Design Inspiration: Mixing Different Depth Worktops

2016-03-09_0005OK kitchen kids, here’s your 2016 starter for ten:

Which depth of kitchen work surface should you be specifying to make your block the coolest on the block?

This is a rather important question when designing a kitchen and as you can see from my opening image, when we’re talking worktops, we really are talking worktops. They are utterly central to your whole design. As one of my Twitter pals said when I posted a snap of me leaning on the CaesarStone centrepiece – That’s not a kitchen island, it’s a kitchen continent!

So, should you go thick or thin? The standard worktop surface is between 30 and 40mm generally, but recent innovations in materials & techniques have meant that more slender cuts, 20mm in depth, have become quite the thing to have. I read an article only a few weeks ago saying this was most definitely the case.

Well, let me tell you something, *not* according to the kitchen style gurus at KBB this week. The stands were full of, guess what, super on trend mixes of fat ‘n’ skinny – it’s true folks, you can most definitely be both!

Here’s what I mean:2016-03-09_0003How fantastic does this look?  I LOVE it. The chunky marble solidity of this NeoLith hob slab moulded around the slender grey casing on the lower block just looks fab. The perfect colour scheme for 2016 and done in a really unusual way. Here it is below again from another angle (and also, those incred single hobs coming up on my blog soon). The legs in grained timber are perfect, a great natural contrast to the other materials used. Someone, somewhere in this company deserves a big fat kiss.2016-03-09_0002Here’s the thick + thin look below in a slightly different way on the BauFormat kitchen stand, with the two surfaces meeting instead of wrapping round each other. Much easier for fitters to fit, if not quite as ‘designed’. Also much easier to sit two very different surfaces and materials next to each other this way. Note how the white block is slightly elevated underneath as opposed too the timber effect block, you could chose the start them at the same height if you wanted but this look is maybe a tad more contemporary:2016-03-09_00102016-03-09_0011Grey / charcoal again below but this time with a warm wood (veneer – see recent blog post) which carries through to wall units with the base level the same. I think this was on the Nolte Kutchen stand. Again, the very deep timber effect block is sat next to a super thin and very different surface, creating contrast and interest. I’d have stopped the timber block half way over the handle but that’s just the design pedant in me.2016-03-09_0014Paler this time, with a steelier grey and light wood finish. Try a maple, beech or ash finish for the same effect. This time the thin worktop runs under the thicker one instead of butting up to it. Not quite as neat in my opinion. 2016-03-09_00092016-03-09_0012This look doesn’t always have to be linear but can work fabulously back to back. Above the super thick, timber clad block sits to the back of the grey speckled thinner slab which houses the induction hob, almost creating an upstand. It’s a trade show, so we’ll forgive the lack of visible extraction but that could be easily factored in. The point though? Fat next to skinny and looking great!

Below is a slightly less obvious example but with these very traditional style units, I found the use of different worktop surfaces on the same run quite brave and something you don’t see very often. It works too, don’t you think, the inky blue with the oak and white?2016-03-09_0007Have I got you convinced? Would you use radically different thickness of work surface in the same kitchen, nest to each other?

If not, here’s a few other gorgeous examples I saw which don’t mix thick and thin, but are just as cool for different reasons:2016-03-09_0001This marble surface running up to timber worked really well for me and I loved the use of the greenery as planters as the end. Herbs anyone?2016-03-09_0013This use of concrete effect cladding to doors and worktop creates a very industrial feel, though I’m unsure the splashback in timber works well here. Expect to see many more concrete style / textured kitchen finishes in years to come.

A similar effect is achieved below but with a sleek matt grey finish to cabinetry and worktop. Minimalist and architectural, but easy to funk up with colour and pattern.2016-03-09_00062016-03-09_0004Some companies went for super thin surfaces and some super chunky. Caple’s silver grey sheet worktop was softened by the pale Scandi wood above, whereas RotPunkt’s kitchen / furniture slab was almost table-like.

KBB16 RotPunktThis monolithic hunk below should be dominating the room but strangely it doesn’t feel like that, whether that’s due to the soft greys or simplistic elegant feel to the rest of the cabinets. It just adds warmth and life, even though it’s not ‘real’ wood. That’s a testament to the advances in surface technology, enabling us to have the look of timber and the ability to specify large regular sizes, in manmade materials which don’t easy damage in kitchen environments.2016-03-09_0008So have you decided? Thick, thin…. or both? x

3 thoughts on “Design Inspiration: Mixing Different Depth Worktops

  1. Thick! Every time for me. It just looks more expensive. Although…. very very thin could be good too. I think anything as long as it’s not standard is the key for me. And where are those single hobs from? I need a new hob desperately – is that the answer?

    • Hey Kate! I love the thick ones too but do like the wrap around thick on thin, it’s lushtastic 🙂 I KNEW you’d love those hobs, coming up tmw. I’m wanting a wok one as a separate feature 🙂

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