September and October seem to be months in which the focus of many shelter magazines turns to kitchens. Perhaps this is because we are coming inside from a summer of grills and outdoor living and realize that our kitchens might need some work! As Bill Soupcoff, AIA, one of TMS’s principals always says…”It doesn’t matter whether a home is historic or modern; the kitchen is still the heart of the American home.”
The variety of materials and styles used in kitchen design can be daunting so we are breaking the possibilities down into categories: counter tops, high tech appliances, cabinetry and plumbing fixtures. Today our focus is on the many counter top choices available for new construction or a renovation of your kitchen, depending upon your style and budget Leading in popularity is still granite; durable, hardworking and available in a variety of colors and textures. Polished granite is the most common surface material but we are beginning to see “leathered” and honed granite with a matte finish as well.
In addition to granite, soapstone is frequently used as it has a matte finish, is stain and bacteria resistant and available in a spectrum of gray tones from light to dark. Soapstone was used in the kitchen of this TMS project, Oceanfront Outlook.
Metals are another source of counter top materials that are gaining in popularity. Stainless steel has moved out of commercial kitchens and are showing up in residential projects. The material is very hygenic as it inhibits the growth of bacteria, is very east to clean with soap and water and imparts a modern, industrial look. TMS Architects used another metal, bronze with a rubbed black finish, in this Seaside Renovation kitchen .
Wood is also making an appearance in many kitchens such as shown in this very innovative counter top trend which uses in which the organic edge of the tree remains and the grain is highlighted.
Another recent TMS project featured a mixture of materials with a dramatic curved wooden counter and granite installed near the sink. Mixing materials in kitchen design is becoming increasingly popular as people realize that they can use combine disparate materials together for a dramatic or unique look.
Other materials for counter tops include quartz, glass, concrete, and a variety of recycled products as well. If you have any questions on your kitchen or the right material for you, please contact TMS Architects. We will continue this series with a discussion of cabinetry, high tech appliances, and plumbing fixtures.