Dark Island or dark perimeter counter tops

kam76September 13, 2013

I am going back and forth on the idea of having

My island be a dark counter top material (soapstone, absolute black, black pearl etc.) and white perimeter counter tops (marble, quartzite etc.)
vs.

Having dark perimeter counters and a light island?

My cabinets are going to be white. I have seen pictures both ways and I like both, I am just wondering if any of the design folks have any words of wisdom as to why one might choose one over the other.

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absob

I am considering same thing in our upcoming new kitchen renovation. Have been saving various images from sources trying to decide.

I still have not decided, but this is what I am leaning towards currently...

All white cabinets on perimeter with dark tops. Dark wood island with light marble top. I found the most beautiful white marble for island, but expensive so can not afford to put everywhere. Also,worry about maintenance (I am not a neat cook).

I too explored soapstone and was dead set on it. Love the heat resistance, no staining, no radiation, etc. it's very hard to find where we live...haven't found a source yet. Also salesman talked me out of it saying it is very fragile to work with and hard to install and not as maintenance free as I imagined. Was going to do this on the perimeter, since cooktop would be there then don't have to worry about putting pots down or if I splash pasta sauce all over the place as I always do...

But now thinking of doing dark brown marble all around ( pick up the dark wood on the island ). Even though I am afraid of maintenance of marble, the dark on the perimeter would hide any stains or etching better I figure. Then I just have to upkeep the island in pristine condition.

I still have not decided yet. Every time I see a photo (houzz) of an all white kitchen with beautiful white marble everywhere I stop and think maybe I should just do all white on white?!

    Bookmark   September 14, 2013 at 1:29AM
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FoxCrane

I'm also doing white cabinets, and decided on darkish soapstone on the perimeter and my island is going to be marble. I originally wanted a butcher block top for the island, but really love the look of marble. I compromised and got a large (13" x 36") walnut end-grain cutting board to put on the island to do prep work.

I'm waiting on the counter fabrication, but will post reveal photos when it's all done.

Good luck in your decision; I'm sure it'll look great whichever way you decide to go!

    Bookmark   September 14, 2013 at 2:43AM
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wags848

I, too, am pondering the same! Soapstone and marble are on my wish list. We have maple cabinets with a cherry stain, & I wonder if the soapstone would be too dark on the perimeter, yet that is where it would work best functionally, i.e., wouldn't have to worry about staining, can put hot items directly on counter, etc. Yet would it be too dark? Perhaps a lot of under cabinet lighting would help, along with a light backsplash. A designer friend told me soapstone is too dark for my space; would work fine if I had white cabinets (which I can't justify since our current ones are in great shape). Yet I still pine for soapstone; I want to find a place for it (right now I have a soapstone spoon rest :).

The soapstone on just the island could work, then marble or quartzite on the perimeter. I just don't know, and today I have soapstone samples on the counters trying to imagine it. I may look for a dark sheet or tablecloth to put on the counters to try and get a better feel for the look.

I love the brown marbles, but I've read that etching is more noticeable with darker marbles, so something to consider. For now, I am hunting for a remnant to put on the small island; then I could figure out the perimeters later. Not ideal, but that would be a good "test" for us on the marble/soapstone. If it didn't work, we would repurpose it for vanity counters.

With white cabinets, you have more options. I will be following this thread with much interest! Good luck!

wags

    Bookmark   September 14, 2013 at 11:12AM
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wags848

I, too, am pondering the same! Soapstone and marble are on my wish list. We have maple cabinets with a cherry stain, & I wonder if the soapstone would be too dark on the perimeter, yet that is where it would work best functionally, i.e., wouldn't have to worry about staining, can put hot items directly on counter, etc. Yet would it be too dark? Perhaps a lot of under cabinet lighting would help, along with a light backsplash. A designer friend told me soapstone is too dark for my space; would work fine if I had white cabinets (which I can't justify since our current ones are in great shape). Yet I still pine for soapstone; I want to find a place for it (right now I have a soapstone spoon rest :).

The soapstone on just the island could work, then marble or quartzite on the perimeter. I just don't know, and today I have soapstone samples on the counters trying to imagine it. I may look for a dark sheet or tablecloth to put on the counters to try and get a better feel for the look.

I love the brown marbles, but I've read that etching is more noticeable with darker marbles, so something to consider. For now, I am hunting for a remnant to put on the small island; then I could figure out the perimeters later. Not ideal, but that would be a good "test" for us on the marble/soapstone. If it didn't work, we would repurpose it for vanity counters.

With white cabinets, you have more options. I will be following this thread with much interest! Good luck!

wags

    Bookmark   September 14, 2013 at 11:13AM
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