Hello, readers! Welcome back to the Stonehouse Countertops’ blog. We’re pleased you’ve chosen Stonehouse Countertops for your informational needs! You’ll find everything pertinent about the maintenance of various custom countertop materials on this blog. We also provide comprehensive deep dives into various aspects of the design and installation process. Our goal is to equip you with the information you need to commission the perfect countertops for your space. Our last article included a list of signs it may be time to replace your current countertops. If you’re currently less than happy with your countertops and wondering if it might be time to invest in new ones, we recommend giving our last article a quick read! 

Today, we’ll be discussing an oft confusing topic. Determining which countertops pair well with your floors can be a challenge. While the choice ultimately boils down to personal preference, there are a few ways to ensure your kitchen design is cohesive and beautiful. We’ll detail various design philosophies which can guide your decision-making process, as well as color combinations which have been vetted and used by artists for decades. Of course, at the end of the day, we encourage you to trust your intuition and unique design sense! However, if you’re interested in learning what professional designers consider when making these types of selections, look no further!

Start Somewhere

Instead of scouring the internet to find the best countertop-flooring combinations, try beginning with one or the other. If you’re merely replacing your countertops, you’ll begin with your floors as your centerpiece and try to find materials which complement the color and pattern. Whereas, if you’re renovating your kitchen from the ground up, you’ll want to start with your countertops as the centerpiece. Your floors will act as a support, with your countertops as the focal point. 

We recommend absorbing as much inspiration as you possibly can in the early stages. Home design magazines and color swatches are a great place to start. There are also virtual kitchen softwares available online—KitchenPlanner and RoomSketcher are free—which allow you to create a mock-up of your ideal kitchen and test your designs before committing. 

Design Philosophy 

A design philosophy is a set of principles which guide a person’s aesthetic decisions. Within a single household, different rooms can be designed according to different philosophies. An individual’s philosophy boils down to their specific needs. The main thing each design philosophy has in common is a goal. In this section, we’ll discuss various philosophies and their corresponding goals. 

    Mood

When you step into your kitchen, what do you want to feel? When visitors reach your outdoor patio, what reaction are you looking for? When customers enter your business, how does the space impact their mood? These are essential questions to ask early in the design process, as the answers will help inform important decisions down the line. Will your kitchen be balanced and impart a sense of calm? Or, will your kitchen be vibrant, with a sophisticated edge? Are you shooting for a timeless look or envisioning a traditionalist haven? Will the space feel cold or warm? Modern and bold or minimalist and understated? Your desired mood for your kitchen may vary greatly from your desired mood for your living room and that’s fine. The important thing is for you to have a clear idea of what you want, to ensure every step along the way facilitates the end goal. 

    Feng Shui 

Most people know feng shui as a Chinese philosophy which seeks to alter the energy of a space by prioritizing certain physical configurations. “Never have your headboard on the same wall as the door.” “Separate work areas from rest areas.” “Never sleep under a window.” These rules may seem arbitrary, as though they have no basis in the “real world,” but they’re actually common sense from a subconscious viewpoint. Being able to see the door of a room can give people a feeling of comfort, since they can see exactly what’s coming. Science backs up the idea that our work and sleep areas should be separated, as their conflagration can be detrimental to our sleep quality. 

The principles of feng shui are based on the cycles of nature and how the elements balance each other (e.g. water/fire, wood/metal). Few people are aware there’s a color philosophy built into feng shui. This color philosophy can help you determine which colors will impart certain moods and facilitate certain atmospheres. The colors, their associated elements and feelings are as follows: 

Earth

  • Represents self-care, boundaries, and nourishment. 
  • Colors are yellows, oranges, and browns. 

Metal

  • Represents joy, beauty, and precision.
  • Colors are whites, greys, and metallics. 

Water

  • Represents depth, wisdom, and connection. 
  • Colors are blacks and deep blues. 

Wood

  • Represents growth, healing, vitality. 
  • Colors are greens, blues, and teals. 

Fire

  • Represents passion, inspiration, and visibility. 
  • Colors are reds and bright oranges.

Who would’ve thought metals represent joy? Studying the implications of certain colors can broaden your imagination and scope of what’s possible. Gold may show up in your countertops and your fixtures in a way which brightens your entire kitchen; thus, bringing you joy! The most important aspect of feng shui is its preoccupation with balance. Whichever colors you choose to employ, they should be done with intentionality and care. 

    2/1 Method

A common design philosophy is the practice of choosing two primary colors and one accent color to feature in your space. All three colors should be complementary, but this method ensures your space is adequately diversified. This method can translate to near-endless combinations of colors. For example, if you chose dark-grey, white, and blue as your color set, here are a few sample combinations. 

Example One: white cabinets, blue backsplash, dark-grey countertops, white floors. 

    Or

Example Two: dark-grey cabinets, white backsplash, blue countertops, dark-grey floors. 

    Or

Example Three: blue cabinets, dark-grey backsplash, white countertops, blue floors. 

Blue floors?! Yes, blue floors! There are wonderful polished porcelain and stone tile options. If you can stretch your imagination, anything is possible! We encourage you to choose your colors and go through as many combinations as you can think of! 

 Itten Wheel

Colors should complement one another instead of clashing. Finding complementary colors is easy with the Itten wheel. Colors which sit opposite one another on the Itten wheel are considered complementary. Those complementary colors are: 

  • orange/blue
  • red-orange/blue-green
  • red/green
  • red-purple/yellow-green
  • purple/yellow
  • yellow-orange/blue-purple

Meanwhile, colors which form a triad on the Itten color wheel are considered diverse enough to be vibrant, yet still harmonious. Those combinations are:

  • red-purple/blue-green/yellow-orange
  • yellow-green/red-orange/blue-purple
  • green/orange/purple
  • red/blue/yellow

Common palettes you’ll find in most design magazines and contemporary design websites are

  • white/black/grey
  • brown/white/tan
  • tan/beige/grey
  • white/gold
  • black/silver

If you’re aiming for a traditional space, you’ll want to avoid colors which contrast too much, as high contrast is a hallmark of modern styles. 

Balance

By now you probably understand the importance of balance within a space. Too much dark will need to be counteracted with light. Too much fullness will need to be off-set with emptiness. And so on. This is why matching your cabinets with your countertops and floors isn’t a recommended design strategy. A single color dominating the space can make inhabitants feel overwhelmed. 

Similarly, if you’re using solid blocks of color on your countertops, these surfaces will lend themselves to interesting textures. A rough stone surface may suit a single-color slab, whereas a multi-color stone surface might favor a glossy or matte finish. In the same vein, the edges of your countertops can influence the feel of the space. Sharp corners and edges will imbue your kitchen with a more modern feel, while rounded corners impart a sense of comfort.

Your floors might benefit from an interesting pattern, as well. Combining a herringbone pattern on both your floors and backsplash can bring together two disparate colors. You might also consider tiled floors and other geometric patterns. 

As always, we here at Stonehouse Countertops are happy to help! Equipped with information, you’re now able to make the choice best suited to you and your needs. At Stonehouse Countertops, we are willing and able to work with you to your specifications. We offer a wide range of different materials and always have someone on hand to answer your questions! Don’t hesitate to reach out for consultation or for help forming a plan. We want to ensure your vision becomes a reality! Check back into our blog for more information on custom countertops and material maintenance. Until next time, thanks for reading!