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The Hottest Colour Trend for Countertops

By 10/21/2012January 28th, 201737 Comments

We chose a BIG stainless sink from Franke for our kitchen and after the sink and my beautiful Franke faucet was installed in July, I was dismayed at how close everything was to the casings and window sill (below)

‘Don’t worry’ Jan (My kitchen designer) said, ‘There will be some quartz left over from your countertops, so just get a slab cut for the sill (it only needs to be finished on one side) remove the casings and take the subway tile all the way to the edge. Then you don’t have to worry about water damage to the sill and casings.’

When I arrived at Spectrum Stone to pick up the slab, Vincent (below) gave me a tour of the plant.

Vincent giving me the A-OK the day he arrived to measure for my countertops!

See the granite casings? When your business is finishing stone, you can have it everywhere. Even Vincent’s desk was entirely made of granite.

 Here’s the diamond blade that cuts all the stone.

 And here is where the edges are finished and glued together.

I was fascinated when Vincent shared that for the last six months of 2011, black countertops was what everyone wanted, this year, they were mostly selling white.  Notice all the white slabs waiting to be finished.


Black (above) would definitely be my second choice for a countertop in a white kitchen because it’s still simple, clean and I like the drama. I went with white because a white-on-white kitchen has always been my idea of a dream kitchen.

When I asked him which was the most popular colour before that he said he didn’t notice. He started noticing when it all started to look the same.

Vincent said that it depends on the granite but in general the lighter granite colours are weaker than the darker ones. When they transport and handle granite slabs in general, they treat it like glass. Quartz is way stronger.

And it’s the reason why granite needs to be sealed for stains while my nephews can finger paint on my unsealed white quartz countertops.

Here’s my new quartz window sill installed with the subway tile which replaced the casings. You can see one of my brackets for the uppers that are installed on both sides of my kitchen window.

I still need to commit to the fabric for the roman shades I will get made for the windows in my kitchen which is why you haven’t seen this side of the room yet.

Here’s a close up of my faucet and sprayer right beside the ledge. What do you think of my photography here? The in-focus gooseneck with the background fuzzy. That was a total accident, I seriously need to spend more time with my fancy new camera, haha.

Isn’t my faucet pretty? I admire it every time I stand at the sink. I chose chrome because I like how sparkly it is with white. Remember when I showed you my entry light and mentioned that chrome as the hottest finish right now. No shocker since it looks so great with white.

Images by Maria Killam



Speaking of white countertops, the latest in high-end, luxurious real-estate in downtown Vancouver (above) is offering two kitchens, brown:

and orange stained wood:

Both with white countertops.

This is no surprise based on today’s post, however I was surprised to note that a white kitchen was not an option.


However, since colour trends start in Europe, then move to the East coast and then to the West, the kitchen in the following New York Luxury Condominiums (above) are of course white (below).

As I’ve said many times, I started blogging about grey arriving in Vancouver almost three years ago sooooo this tells me that commercial residences are behind in this town. Probably because there are too many men involved in the colour decisions while in the residential side, it’s usually the wife that decides which colour the cabinets will be.


And of course the Elle Decor Modern Life Concept House that I toured when I was in New York at Blogfest in May this year also had a white kitchen.

Which countertop colour would you choose?

Related posts:

Spectrum Stone and Maria’s New Countertops

Are Granite Countertops Timeless? Yay or Nay

My Sisters Fresh New Backsplash: Before & After

If you would like your home to fill you with happiness every time you walk in, contact me.

Download my eBook, How to Choose Paint Colours: It’s All in the Undertones to learn how to get colour to do what you want.

To make sure the undertones in your home are right, get some large samples!

If you would like to learn to how choose the right colours for your home or for your clients, become a True Colour Expert.


12 pins


  • Kat says:

    I have a new white kitchen with soapstone counter tops. It is lovely, but the stone is quite soft and scratches very easily. I think if I had done a little more research I could have gotten a harder soapstone. Oh well. I am trying to embrace the lived-in, rustic look. If I had to do it again, I’d prob choose a white quartz. Marble is also lovely, but I think also too soft, and it can stain. That was my initial thought for getting the dark counters- hides more, and doesn’t stain. With quartz, I wouldn’t have to worry about scooting the coffee maker or dinging the edge of the sink.

  • Ginger says:

    Pretending that neither money nor practicality was an obstacle, I’d choose white cabinets with dark butcher block countertops.

    Quartz would be my second choice. First if I was being practical.

  • Carol says:

    I’m following your blog with great interest because I am doing a kitchen right now. Demo of the old kitchen is supposed to start this week. We are actually moving the kitchen from its current location. For my counters it was a toss-up between Calacutta marble and Nougat Caesarstone, and we haven’t made a decision yet. I hope you’ll let me know if you have any regrets going with the Caeserstone. I will be making a white kitchen too!

    • Maria Killam says:

      I love Calcutta Marble but the stains would bother me. I’ve been specifying nougat for probably around 4 years now and I still feel the same way now that I have it in my kitchen. I like the crushed quartz look of it and that it’s so neutral you can paint your walls any colour you want. Maria

    • Amanda says:

      Hi Carol,
      I am a client of Maria’s. I just installed new white countertops, and I chose the Cambria Torquay. It is a quartz that has been made to resemble marble. It has gorgeous veining throughout in a gray and super subtle gold-cream color. It looks quite similar to Calacutta marble (which I have on a butler’s pantry and in my master bath). I am absolutely crazy about my Cambria. It is stunning and a dream to maintain (which means it requires just about no maintenance at all!) If you would like photos of my kitchen, please email me at [email protected] I’d be happy to share. Happy renovating!

  • StagerLinda says:

    I installed white/ivory Corian countertops about 5 years ago. I couldn’t find granite that I liked. I love my countertops and they have been very durable. Good to know they will be in style.

  • angela n says:

    I am having a white kitchen put in my new home and we ended up going with a dark gray (lava rock) Corian. It looks almost like soapstone. I doubted my choice after I selected it and thought I should have gone with a white, but now that they are installed, I love them. And they will help hide some of the messes my 2 kids make. 😉

  • XG says:

    We live in a house with black and deep brown speckled granite countertops with medium maple cabinets. It’s a beautiful and sophisticated look, but it shows the dust quite easily and I cannot stand not being able to see specks of blood or color on the countertop. I think white/cream quartz is timeless and utilitarian.

  • Martha Hughes says:

    I love your photo of the white kitchen with the black countertop. In fact, I had that same picture pinned on Pinterest and it was the inspiration for our kitchen. I already had the white cabinets and I choose the black granite countertops and white subway tile. I love subway tile and have for years. I am very happy with the way everything turned out. At one time I had white cabinets and a white countertop. That kitchen was in a light and bright space and the whole space made me happy. However, every little bit of dust or whatever showed on it. I chose black granite this time, and I really like the vintage feel of my kitchen. Turns out the black shows a lot too, but I don’t mind so much. It’s better to pick what appeals to you and not obsess on the trends too much.

  • cathy says:

    Hi Maria – lovely! Wondering if your subway tile goes right to the top of the window? Would love to see a pic of the whole window if it has no trim, only the tile.

    • Maria Killam says:

      Yes my subway tile goes right to the ceiling. I will post a picture eventually when I have window coverings, it looks pretty bare right now. Maria

  • BillP says:

    Boston’s newest condominium project was unveiled last week (NY based developer) and the kitchens are dark walnut with white granite. It’s not just the men on the west coast.
    Your faucet is beautiful but Jan screwed up on the sink- too big. Glad you were able to make the nice save but I hope you don’t bruise your knuckles using it.

    • Maria Killam says:

      Hi Billp,
      Obviously not everyone, everywhere is going to embrace a white kitchen, I’m not objecting to the dark kitchen in general, I was simply surprised considering where the trends are that a white kitchen was not even an OPTION.
      My partner is a gourmet cook so that’s why we chose such a large sink.

  • catherine says:

    Have the same sized sink in my new top to bottom cream kitchen and LOVE it. Not a gourmet cook but am a mom of three + visitors and wouldn’t go back to brown or orange or double or smaller sink!

  • Farha Syed says:

    Hi Maria

    I love your pictures of your kitchen. The white on white looks really nice.
    I currently have cabinets but they are not real wood – they have a white covering which is peeling because of the heat right above my stove. So my question is, is there a way to take that covering off and refinish the cabinets or would they need to be replaced completely.
    I would like also to ask you about recycled glass countertops. What is your opinion on those and if you have used them for any of your clients.

    I would like for you to do me a favor please. – Would you please take a look at my website and blog and let me know what you think of it.


  • Wendy says:

    I’m not a fan of black countertops…every speck and crumb seems to show, and it never felt clean. White countertops are THE only way to go, IMHO.

    RE: recycled glass countertops, I have to weigh in. I live and work in the SF Bay Area and many people are “green” thinking, including for countertop materials. Against my advice, two clients insisted on a recycled glass material, bound by a new kind of epoxy, that they had seen installed at a local bar/restaurant. It looked great but I said it was untested, and advised against it. BOTH clients forged ahead and have experienced splits and cracking…big ones. One lady has wide cracks next to her sink, and another family has a jagged break in a big countertop. Sadly, these pretty but fragile counters are NOT ready for prime time just yet. Lucky for me, I kept that spec at arm’s length and never had to take responsibility. I didn’t have to say “I told you so”…the sad result was very obvious.

    • Farha Syed says:

      Thanks Wendy – for letting me know about the recycled glass countertops – I guess it probably might work as a backsplash provided it works well with everything else. I’m thinking they would look good with white cabinets and maybe easier to keep clean.

    • Farha Syed says:

      I do like how the quartz countertops look especially if its stronger than I definitely would get them when I get my countertops done.

      • Wendy says:

        Hi Farha,
        I just wanted to be clear about the stuff I’m speaking of…it was a compound material. Little bits of colored glass, recycled from many bottles etc. and made into a slab with a neutral colored epoxy or resin. It had low VOC and had a fun, contemporary appearance. The colors were fun, but the cracking was NOT! The other kind of glass countertops…slabs of solid glass melted down from other glass…seem to have good ratings. Just wanted to clarify.

        • Farha Syed says:

          Thanks Wendy for clarifying that.
          I had seen it on HGTV once, that recycled glass mixed with concrete counter tops or the ones you are talking about – the solid glass melted down from other glass are probably the ones that are better and more durable. Am I right on that.
          Its information that I can use when working with my clients.
          Thanks for your prompt reply. 🙂

          • Wendy says:

            Yes, solid slabs are very durable as far as I have heard. The thicker the better. I love the milky aqua ones. I’m dying to use one with lighting installed underneath…powder room or restaurant or something! The biggest worry is the infrastructure to support the weight, and if the slab is see-through, then the frame/trusses have to look cool too.

            But, yes, the little chips of glass embedded into an epoxy base is the material that gave my clients such trouble…still can’t come up with the name of it…sorry.

  • Lesley T says:

    I always thought I wanted granite countertops. We are now renting a house with beautiful speckled brown/grey/black granite. However, I cannot tell if the counters are dirty or clean, or if there is sitting water that might damage any paperwork. It has firmed up my choice for white countertops in our next home!

  • Louise says:

    Love the new window sill. I saved the left overs of my granite to do this someday also but we have a wooden center to the window and not sure how to get around this. Will definitely consult a professional when we go ahead.

  • Jill Baum says:

    I have just installed white kashmir granite and it is beautiful but it stains like the devil! I’m certain that if the kitchen guy had informed me of this I would have researched something else. For now I’m just careful (it’s oils in particular that leave stains). The granite does have a lot of varigation of color (grays, whites, beiges, dark brown and black) so most of the time stuff blends in. The trade off is that it looks soooo pretty. Kind of like wearing treacherously beautiful high heels but your feet kill you.

  • I am a big fan of a high contrast countertop. I personally love a thread of black going throng my whole house, therefore black counters are a no brainier. I recently was at our local stone centre and viewed a beautiful new finish for granite called “leathered”. In the black it made it look like soapstone, yet I imagine it would be easier to care for. That is my dream counter.

  • Hi Marie,
    I absolutely love white marble counter tops, but they are not at all practical. We were told we would have to sign waivers that we had been warned and there was no guarantee about stains. I love white counter tops, but could not find any granite that I liked that was light. Granite is all to busy for my unless you go with black, and I did not want black. We ended up choosing a quartzite which is a natural stone and harder than granite. I have seen recently that there is a white that really looks like marble. That is what I would choose if I was doing a kitchen now. The quartzite we picked is a brown which looks nice with the antique glazed cabinets.

  • Melissa says:

    How do you feel about two granites in a kitchen? Our kitchen island is planned to be a very dark blue and the surroundind wall cabinates a distressed putty. We are thinking of putting an exotic granite on the island with blacks blues and bronze (we have a hammered copper sink). For the counters under the putty cabinates, thinking of sonething simple in the a cream/white. What do you think? Recommendations? Floors are dark distressed wood and walls will be grey.

  • Mia Staysko says:

    My kitchen is nearly 20 years old. I have white cabinets with very, very dark green counter tops. They read black and I’ve always liked the contrast. Appliances are SS and black. While I would like to change the back splash to a simple white subway tile, (it’s white but with a slightly grey undertone and a green accent) that is all it needs to bring it up to date. After 18 years it still looks great! A testament to the white kitchen.

  • beyondbeige says:

    Hi Maria,
    Right now I am loving wood countertops. It feels warm and inviting and natural. I like to see that in the hub of the home!

  • Carol Anne says:

    you mentioned they were not offering a white kitchen, I am thinking if the kitchen is open to the rest of the condo or home… then a white kitchen looks weird. I only like a white kitchen when it is in a home with the kitchen on it own. Open concept kitchens should be part of the colour flow of livingroom or familyroom they are off. If the look is all white then were ok, if the look is dark the kitchen should be the same… this would be my rule. sort of like a bar in a restaurant look…

    • Wendy says:

      You make an excellent point, Carol. An entirely white kitchen in an open plan that stands in contrast to other furnishings ends up looking like a Lab, or a test kitchen. 🙂 Adding touches of color can help blend things…art, towels, glassware. But white somewhere is best, IMHO…sink, counter, backsplash, SOMETHING. Clean = white = safe to eat. It’s a psychology thing.

  • Suzanne Reid says:

    Just a comment regarding the spray faucet. I redid my kitchen several years ago. I put in a new stainless sink and faucet. The faucet has a button to change from a straight flow to a spray head. Whenever I use the spray head I find the water hits the object and sprays all around the back of the sink. I have to wrap a towel around the bottom of the faucet to keep the back wall dry (the window frame and back wall tile.) My brother did his kitchen also and has a similar faucet with same problem.

  • Monica says:

    I had black granite (polished Black Galaxy) counters with white cabinets for 15 years before we remodeled 2 years ago. This time around I chose white marble (honed Calacatta Gold) for the perimeter and dark gray (honed Virginia Mist) for the island. I love the white marble it makes the kitchen feel more open and inviting. I would never get black counters again, unless you constantly wipe them they look dusty…

  • Louisa says:

    I worked in a large Vancouver multi-family design firm for 5 years, and I just wanted to add to the discussion that most designers in that market are women. I don’t know why there wasn’t a white kitchen in that sales center either, but I don’t think it’s due to men. I my experience I did grey and white kitchens for high rise condo’s downtown (starting in late 2007), yet the darker “punchier” “dramatic” kitchens we usually opted to be built as the show suite. Another point is when all you do everyday is small kitchens and bathrooms, once you do 2 or 3 white kitchens, you feel your really repaeting yourself and move on. I think light blond wood like Hickory (without knots) in a horizontal direction is another hot contender for modern fresh kitchens; especially paired with a white counter 😉

  • lea nixon says:

    Hi maria
    Please help me out with picking the colour to paint my countertop. The cabinets are dulux “”lush housta””,& feille greens. They tell me I can only use white knight laminate paint & primer!! But the colours are so limited> I’m hoping you can help me with picking the colour & also what other paints can I use to paint over the countertop, thanks a lot lea

  • Janis Belcher says:

    I have an interior d. degree and I redid the kitchen in my Calif. ranch 6 yrs. ago. I have a lovely creamy white (does not look medicinal as white/white) with a dark green (looks almost black granite counter top); ss appliances although the refrig and dish washer have the creamy white panels so your eye does not break and the kitchen looks larger. The wood floor gives a warm look and it extends into my dr/lv L shape open floor plan as I took down the southern wall of my kithen and tons of light come in. The room is stunning!!!

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