Why Mixing Surfaces in your Kitchen can Bring Beautiful Results


Many people, when planning their kitchen work surface, will spend time considering the pros and cons of each surface with the aim of selecting only one. While it is true that each surface brings its own set of charms and characteristics, it’s not true that you must pick only one.

Plenty of kitchens now feature more than one worktop surface. If well planned for you can create not only a practical space, but a space that plays to the strengths of each individual surface.


Granite and wood Kitchen tops

                                      Photo © www.countystonegranite.co.uk/ via Flickr under Creative Commons Licence

While this approach does take a bit more planning, if done well the results can be truly stunning. The grain of wood in one area mixed with the irregular pattern of stone in another. Or the high shine of stainless steel mixed with a matte Corian surface. As you’ll see below, mixing colors can be extremely effective as well; black and white or bright and dul. Fine details can be highlighted too by mixed differing edge profiles, for example a contemporary square edge mixed with a more traditional ogee edge.

You’ll also need to explore lighting carefully, too. You’ll see from some of the examples below that all the hard work with surface choice can be mitigated if you don’t also choose a sympathetic lighting scheme.

The Ultra-Modern

By mixing reflective metallic surfaces with matte natural surfaces can bring you an exclusive, luxurious, style. By using both horizontal and vertical planes, lines are broken up and the gaze is directed across the whole space; rather than focused on detail. This excellent example from designer Giuseppe Bavuso shows just what can be achieved with these methods of surface mix.

The Classic

Traditional kitchen surface      Photo © www.bordercraft.co.uk

Don’t think that to achieve a classic look mixed surfaces can’t be used. By using the versatility of full stave hardwood worktops in combination with stone can bring a modern twist to a traditional mould. In this example, the classic choice of sink and Aga with a visually stunning full stave run of wood really makes a statement.

The Eclectic

While it’s easy to imagine too many surface changes creating disorder, in some cases it is the very thing that actually makes the design work. With six surface changes, this kitchen manages to create a quintessential colonial look with incredible precision.

The overall picture you should be getting here is that mixing up your surfaces does not automatically mean a mixed up look. Carefully chosen and well-placed changes to surfaces can actually make the whole kitchen hang together and produce the desired effect in each area of the room. Now add in the practical benefits of having the warmth of wood for tactile areas such as island bars while having the hardiness of steel for the washing areas and you’ll be getting a feel for the benefits this approach can bring you.

So, tear up that plan you just produced for your new kitchen and start playing around with some ideas for mixed surface. You could end up with a kitchen that really has that WOW factor.

 Wood and granite kitchen surfaces

                                  Photo © www.bordercraft.co.uk

avatar Name: Jon Buck
About: Jon Buck is managing director at at Bordercraft, a family owned business that has been producing fine hardwood furniture from their workshops in the Welsh borders since 1972. All of the timbers they use are sourced from sustainable managed forests and everything they sell is made by their experienced craftsmen in the UK. You can connect with Bordercraft on Facebook.
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