Kitchen Surface Style Ideas with Natural Stone

by Karen LeBlanc

Design Ideas to Update Kitchen Style with Natural Stone

My new contemporary kitchen gets its surface style from natural stone. As a decorator, stone is my go-to material for its one-of-a-kind design— its unique colorations, patterns, timeless appeal and durability. My kitchen color palette is gray and white, so I naturally gravitate towards marble; however, the countertops, in particular the island top, are both workhorses and showpieces so I needed to select a stone that can stand up to food prep and daily dining.

Madreperola quartzite from Brazil is a creamy and gray slab. Photo credit: MS International Inc. Quartzite is a very hard metamorphic rock that originated as sandstone. Through a process of high heating and pressurization sandstone is transformed into quartzite, an extremely strong and durable natural stone. Quartzite is ideal for any countertop surface due to its strength and long-lasting composition. Consider quartzite countertops for their strength, beauty, and overall durability.

Madreperola quartzite from Brazil is a creamy and gray slab. Photo credit: MS International Inc. Quartzite is a very hard metamorphic rock that originated as sandstone. Through a process of high heating and pressurization sandstone is transformed into quartzite, an extremely strong and durable natural stone. Quartzite is ideal for any countertop surface due to its strength and long-lasting composition. Consider quartzite countertops for their strength, beauty, and overall durability.

I  was able to render the look of marble with the durability of granite by choosing quartzite.  Quartzite is generally harder and denser with the classic marble veining.  My kitchen floors are marble tile in a classic white with gray veining conveying a crisp, airy, contemporary style that compliments the rest of my interior design choices.   My signature decor style tends to mix different types of stone in living spaces from flooring to fireplace surrounds and wall inserts. 

Natural stone works well with any kitchen—traditional, modern, rustic, transitional, industrial, and all the stylistic iterations in between, making it an ideal choice for a kitchen makeover. Here’s how I use natural stone as my creative muse in home decor and design for surface style in the kitchen. 

Range Niche:

I like to create a focal point in the kitchen with a stone clad wall and niche that frames the range hood as a functional and sculptural element. In this kitchen by Artistic Tile, the niche wall framing a stainless steel range hood is crafted of Calacatta Gold marble subway tile that complements the Calacatta Gold marble slab of the island top. The flooring is Ash limestone.

Luxury kitchen rendered in Calacatta Gold marble and Ash limestone floors from Artistic Tile. The mix of natural stone creates textural and visual dimension for a one-of-a-kind design.

Luxury kitchen rendered in Calacatta Gold marble and Ash limestone floors from Artistic Tile. The mix of natural stone creates textural and visual dimension for a one-of-a-kind design. Photo credit: Artistic Tile

Sink:

Natural stone such as soapstone is a sanitary choice for kitchen sinks because it’s non-porous so it doesn’t trap bacteria and it never stains. This Soapstone sink crafted by Vermont Soapstone, seamlessly blends with the adjacent countertops for a monolithic look. This deep sink’s apron front showcases the veining and colorations.

Traditional High Backsplash Soapstone Sink custom crafted by Vermont Soapstone from 1.25″ thick soapstone slabs.

Traditional High Backsplash Soapstone Sink custom crafted by Vermont Soapstone from 1.25″ thick soapstone slabs. Photo credit: Vermont Soapstone

Pocket Office:

A built-in niche to charge cellphones, accommodate a laptop or other smart device is on the must-have list of today’s kitchen renovations and new construction. Now more than ever, the cook is connected to technology, consulting smart devices for recipes and in need of a place to organize household paraphernalia. Ripano Stoneworks designed a pocket office in this kitchen with a granite desk top that matches the perimeter counters for style and function.

Natural stone works well as built-ins and furniture features in a kitchen. This pocket office in the kitchen has a quartzite desk top from Ripano Stoneworks. Photo credit: Ripano Stoneworks

Natural stone works well as built-ins and furniture features in a kitchen. This pocket office in the kitchen has a quartzite desk top from Ripano Stoneworks. Photo credit: Ripano Stoneworks

Wine Storage:

A wine rack designed to match kitchen counters and cabinets adds a custom touch with natural stone. This one from Ripano Stoneworks showcases a quartzite top and wood storage rack that looks as if it’s an extension of the adjacent countertop and base cabinets.

This wine storage rack showcases a quartzite top that matches the kitchen counters. Natural stone has many uses as design features including fireplace surrounds, bar tops, desk tops, fireplace surrounds. Photo credit: Ripano Stoneworks.

This wine storage rack showcases a quartzite top that matches the kitchen counters. Natural stone has many uses as design features including fireplace surrounds, bar tops, desk tops, fireplace surrounds. Photo credit: Ripano Stoneworks.

 Backsplash:

Natural stone is easy to clean and decorative as a kitchen backsplash with a wide variety of creative choices from semiprecious stones to travertine, marble, limestone, granite and quartzite. This stunning backsplash by ROCKin’teriors is backlit to bring out the translucent beauty of agate, a semi precious stone

Backlit agate backsplash by ROCKin'teriors in this kitchen makes a dramatic focal point. I love to use semiprecious stone slabs in decorative applications that are backlit to tease out their translucent beauty. Photo credit: ROCKin'teriors

Backlit agate backsplash by ROCKin’teriors in this kitchen makes a dramatic focal point. I love to use semiprecious stone slabs in decorative applications that are backlit to tease out their translucent beauty. Photo credit: ROCKin’teriors

Kitchen backsplash crafted of Danby Imperial marble with matching counters cues a crisp, clean, elegant look. Photo credit: Artistic Tile.

Kitchen backsplash crafted of Danby Imperial marble with matching counters cues a crisp, clean, elegant look. Photo credit: Artistic Tile.

Kitchen Island:

Natural stone is a popular choice for the island countertop tying together the look as a focal point and command central for the cook. The latest kitchen island designs incorporate a countertop with an overhang for seating, a sink, dishwasher and/or a cooktop. The island countertop can either match or contrast with the perimeter counters.

Calacatta marble from ROCKin'teriors defines the transitional look of this luxury kitchen with its rich gray veining that plays off the white cabinets. Photo credit: ROCKin'teriors

Calacatta marble from ROCKin’teriors defines the transitional look of this luxury kitchen with its rich gray veining that plays off the white cabinets. Photo credit: ROCKin’teriors

Island countertop crafted of soapstone from Dorado Soapstone.

Island countertop crafted of soapstone from Dorado Soapstone. This natural stone is siliceous – nonporous so it is unaffected and unharmed by acids contained in everyday substances like wine, lemon, and vinegar making it an ideal choice for food prep areas. Photo credit: Dorado Soapstone.

 

Calacatta Gold marble creates a wraparound kitchen island top and oversized backsplash in this contemporary kitchen. Photo credit: Rocky Mountain Stone.

Calacatta Gold marble creates a wraparound kitchen island top and oversized backsplash in this contemporary kitchen. Photo credit: Rocky Mountain Stone.

Flooring:

Natural stone is a timeless, trend-proof choice for flooring and provides the durability to endure high traffic areas. To preserve its look and luster, natural stone, unlike porcelain and ceramic tile floors, can be polished, resurfaced and resealed extending its life.  There are many different finishes for stone flooring to choose from. Polished is a smooth, glossy, highly reflective surface. Honed is a smooth, satin-like matte finish. Brushed is a slightly rough surface with an aged or antique look. Tumbled is a smooth surface that looks weathered and scuffed. Bush-hammered is a fairly smooth, non-slippery surface ideal for outdoor applications. Leathered is a suede-like appearance and feel with a soft non-reflective shine. Flamed is a rough texture and relief with a non-slippery surface ideal for outdoor applications. Sandblasted is a textured surface with a matte gloss so the stone looks weathered. 

Travertine floors add a warm counterbalance to the Marron Cohiba granite counters. Photo credit: Arizona Tile

Travertine floors add a warm counterbalance to the Marron Cohiba granite counters. Photo credit: Arizona Tile

Calacatta Gold marble floor tile with decorative inserts create an elegant floor medallion in this kitchen. Photo Credit: Artistic Tile

Calacatta Gold marble floor tile with decorative inserts create an elegant floor medallion in this kitchen. Photo Credit: Artistic Tile

Perimeter Counters:

The latest kitchen styles mix stone materials, colors and patterns in counters and island tops. This kitchen by Stoneshop pairs Silver Pearl leathered granite on the perimeter counters with Mont Blanc honed quartzite on the island top.

The latest kitchen styles mix natural stone colors and patterns for surface style. This kitchen by the Stoneshop pairs Pearl leathered granite on the perimeter counters and Mont Blanc honed quartzite on the Island top. Photo credit: Stoneshop

The latest kitchen styles mix natural stone colors and patterns for surface style. This kitchen by the Stoneshop pairs Pearl leathered granite on the perimeter counters and Mont Blanc honed quartzite on the Island top. Photo credit: Stoneshop

Matching granite perimeter counters and island top in this kitchen plays well with its traditional style. Photo credit: Granite America

Matching granite perimeter counters and island top in this kitchen plays well with its traditional style. Photo credit: Granite America

Matching island top and perimeter counters in granite cue a transitional look in this kitchen. Photo credit: Flemington Granite & Architectural Supply.

Matching island top and perimeter counters cue a transitional look in this kitchen. Photo credit: Flemington Granite & Architectural Supply.

For more design ideas with natural stone, check out www.usenaturalstone.com

Thanks in part to MIA+BSI: TheNatural Stone Institute for sponsoring this post.

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