Flecked or Softly Veined White. One of the most common and coveted countertop finishes is a stone or manufactured slab material such as quartz in a white or off‐white shade with a light multitonal fleck or grain to give it subtle natural richness. This snowy sparkling look works well in many situations since it is very neutral but also contemporary and fresh. The pale tone brings a sense of cleanness and lightness to the space with a twist of subtle sophistication. In more traditional kitchens this is usually a better choice than a true minimalist white countertop which can be too severe and fight with the elegance of other elements such as knotty woods Shaker cabinets or lantern pendant lights.
Dark counters in tones such as black or charcoal can appear very gothic in some situations and perfectly harmonious in others. If you have dark cabinetry dark floors or other rich and weighty finishes a dark countertop will fit right in. In this example you can see that the white counter is the one that pops compared with the island counter which almost blends into the deep wood drawer fronts. If you’re going for a dark‐on‐dark palette it helps to have lots of light sources natural or added (or both). This will keep the space feeling cozy and sophisticated instead of just cave‐like.
Softly flecked or grainy whites also work well paired with brass accents such as these contemporary lights. Again the subtle richness holds its own without fighting for attention and keeps the countertop from feeling too austere – great for a dining island where you want people to actually feel comfortable dining.