by Susan Dossetter and Andrew Skurman is made of two 3/4 inch slabs of Calacatta Oro marble put together, for extra thickness, then topped with a third layer in back.

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Light meets dark in this kitchen. Designer Waldo Fernandez stained the cabinetry brown-black, and installed a light charcoal-gray soapstone countertop to balance the look.

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Counters and the wire-brushed oak island in the kitchen of a Georgia beach house are topped with Breccia Imperiale, "the most beautiful milk-white slab of Italian marble you've ever seen," designer Jim Howard says. "Its aubergine and cool green veining hides everything."

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Designer Michael Berman stained the original walnut cabinets in a kitchen the color of black tea to set off the white tile of the countertops.

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"The challenge is finding something beautiful that's also durable, and quartzite happens to be stronger than granite," designer Heidi Piron says about choosing the countertops in the kitchen of a New Jersey beach house.

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In a Rye, New York, kitchen designed by Louise Brooks, custom cabinetry is topped with counters made of crystallized glass by Glassos. The Glassos countertop has the gleam of Thassos marble, but with zero porosity.

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Designer Mary Jo Bochner chose Belgian bluestone countertop to partner with the Carrara marble sink in her Savannah kitchen.

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