Wednesday, March 25, 2015

New Counter Top Trends

Do you remember the days of avocado green, harvest gold, and bronzed brown appliances? Well, oops, knowing that will "date" me, huh?  Today I decided to research new Kitchen Design trends to share. I heard some rumors a couple of years ago that the colors of yesterday may resurface with a new twist in appliances. I did not find new green, gold or brown refrigerators, dishwashers or stoves in my search today. I will dig a little deeper for that info for a later post.
I did find interesting changes in counter top materials. I see copper back splashes, sinks, and even counter tops. There is still a strong design element of two separate materials being used in for working surfaces in Kitchen Design.
Beautiful granite is still very popular. Being a truly natural stone, each slab has unique characteristics. You select your slab. You make the decision where the cutouts will be to preserve the pattern displaying the characteristics you love. It is durable.It does require being sealed once a year to maintain its beauty. Even though it seems unlikely, granite can stain. It can also be damaged if you habitually set hot pans on it. 
Man made quartz based products are gaining in popularity too. These do NOT need to be sealed, are non porous, and resistant to damage. They do not stain or need sealing. Some are very hard to distinguish from finer grained granite. However,a four by eight slab displaying a busier design or high contrast colors does repeat patterns similar to a Formica product.
Marble is reappearing in kitchen applications. It is a perfect surface for a kitchen large enough to have a dedicated baking prep area. Marble is a much softer stone that stains easily. It is classic and elegant which makes it perfect for those who are mindful and committed to remembering it can be rather unforgiving if precautions are not taken while preparing certain foods or pouring beverages.   
The love of stainless steel is expanding into counter tops now. Another metal, copper is gaining interest. Metal surfaces reflect light and lend themselves to contemporary design very well, especially stainless steel. Copper is versatile and can add an "old world" touch in the right setting.
A muted opposite look is available in honed stone surfaces. Black granite is often "honed" to have a matte finish. It resembles soapstone which is elegant and expensive without the high cost. Very new stones being used for kitchen applications are limestone and basalt.
Glass is another reflective sleek surface being developed for work surfaces. A company named Curava Recycled Glass Surfaces collects glass from landfills, post consumer and post industrial waste. They make beautiful counter tops out of discarded glass bottles, windshield, and window glass. They also add sea shells to the composite in some of the choices. What an impressive use of the recycling effort we all value!    
The most surprising to me is the return of great interest in wood counter tops. They are becoming very popular again, especially as an accent piece on an island designed to look like furniture. 
To the rescue comes the ceramic and porcelain industry. These brilliant artisans are excellent at paying attention to what consumers love. They, then design products that look exactly like stone, wood, or even fabric that can be utilized practically by people. They know how to create the right product for every design solution. The old 4 x 4 or 6 x 6 tile counter tops are trends of the past. The new ceramic selections are a completely new breed of awesome!

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