The first step to accessorizing your kitchen counter is to determine what its actual purpose is. How do you plan on using it? Do you want to eat at it every day, or maybe just once in a while? Is the counter something you will want to look nice all of the time or only when company comes over? What are some other factors that will affect the way you accessorize?
How to accessorize a kitchen counter?
With all of these things in mind, let’s move on to deciding what kind of counter you want.
There is a wide variety of choices here with countertops. The most popular choices are stone, tile, and wood. Each one has its own advantages and disadvantages.
Stone is very durable but can be expensive depending on the type you choose. It also requires a lot of maintenance to keep it looking nice. Tile countertops are also very durable, though they too can get scratched or broken easily. They are cheaper than stone countertops and easier to take care of. If you ever plan on having children in the future, tile countertops are not a good idea. Wood is also very durable, but it can get stained easily and if dirt gets into the wood, it might be harder to clean when compared to stone or tile.
What material you choose will depend mainly on your personal tastes, though keeping your kitchen’s surroundings in mind is also important.
Other choices for countertops include plastic laminate, glass, and stainless steel. Plastic laminates are easy to clean, but they can get scratched easily by knives, ovens, etc… They are very durable, though. If you choose this option, remember that it may not be the best idea if children live in your home. Glass countertops, like the name implies, are smooth and shiny, but they can also break easily. They can come in any color you want, though, so if aesthetics is what you’re going for, the glass may be a good choice. Stainless steel countertops have a solid feel to them. Like plastic laminate, they are very durable, easy to clean, and easy to maintain. They are not for everyone, though, because they can be cold or hot depending on the temperature in the room, and some people find them very uncomfortable to work at.
Enamel countertops do scratch, but cuts are easy to clean and, if they get broken it is easy to replace. Another type of countertop that can be useful is an enamel countertop. Enameled countertops are very durable, though cuts and scratches may be difficult to clean. If one gets broken, however, it is not too hard to find a replacement piece at your local hardware store.
Now that you’ve chosen a countertop, the next thing to think about is what kind of sink you want. Options include stainless steel, ceramic, and enameled cast iron. Stainless steel sinks are easy to clean and maintain and they look nice as well. Some people do not like them, though, because they can be cold in the winter and hot in the summer. If you have a dishwasher, you will also have to worry about getting the correct sized drain hole which may require professional installation. Ceramic is another option, but it can crack or chip easily, so it must be handled carefully. Enameled cast iron has a solid feel to it and is very durable, though it may chip. It is also prone to scratching and it gets hot in the summer and cold in the winter.
Your next step is to think about your lighting needs. Lighting can affect how your kitchen looks, so it’s important to get it right. Fluorescent or “strip” lights are popular because they are cheap and easy to install, but they are not very bright. They take a long time to reach their full brightness as well, so if you have children, this may not be the best choice because it can be dangerous when they run in front of them while they are still dim.
Halogen lights work well in cabinets. Halogen lights do not take as long to reach their full brightness, and they are bright. They do get hot, though, so keep this in mind if you have children or pets that could be injured by them.
Can lights can sometimes look out of place, but they are a good choice for kitchens with lots of cabinets since the light is directed onto your countertop.
Once you have chosen your countertop, sink, and lighting, it is time to think about the appliances.