A kitchen with white cabinets is a timeless statement to make with your home design. It’s clean and bright. But how do you select countertops for a white kitchen? We asked CliqStudios kitchen designer, Dyani Elkins for her insight on the role countertops have to play in a white kitchen and for a better understanding into “How do I get the best kitchen design ideas?”.

What comes to mind when you hear about the discussion of how to select countertops for a white kitchen?

DYANI: You would want your client to determine if they are going for monochromatic or if the cabinets supposed to be white so that you can then go dramatic. You’re either going for real drama or monochromatic. There isn’t an in-between.

Where do you begin with making your selection for countertops?

DYANI: I feel like a lot of people already have a look that they are going for. They usually have a pretty good sense. Sometimes they’ll do it in reverse where the countertop was selected first to make a statement. They’ll go white with their cabinets so that the countertops shine.

I did a kitchen that has this stunningly beautiful soapstone, and that was the real star of the kitchen. So, everything else had to play to that. It’s about how you want to make your statement. Also, your backsplash is going to make a significant impact on that too. If you have a real dramatic backsplash, you may want to go more neutral on your countertops, so the tile work is the star. You have to decide what you want, your kitchen’s focal point to be.

open wood kitchen shelving above concrete countertops and white inset cabinets with gold hardware
After researching the options, these homeowners decided the cost-effective and creative option for their counters was concrete.

You don’t want your design elements to fight each other. You don’t want it to be combative and your eyes to go to too many places. You have to decide if you wish to have a dramatic hood or tile, you want to go more neutral with your countertop. If you have a more dramatic countertop, then you want to go more neutral. You don’t want anything to compete.

Also, if you’re going white on white, you have to have that cabinet door or sample with your when you select your countertops. Because the worst thing would be to put in that countertop and then have your whites not match.

In what ways do the theme or style of a kitchen influence the countertops you choose?

DYANI: It’s everything. First of all, it’s a significant price investment, and then so much of the square footage is your countertops. So, it’s everything. It’s a concert with cabinetry and countertops being equal in how important they are.

Bold Tile Backsplash Highlights Oven

Contrast. When is best to go bold with your countertops choice and when should you be understated?

DYANI: I think some of it is how long are you plan to stay in the home. If you’re thinking about resale, then you are probably not going as bold. But if it’s your dream home and dream kitchen, then it doesn’t matter as long as you’re selecting something you’re not going to get tired of. I think that’s the biggest thing when you make a bold statement with anything. Because it’s a significant financial investment you don’t want to go trendy. Useless money isn’t an object for you and, you can change it out in five years. But most people are going to live with it for a long time so, you don’t want something you’re going to get tired of.

We talked previously about other design elements like your hood and backsplash. How do different materials like appliances, flooring, etc. effect making your countertop decision?

DYANI: I think flooring can impact it, especially if you’re going for a particular look. Typically, appliances and flooring are more of a neutral,  and they have less of an impact on that decision than tile and cabinet colors.

CliqStudios Cambridge cabinets in Painted White finish

Are there any basic tips and tricks homeowners can keep mind when they are going out to look for their countertops and thinking about the connection with their white kitchen?

DYANI: Think about how you’re going to use the space. Because a lot of your countertop selection is going to be based on how you use your kitchen. Different materials respond differently. If this is a beautiful kitchen that is a showcase kitchen and that’s, it’s only function you have a lot more options. If it’s going to be used a lot, you need a more durable finish. Quartz is going to hold up better to a professional kitchen. If you’re a cook, a baker, you have a ton of kids, those kinds of surfaces are going to hold up better compared to natural elements like marble. Both marble and granite can also crack. I think the function needs to be thought about before design. Then that leads you naturally into your design once you’ve made those decisions.

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