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RE: Has anyone used this? Countertop selection tool (Follow-Up #10)

posted by: amysrq on 05.02.2008 at 09:59 pm in Home Decorating Forum

Well, I don't have a wand, but I will say that I think laminate is great stuff. I've never been sold on granite (ducking projectile tomatoes) and laminate gives you so many choices...so many colors!

Here are some questions to think about.

1. Do you want light or dark?

A light countertop is easier (on the eye) to work on and will brighten your kitchen more than any other element. More functional light is reflected off horizontal surfaces than vertical surfaces, countertops particularly since they are closer to windows and artificial light sources.

Dark counters are very fashionable right now. Dark wood, dark granite, dark soapstone. It's mostly done with white cabs, but you see dark counters almost everywhere at the moment. Very elegant. Would this look suit the style of your kitchen and your home?

2. Do you want something that mimics a natural material (like granite or wood) or something that says "Hey, I'm plastic and that's okay!" Think boomerangs! As for the wood look, that's being shown in a lot of high end kitchens where I suspect nobody cooks! ;-) But a deep dark warm wood-look laminate could be fabulous and very up to the minute (without the upkeep of real walnut!)

3. Do you like to see or not see toast crumbs? IOW, do you want your counters to hide the bits and pieces of everyday life or do you want something very clean looking so not a crumb escapes?

4. To bring out the natural richness of your oak cabs, think about the opposite side of the color wheel...blues because they are directly opposite orange, and greens because they always look good with wood.

5. What is your style? MCM? You need boomerangs! Soft Contemporary? Maybe a finely speckled stone look alike. Country? Traditional? Tuscan? If you have a particular style, look at other kitchens in the same or similar style and try to mimic what they are using. If you haven't been to the Finished Kitchens Blog, you should look there for ideas and inspiration. Don't get freaked out by the big-ticket things you see over there (!) just see what appeals to you and make a note.

Remember, you can get a neutral countertop material and do the color thing with paint. It's less risky and better for resale if that looms on your horizon. Or you can do a bit more color on the floor, which will also hide some dirt, and then pull that color into a lighter countertop material with a melange of color, including hints of whatever color you choose for the floor.

After you have thought about these questions, you should be able to eliminate a lot of choices and start to zero in on what you want and need. Then, go to a store that has lots of samples. Maybe not a big box store...I don't know if they have a full representation or not. (You can ask.) See what draws you eye and see if it meets the criteria you set by answering the questions above. Order or borrow samples to live with for a while. When you're down to a couple of choices, get a bunch of chips and line them up so you can try to replicate a larger area.

Good luck and keep us posted!

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clipped on: 05.03.2008 at 10:44 pm    last updated on: 05.03.2008 at 10:45 pm