What’s not to love about white kitchens? They make a small space feel bigger, you can redecorate around them easily and they’re popular with house buyers. But which countertop should you match with yours? Choose carefully — with plain, pale cabinetry, your work-surface choice sets the tone for the whole room.



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Bring in Warmth With Wood


Wood is a people-pleaser: It doesn’t matter if you’re a fan of contemporary or period style, it’ll fit into either setting. For a laid-back, modern, space-enhancing finish, choose a pale wood; darker tones suit more formal kitchens. Go for lots of grain to add texture and interest to cabinetry with little detailing.





Use Concrete for an Industrial Vibe


If you’re a lover of retro style, concrete countertops are an easy win: Pale, tough-looking and chunky, they’ll make even the most inexpensive kitchen look upmarket. Is concrete too pricey for your budget? You can buy convincing, less expensive composite lookalikes that require none of the maintenance of the real thing.





Be Bold and Contemporary


Whether your cabinetry is all flush-front, handleless simplicity or your kitchen is a dark, north-facing space, installing a countertop in a bold, bright color will add interest and personality. Less is more, though: Keep the color to just one element of the kitchen — the island is the perfect spot — and complement it with neutral-colored surfaces everywhere else.





Add Marble for a Period Feel


A marble countertop is a great choice for bringing a hint of restrained texture to an elegant traditional kitchen. Don’t like the long list of care tips that come with marble? Then choose a lookalike composite that can take all sorts of wear and tear, and pass itself off as the real thing.





Get a Cooks Kitchen With Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is ideal for a small kitchen — just like the glossy cabinetry this countertop is matched with, it bounces light around, which in turn makes a narrow galley feel bigger and brighter. Be prepared though — steel will get covered in little scratches in no time. If you love the professional kitchen vibe, you’ll never notice the marks. Like things spick and span? Then give steel a pass.