Open-plan homes are in high demand in today’s real estate market. Whether you are remodeling for your own enjoyment or preparing to boost a home’s value in the eyes of new buyers, an open floor plan is considered the most modern way to design the shared family spaces of any modern home. Gone are the days of closed-off kitchens and separated ‘dens’ and ‘parlors’. The living room, kitchen, and family space should all flow together. This allows families to share activities so that making dinner and watching a movie together or even playing video games don’t have to be separate activities.
A big part of open-plan design is the kitchen. Whether you are half the open floor plan or front-and-center, your countertops will be among the most visible part of the entire room design. After all, everyone flocks to the island or wrap-around bar for breakfast, snacks, and to spend time with the family chef. Your kitchen counters may become the centerpiece of your open plan or form a bastion of gleaming stone on one side of the shared space. Which begs the question: What are the best countertops for an open floor plan design?
We’re here to help you answer that question, focusing on the best countertop designs for your unique open plan home.
Countertop Visibility in Open-Plan Designs
The first thing to realize about open-plan and entertainer kitchens is how visible your countertops will be from every part of the home. Your countertops will become a gleaming part of the living room design and may even be visible from doorways and hallways throughout the house. Ideally, this is a design benefit because your countertop choice is a chance to decorate the whole house with a single set of decisions.
Choosing the right coutnertops for your open floor plan is all about accenting the rest of the house as well as making your kitchen beautiful up close. You’ll want a stone grain that compliments the decor and a color that stands out flatteringly against the design palette of your home.
Countertops to Match Your Interior Design
What color palette defines your interior design decor? Consider the colors you already use regularly. Consider the hues behind the neutral paint colors of your walls, the color of your window draperies, and the colors you’ve chosen for furniture and artwork. These together define your color palette, and your countertops should match that palette beautifully.
For example, if your walls are blue-gray and your decor favors aquatic tones, then a dark granite with a spray of blue grains or cream marble with bluish veins might be the right choice for your open plan countertops. A home decorated in red or autumn colors might benefit from rich brown granite with red and gold grains, or a warm yellow marble with orange tinting in the veins.
Natural Stone that Becomes Part of the Artwork
Choosing a beautiful slab to fabricate your counters from can also be like choosing your wall artwork. Natural stone is, in its way, a work of art waiting to be built directly into your home. Beautiful swirls of stone veins or splatters of artistic inherent graining can add the perfect accent to your already elegant interior decor. You can choose a ‘busy’ slab design to reflect the vibrant life your family leads or an understated slab that would be worthy of any abstract wall-hanging.
Match your choice of marble or granite, or even custom quartz, to become part of the decor and not just a surface for cooking implements and nightly homework.
Easy-to-Clean Countertop Design
Consider all the little design details that make a countertop easy to clean In an open-plan design: cleaning matters. A dirty countertop can be seen all the way across the house, meaning the best impressions are made when your counters are always 100% clean. We know what a chore it can be to constantly wipe down after preparing every meal and snack, so think ahead. Add cleaning channels or subtle draining patterns for spills. Work with an expert fabricator so your seams are nearly invisible and never catch debris. Consider clean countertop lines to easily sweep crumbs into a cloth instead of gathering them. You’ll thank yourself for this forethought a thousand times in the near future and it will be easier to keep your centrally located countertops gleaming.
Contrast Countertops Define the Kitchen Space
Use a contrasting countertop color to make your kitchen stand out. One risk of an open plan kitchen is that the kitchen blends too well into the current decor. Make a statement and visually define your space with countertops that contrast the rest of your design. The best way to do this is with shade rather than hue. Match your color scheme, but make your counters lighter or darker than the rest of the room.
Dark countertops stand out the best, especially if they are of a distinctive accent color like charcoal or moss green. The grains or veins you choose can also help your countertops stand out by contrasting themselves with the base color and flowing beautifully from one coutnertop section to the next.
Pale countertops can become a gleaming central beacon, beckoning your family and guests to the kitchen for warm conversation and tasty treats while keeping the family chef company during meal prep.
Open-Plan Countertop Features
Don’t forget the unique planning you can do with open plan countertop design. You can create a little fold-over countertop that acts both as a gate against free-flowing chaos and a wheelchair-friendly prep space. You can design your island or room-facing counter as a breakfast bar to welcome the family into the kitchen space without actually coming into your kitchen space.
You can also design your open plan kitchen for more than one chef, with an extra ‘bar sink’ and prep spaces where you won’t bump elbows. Open plan kitchens have a great deal of potential for unique family-welcoming design.
The Backsplash and Kitchen Accent Wall
Don’t forget the beauty of your back wall. Your countertop design can quickly become inspiration for a backsplash that guests will never forget. Custom granite or marble counters can include a uniquely cut backsplash that defines the entire back wall of your kitchen. That back wall can then become a statement piece, an accent wall for the entire open-plan family room. Do something impressive and pick a paint that spotlights your unique countertop and backsplash design.
The Right Organization for Open-Plan Counters
Last but certainly not least, don’t forget your organization features. A few hanging hooks and floating shelves in the right place can help to keep your open-plan countertops clear of clutter. Considering how visible they are, you will want some truly elegant near-counter and on-counter storage. Find wire racks for your pans or an artistically tiered Lazy Suzan for your spices as the finishing touches for your open plan kitchen counter design.
Ready to explore your custom countertop options for an open floor plan home? We can help! Check out our granite gallery to get your imagination started. When you’re ready to start talking about final plans, contact us and meet your stone fabricator who will template and perfect your open plan kitchen design. We look forward to hearing about your home project and working with you to bring your countertop vision into reality.