Counters are not the sexiest kitchen features. Flashier contenders like commercial ranges with red knobs can pump out 20,000 BTUs to simply reheat last night’s dinner. Fridges with technologically advanced cooling systems run as big as your walk-in closet. Even a Vitamix might elicit more oohs and ahhs than the surface it’s sitting on.
But here’s the thing: the countertop really is the star of the kitchen. This utilitarian surface is an unsung hero, wearing many hats daily. Whether assembly line for school lunches, intimate after-school conversation space, kiddie colouring station, gourmet prep centre, dinner party entertaining hub, decorative shelf, midnight refuge or creative incubator for Christmas baking, your counter is pressed into service in more roles than you can shake a rolling pin at. That fancy stove? I guarantee you’ll never use those fifth and sixth burners.
But navigating the world of countertops isn’t for the faint of heart. The knock on laminate and solid surface materials is that they often lack the inherent character of natural stone like granite and marble. Natural stone, although pretty, is prone to cracking and staining. You can’t leave a glass of wine on marble without risking a permanently etched ring. The perfect countertop must get up and go to work daily, but be cocktail-ready at night. Consider Caesarstone’s Dark Collection.
With Caesarstone, form and function dovetail seamlessly in a 93 per cent natural quartz composition with three per cent of a proprietary mix of polymer resin that makes its surface non-porous and scratch-, stain- and crack-resistant. Colours range from solid white to concrete to textured marble; this sophisticated material is a durable and high-performing chameleon. The brand’s new Dark Collection checks off all the demanding roles kitchen surfaces play, all while looking more elegant monolith than basic workhorse.
An antidote to the recent spate of light and ascetic colour palettes, the Dark Collection introduces four new colours in variations of black. This striking new range evokes natural stone, adding warmth to the home while offering staggering drama, depth and texture.
Piatto Black 3101
A recent shift towards darker rooms has rekindled interest in dark surfaces. Piatto Black is the perfect dark, with a fine granular appearance complemented with a textured finish for a deeper, more intense black. Use with monochrome cabinetry and tiles, brass chrome, and brushed copper finishes.
Transformed alloys such as bronze, steel and cast iron have woven a dramatic spell over contemporary design, igniting a desire for alchemical metallic finishes. Oxidian celebrates the industrial aesthetic of patina and the experience of touch. This dark grey base provides depth, thanks to a slightly textured grain. Tarnished with an oxidised russet effect that’s unevenly distributed, just like real rust, this material works well with concrete and lumber, gunmetal or black cabinetry, and with brushed steel or copper hardware.
Empira Black 5101
Black marble has a unique power to express opulence and drama, yet this timeless classic can also suggest the modest beauty of nature through the organic veining that discreetly traces its complex body. Pair with classic hardware, black lacquered cabinets, or dark woods such as walnut.
Black Tempal 5810
Part of Caesarstone’s Metropolitan Collection, Black Tempal has soft mineral deposits that give rise to a delicate, light veil of warm whites across the slab that contrast with the sturdy charcoal base. Brushed steel and gunmetal hardware complement the surface, while putty grey walls and grey-washed woods offer the perfect counterpoint.
Read more in our Design section.