We're getting more and more requests for "mix-and-match" stone countertop surfaces.
Here's a kitchen we recently completed that combines Juperana Giavota granite on the island and black Ubatuba elsewhere. With the black stained island cabinet, it makes an attractive combination.
Midwesterners aren't usually quick to pick up on avant-garde design trends. They tend to be practical, traditional, and down-to-earth. This is a trend, however, which is all those things.
Having different surfaces for different purposes is very practical. It makes sense to use marble for rolling bread dough on, soapstone for setting piping-hot pans on, and beautiful exotic granite for adding style and personality to a functional space.
White Carrara marble and soapstone make a gorgeous combination! (House Beautiful magazine)
A mix of materials is a sure way to create the warmth and character of a home that has evolved over time.
In this traditional kitchen, the island top is made from Marinachi granite and the area next to the stone is topped with Black Ubatuba. (Better Homes and Gardens Beautiful Kitchens magazine)
Like all lasting design trends, combining materials is a trend that follows lifestyle--what could be more "down-to-earth" than that?
The blend of stones featured in the room pictured above contributes greatly to it's old-world ambiance. Although the darker stone next to the range has a good bit of "movement," it is understated because of it's earthy color. The lighter stone used on the island adds just the right amount of contrast. The feeling that this room conveys would not have been achieved had the designer used the same natural stone throughout the entire kitchen. This room looks like it could have been around forever. (Veranda Magazine)
What homeowners and designers are quickly finding out is that there are ways to mix natural stone surfaces that work (like the examples above) and ways that just don't!
For those of you looking for guidance--here are the rules:
Rule #1. The patterns should vary in size and movement.
Rule #2. The colors should not be too similar, yet, they look best when they are in the same "color family" (warm browns/ beige/rusts or cool blues/greens/grays)
Mixing Tazmin Gold granite with Purple Dunas granite above makes a bad combination! (It breaks rule #1 and rule #2) A kitchen with this pairing would look busy and boring at the same time.
Giallo Vicenza paired with Santa Cecilia may leave people wondering if you ran out of your original granite and were unsuccessful at finding a match. Remember, just like with fabrics, two small prints don't look good together.
Rule #3. The colors of each stone should pick up another color in the room (In other words, there should not be a surface color that "comes out of nowhere")
Rule #4. Different textures help make the mix work. Honed next to polished makes a beautiful contrast.
Warm and earthy soapstone paired with shiny granite is one of my favorite combinations:
Polished Delicatus granite and soapstone
Soapstone and Four Seasons granite--another winning combination.
Rule #5. Don't over do it!
Angola Black (shown below left) could go with most any other stone. The pattern is so minimal, it is considered a solid. See how great it looks next to Portoro (right)
If you substituted a stone with a stronger pattern for the Angola black, the combination could easily be overwhelming.
Finally, the rule that is included in all design rules:
Rule #6. THERE ARE NO RULES!