How will you design your new kitchen countertops? Most kitchens are cookie-cutter design, installed quickly by home building contractors with pre-fabricated countertops in recognizably simple styles. Most countertops have a square or rounded edge, a small backsplash lip, and uncomplicated cut-outs for the sink and stove. Ready for an upgrade?
Designing a kitchen with your own stone fabricator puts the creative power of countertop design in your hands. As a homeowner, you have the freedom to go above and beyond with your countertop design. With almost the exact same amount of stone, you can create countertop designs unlike any cookie-cutter home to delight your family and wow your friends. You can choose unique aesthetic details or cool useful designs that make your kitchen more of a joy to cook in.
Here at Arch City Granite, we are enthusiastic about pairing homeowners with our stone fabricator team to not only make your countertops gorgeous. But also make the most of every slab. Dive into our favorite cool ideas for custom-cut countertops this year.
1) Natural Edge Countertops
There is nothing quite so beautiful as the mixed look of rough and polished stone. One of the best ways to make use of your slab and create a stunning industrial/nature style in your kitchen is to design with a natural or rough-edged granite countertop. The rough edge is not cut into an even square or arch but is instead left rough-hewn to show the natural shape and curves of the granite itself. You gain effectively a soft-edge (not sharp) countertop line and an alluring look that makes your kitchen seem more like a natural grotto.
2) Artistic Drain-Grooves by the Sink
If you regularly do dishes – or even just a few specific dishes – by hand, countertop grooves are a handy feature. The grooves naturally guide water back into the sink instead of creating countertop puddles or dripping to the floor. Usually, you see countertop grooves in ergonomically designed tiny houses and campers. Take that tiny-house innovation to a luxury home level with beautifully artistic drain-grooves carved into your countertop near the sink.
The usual carving is a small indent near your sink cut-out with four or five simple horizontal lines to create an elegant yet extremely useful design, but you can also choose artistic carvings like leafy fines for a beautiful upgrade.
3) Apron Cut for a Farmhouse Sink
A farmhouse sink is an especially deep and large sink that protrudes from the front of the countertop. Both the cabinet and the counter need to be “apron cut” to make room. For your countertop, this means a sink cutout that interrupts the front line of the counter, creating an “apron” shape in the top of the counter, hence why it is called an apron cut.
If you have your eye on a gorgeous farmhouse sink because you’ll love a deep sink in your new kitchen design, a custom countertop is your ideal solution. Let your stone fabricator know you want an apron-cut and share your chosen farmhouse sink specs for a perfect kitchen sink experience.
4) Backsplash Mounting Points
When cutting a custom countertop, the backsplash is an important consideration. Usually, your slab will have more than enough stone after cutting the counter to create spacious, and beautiful backsplashes. In truth, your backsplash options are near limitless – especially when working with a stone fabricator. Talk about the exact backsplash design you want and your fabricator will ensure the countertop and/or granite backsplashes have all the right mounting points. It’s tough to plan granite mounting points after the fact, so your greatest design versatility is when the stone is being cut.
5) Pull-Out or Fold-Out Countertop Sections
It’s your countertop, and you can design any features you like. This year, hidden and roll-away designs are hot and your kitchen can benefit. Consider ways to extend and alter your prep spaces depending on your cooking plans. Pull-out cutting boards can also be pull-out countertop spaces – and at a conveniently lower level for children or seated/wheelchair chefs. Fold-out countertops can fold from the counter or even the wall, allowing you to create more prep space in an instance from a previously hidden installation. Your stone fabricator can help with these delightful designs by cutting the right pieces of granite for each interesting and useful installation.
6) Multi-Level Island Bar
Your island doesn’t have to be one single slab of cut granite, you can really improve the design with a custom stone fabricator as your design partner. Give your island multi-level beauty and functionality with a custom design/ Consider a multi-level island bar. The lowest and widest surface will face the kitchen as your prep space with a lightly higher space for seated guests to enjoy barstool breakfast. Many custom islands also have “riser” for storage underneath, centerpieces, and as an elegant passthrough for bar-seated guests.
7) Cut an Extra Sink
Designing your own countertop also allows you to add more features than are in a typical pre-fabricated stone cut. For example, you may find that a bar sink (an extra small sink in the kitchen) is a wonderful improvement to your cooking flow and daily family life. You can have one easily installed simply by talking to your stone fabricator about adding an extra cut-out where you want to place the sink. It could be in the island, at the far end of your L-shaped kitchen, or even in its own sidebar.
8) Open Stone Cabinet Shelves
Open cabinets and floating shelves are trends that we see often. They can be gorgeous in the right kitchen design, and we especially love the late trend of building elegant floating shelves out of your matching countertop stone. Using a smaller section of your granite slab, have your stone fabricator cut shelf-sized strips and mount these into lower cabinetry with the doors and divider compartments removed. Long stone shelves are a beautiful way to store your dishes and cooking implements out in the open in a decorative way.
9) Low-Set Prep Areas
When you need to do some serious chopping or stirring, a low-set counter is better than one that is too high. Often, we take these tasks to a kitchen table or other lower surface if the kitchen counters are set too high. This is a particular problem for home chefs who are on the short side of average (which is many, many people). If you regularly find yourself chopping or working the mixing bowl on a lower surface, gift yourself with a beautiful lowered granite prep surface. Work with your stone fabricator to design a low-section of your countertops where the counter drops to a more comfortable height for prep that requires you to really put your shoulder into the work. This can give your kitchen an elegant multi-level look while also serving an incredibly useful purpose.
10) Waterfall Countertops
Waterfall counters and, especially, waterfall islands are becoming a high-demand upgrade when new countertops are installed. The “waterfall” style carries the countertop over the top corner and down to the floor with a vertical sheet of granite. A professionally done waterfall carries the grain perfectly over the ede so it appears that the stone literally flows down the side of the cabinet or island. You can use another section of your slab to create this beautiful style in your kitchen if you know how to ask your stone fabricator.
Bonus: Remnant Crafts
Last but not least, don’t forget your remnants! The privilege of a homeowner who hires custom countertops is that you start with an entire slab of granite. The countertops will take up most of your slab, but there are always smaller pieces of granite left over that you can make into more beautiful pieces of your kitchen and home. Remnant crafts are their own special category of design and you can use remnants, big and small, for all sorts of gorgeous home projects.
A few examples include mantelpieces, small floating shelves, serving boards, small tabletops or inlays, mosaic art, backsplashes, half-wall toppers. Remnant crafts reduce waste and use the same matching piece of stone as a design theme throughout your house.
Custom countertop design is a not just about choosing your stone and your cut. Working with a stone fabricator puts the power of creative countertop design in your hands. What will you do with your design freedom and an entire granite slab to design with?
Contact us to start on your countertop design journey.