In days gone by choosing a kitchen worktop was all about functionality and surface strength. Now your kitchen countertop not only needs great functionality, it needs to make a customised, personal statement. Yep, you heard it here first, your kitchen work surface is the latest barometer in laying bare your sense of style. The worktop is officially the icing on the kitchen redesign cake, and it’s becoming the kitchen aspect where you really wear your heart on your sleeve.
In recent years, with kitchens opening up from functional cooking spaces into entertaining and living areas, emphasis on visual design in the kitchen has never been greater. In fact, your kitchen countertop can make a striking statement about your sense of style.
So what does your kitchen countertop say about you?
Dakota Murphy, an interior design specialist working alongside Price Kitchens, puts together an overview of the very latest in creative worktop surfaces with a playful bit of psychology thrown in for good measure. See which one resonates with you.
Natural stone brings together a great combination of beauty and functionality. Stone, such as granite, represents the earth element in Chinese medicine. It embodies trust, strength, durability and stability. Personality traits within the earth element are typically reliable, stable, honest and kind, as well as being prudent and industrious. They are thoughtful and reflective individuals and show great kindness to others. According to Feng Shui principles, granite in the home can apparently strengthen feelings of safety and security.
Marble is a beautiful and refined material but isn’t always the best choice for kitchens. It stains and breaks easily. It represents a refined and sensitive individual, who could be high maintenance!
Natural wood lends itself to a feeling of warmth and forgiveness. Reclaimed wood is a sure sign of someone who is environmentally conscious, and represents an earthy organic type. Oxidised and weathered woods offering grey hues seem to be resonating with younger ecologically sound homeowners.
In Feng Shui, wood is most effective for those seeking personal growth and is representative of intuition, creativity, flexibility, and expansion.
Wood is one of the five elements studied in traditional Chinese medicine. It is symbolic of woods’ growth in springtime. According to the Chinese five element principles, wood can represent masculine energy such as pine (tall, upright and sturdy) or more feminine traits, yielding softly like bamboo that bends gently in the wind. Wood qualities tend to be bold and idealistic, with woody types able to create change, possessing good decision-making skills. The emotion most associated with wood from a Chinese perspective is anger, and there can be tension, regret, and negative judgement if anger is not channelled creatively.
Quartz offers a more practical answer to stone (which requires more maintenance). Quartz is solid and low maintenance. For countertops, quartz is a functional alternative and is an increasingly popular choice in the kitchen. It represents someone who is careful and thinks things through. The beauty of quartz is matched with its performance and durability. Quartz is also impervious to bacteria, which may translate into personality traits, such as being ‘thick skinned’ and emotionally resilient.
For the contemporary home enthusiast, concrete surfaces add an industrial feel to modern kitchens and they work well in large spaces. This type of surface requires regular maintenance and sealing and could be representative of someone who likes to preen themselves. It has a distinctly masculine feel and may also indicate an emotionally closed person who is meticulous and likes a sense of order.
Glass shows an artistic quality. Clear crystal glass with LED lighting illustrates a sense of elegance. Toughened glass is resilient and offers a huge freedom of colour choice. According to Feng Shui teachings, colour is one of the easiest ways to shift energy in your home.
The metal element in the Chinese five elements principles represents calm and focused individuals. They are sharp, precise and efficient individuals who respect themselves and others. Metal is strong and hard but will adapt when put under pressure. People with metal worktops enjoy the simplicity and clean lines and tend to have homes with minimalist décor. On the negative side, metal can represent a forceful and controlling nature with sometimes unreasonable expectations.
There is so much creative license in designing a kitchen these days. It’s not unusual to see metal work countertops on the perimeter of the kitchen space, with a wood island in the centre. Material combinations indicate a desire for creativity and a need to stand out. Using multiple materials is a sure way to express individuality, and may even provide a sense of balance.
A worktop full of functional features doesn’t necessarily imply what you think it might. You are forgiven for assuming that a kitchen full of Smart devices and functional countertop features belongs to one who is constantly and efficiently working in the kitchen. It’s often to the contrary. Those who spend an enormous amount of money outsmarting the kitchen, typically spend more time eating out. Now not everyone who loves to wow with technology is averse to the odd bit of cooking, but an eye for sophisticated and cutting-edge technological design could indicate poor culinary skills.
However, a countertop incorporating practical features, such as scales for weighing, and charging devices, is simply an indication of the growing trend in cooking and entertaining at home.
A counter surface can totally transform a kitchen. If you’re looking to update a tired kitchen, a lick of paint, some new cabinet doors and changing the worktops might be all you need if you’re on a tight budget. A new worktop can bring a sense of individuality to standard kitchen units, or transform upscale kitchen redesigns into wow-factor projects.
Why not take the plunge and put a sprinkle of personality into your kitchen.
Disclosure: This is a featured post from Dakota Murphy