If you’d like to break up all the straight lines in a contemporary kitchen, add a little curve to your countertop design. A curve, especially in the seating area, creates an inviting, communal place where it’s easier to sit and have a face-to-face conversation with each other.
There are many different ways you can approach this decision, and since an island takes up a significant amount of floor space it’s worth it to take time to make every element of its design intentional.
Heat resistance: One of the considerations when choosing a countertop material is the heat resistance when you are cooking. You shouldn’t put hot pans directly on countertops. Using a trivet between the pan and the countertop surface is a good idea. Natural stone materials and concrete can endure heat better than plastic laminate that can leave a scorch mark. Ceramic tile countertops can take heat, but may crack due to rapid temperature changes. To be certain, do not place heated pans on countertops, stainless steel is one of the few countertops that can endure heat.
Take advantage of being able to use the space above the island by adding suspended storage, where you can display a matching pan collection or your best stemware. You can also experiment with lighting elements, or if you’ve decided to install a stovetop with overhead venting you can use the space for the range hood.
The latest trend in contemporary kitchens is the thick slab countertop effect. While most countertops are normally 2” thick, choosing a 3 – 5” thick countertop creates an anchored, stately look. Remember to adjust cabinet heights accordingly to make up for the height increase from the thicker countertops.
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