20 Best Modern Kitchen Counters

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By Jennifer Baum Lagdameo / Published by Dwell
The kitchen is the heart of your home—so choose a counter that works for your lifestyle and gets the job done the way you want.

Along with the kitchen counter being the place where you prep meals, it's also usually the go-to spot where people tend to congregate. Here, we've gathered 20 of our favorite modern kitchen counters, which range from warm wooden countertops to sleek stainless-steel surfaces. They'll certainly set you up with ample inspiration for your next kitchen renovation.

Custom Black Walnut Kitchen Counter in Brooklyn

20 Best Modern Kitchen Counters - Photo 1 of 20 - A slab of black walnut from North Carolina—beautifully grain-matched—folds over the top and side of this modern custom kitchen island. Custom kitchen cabinetry was designed by Workstead and fabricated by woodworker Bartenschlager. 

A slab of black walnut from North Carolina—beautifully grain-matched—folds over the top and side of this modern custom kitchen island. Custom kitchen cabinetry was designed by Workstead and fabricated by woodworker Bartenschlager. 

20 Best Modern Kitchen Counters - Photo 2 of 20 - In the kitchen, designer Maca Huneeus prepares lunch with her daughters Ema, 12, and Ofelia, 7. The pendants are Jonathan Adler; the island is a custom design, inspired by a 1960s Dansk tray that belonged to Huneeus’s mother. The barstools are from Blu Dot.

In the kitchen, designer Maca Huneeus prepares lunch with her daughters Ema, 12, and Ofelia, 7. The pendants are Jonathan Adler; the island is a custom design, inspired by a 1960s Dansk tray that belonged to Huneeus’s mother. The barstools are from Blu Dot.

20 Best Modern Kitchen Counters - Photo 3 of 20 - The highlight of this open kitchen is its stunning countertop. In the dining room, Hans Wegner Wishbone chairs sit snugly beneath a table that's custom-made out of Celery Top Pine by Tasmanian furniture designer Dave McKean. The drum lighting pendants by Axiom were also made with local timber.

The highlight of this open kitchen is its stunning countertop. In the dining room, Hans Wegner Wishbone chairs sit snugly beneath a table that's custom-made out of Celery Top Pine by Tasmanian furniture designer Dave McKean. The drum lighting pendants by Axiom were also made with local timber.

20 Best Modern Kitchen Counters - Photo 4 of 20 - A dark concrete counter and blue laminate cabinets surround the Jenn-Air microwave drawer in architect Janet Bloomberg’s kitchen. The pendant hanging above the table is a Tejido Round Suspension from Artemide. 

A dark concrete counter and blue laminate cabinets surround the Jenn-Air microwave drawer in architect Janet Bloomberg’s kitchen. The pendant hanging above the table is a Tejido Round Suspension from Artemide. 

20 Best Modern Kitchen Counters - Photo 5 of 20 - An elegant palette of materials defines this open kitchen. The rear counter is made with sanded stainless-steel, while the island counter is Purpleheart (an exotic hardwood) with a range by Dacor.

An elegant palette of materials defines this open kitchen. The rear counter is made with sanded stainless-steel, while the island counter is Purpleheart (an exotic hardwood) with a range by Dacor.

20 Best Modern Kitchen Counters - Photo 6 of 20 - In the kitchen of the "iT House," all of the kitchen appliances, cupboards, and counters have been united in a single, self-contained island that was designed in collaboration with Bulthaup. The architects wanted an unfussy space, and they rejected easy-access overhanging cabinets. "There's an emphasis on convenience in the world that is all about numbing things," says Alan Koch.

In the kitchen of the "iT House," all of the kitchen appliances, cupboards, and counters have been united in a single, self-contained island that was designed in collaboration with Bulthaup. The architects wanted an unfussy space, and they rejected easy-access overhanging cabinets. "There's an emphasis on convenience in the world that is all about numbing things," says Alan Koch.

20 Best Modern Kitchen Counters - Photo 7 of 20 - The minimalist bright white modern kitchen of this Italian vacation home in Salento showcases a sleek steel cabinet system and a Kono hood from Elmar.

The minimalist bright white modern kitchen of this Italian vacation home in Salento showcases a sleek steel cabinet system and a Kono hood from Elmar.

20 Best Modern Kitchen Counters - Photo 8 of 20 - A new kitchen at the front of this London townhouse completes the trifecta of reworked rooms on the main level. It fits nicely into the notion of balancing new and old elements throughout the house, with oak detailing married to exposed brick, offset by strip lamps. The Hee bar stools are by HAY, the Caravaggio P3 pendants are by Light Years, and the range oven is from Britannia.

A new kitchen at the front of this London townhouse completes the trifecta of reworked rooms on the main level. It fits nicely into the notion of balancing new and old elements throughout the house, with oak detailing married to exposed brick, offset by strip lamps. The Hee bar stools are by HAY, the Caravaggio P3 pendants are by Light Years, and the range oven is from Britannia.

20 Best Modern Kitchen Counters - Photo 9 of 20 - What the original building lacked in period detailing, it made up for with massive interior spaces, natural light, and a hardy palette of wood and raw brick. Working with these loft signatures, David developed the gigantic kitchen on the upper floor running the width of the building, with a 37-foot-long solid walnut counter on top of stainless-steel cabinets. This unites the dining, cooking, and social spaces that run the length of the front facade on the upper floor.

What the original building lacked in period detailing, it made up for with massive interior spaces, natural light, and a hardy palette of wood and raw brick. Working with these loft signatures, David developed the gigantic kitchen on the upper floor running the width of the building, with a 37-foot-long solid walnut counter on top of stainless-steel cabinets. This unites the dining, cooking, and social spaces that run the length of the front facade on the upper floor.

20 Best Modern Kitchen Counters - Photo 10 of 20 - Built-in kitchen cabinets and a monolithic island help keep the space uncluttered in this beautiful modern Scandinavian kitchen. The wall ovens are from Gaggenau.

Built-in kitchen cabinets and a monolithic island help keep the space uncluttered in this beautiful modern Scandinavian kitchen. The wall ovens are from Gaggenau.

20 Best Modern Kitchen Counters - Photo 11 of 20 - An imaginary axis divides the floor plan down the middle, with the open-plan living room and kitchen to the south and three bedrooms to the north. In the dining area, a freestanding island hides appliances and piping, while also providing counter space. Floor-to-ceiling windows make the outside deck and garden feel like an extension of the interior.

An imaginary axis divides the floor plan down the middle, with the open-plan living room and kitchen to the south and three bedrooms to the north. In the dining area, a freestanding island hides appliances and piping, while also providing counter space. Floor-to-ceiling windows make the outside deck and garden feel like an extension of the interior.

20 Best Modern Kitchen Counters - Photo 12 of 20 - Twin daughters Merle and Anine join their parents in the family’s kitchen, designed by Jensen for Vipp. He explains that his role as chief designer at Vipp is to "work with their DNA" by refining the company’s trademark materials: stainless steel, painted metal, and rubber. For the utilitarian kitchen, "we wanted to get the feeling of a tool," he says. "It’s nice to have a space where you can actually work." The gas stovetop is by ABK and the refrigerator is by Smeg; Le Perroquet spotlights are from iGuzzini.

Twin daughters Merle and Anine join their parents in the family’s kitchen, designed by Jensen for Vipp. He explains that his role as chief designer at Vipp is to "work with their DNA" by refining the company’s trademark materials: stainless steel, painted metal, and rubber. For the utilitarian kitchen, "we wanted to get the feeling of a tool," he says. "It’s nice to have a space where you can actually work." The gas stovetop is by ABK and the refrigerator is by Smeg; Le Perroquet spotlights are from iGuzzini.

20 Best Modern Kitchen Counters - Photo 13 of 20 - A Foscarini Gregg Pendant hangs above the kitchen table. The island is made of oak with a thin, black stone countertop.

A Foscarini Gregg Pendant hangs above the kitchen table. The island is made of oak with a thin, black stone countertop.

20 Best Modern Kitchen Counters - Photo 14 of 20 - Although it mimics the appearance of rickety mining shanties, the home is airtight. Triple-glazed windows and highly insulated walls contribute to its overall net-zero status.

Although it mimics the appearance of rickety mining shanties, the home is airtight. Triple-glazed windows and highly insulated walls contribute to its overall net-zero status.

20 Best Modern Kitchen Counters - Photo 15 of 20 - This kitchen combines functionality and affordability with minimalism and clean lines. The solid wood and plywood are completed with MDF panels and come in two options: natural oiled or varnished. 

This kitchen combines functionality and affordability with minimalism and clean lines. The solid wood and plywood are completed with MDF panels and come in two options: natural oiled or varnished. 

20 Best Modern Kitchen Counters - Photo 16 of 20 - For a Toronto couple with a love of minimalist Japanese architecture, a sleek, storage-packed kitchen was the first priority in their home's renovation. The white oak used for the cabinets, kitchen island, and dining table is finished with double-boiled linseed oil, which can be reapplied by the homeowners as the wood mellows and patinas. The white oak used for the cabinets, kitchen island, and dining table is finished with double-boiled linseed oil, which can be reapplied by the homeowners as the wood mellows and patinas.

For a Toronto couple with a love of minimalist Japanese architecture, a sleek, storage-packed kitchen was the first priority in their home's renovation. The white oak used for the cabinets, kitchen island, and dining table is finished with double-boiled linseed oil, which can be reapplied by the homeowners as the wood mellows and patinas. The white oak used for the cabinets, kitchen island, and dining table is finished with double-boiled linseed oil, which can be reapplied by the homeowners as the wood mellows and patinas.

20 Best Modern Kitchen Counters - Photo 17 of 20 - In the kitchen, the showstopping ceiling’s herringbone pattern is echoed by the terra-cotta tiles on the floor. Architect Michael O’Sullivan, who designed the steel-and-glass kitchen cabinets, the table, and the pendant lights (made by Lava Glass), further amped up the richness of the room by specifying an onyx kitchen island. Interior designer Yvette Jay, a collaborator and classmate of O’Sullivan, kept her material palette "tight and limited. I had to restrict myself so that everything here ties in with the architecture."

In the kitchen, the showstopping ceiling’s herringbone pattern is echoed by the terra-cotta tiles on the floor. Architect Michael O’Sullivan, who designed the steel-and-glass kitchen cabinets, the table, and the pendant lights (made by Lava Glass), further amped up the richness of the room by specifying an onyx kitchen island. Interior designer Yvette Jay, a collaborator and classmate of O’Sullivan, kept her material palette "tight and limited. I had to restrict myself so that everything here ties in with the architecture."

20 Best Modern Kitchen Counters - Photo 18 of 20 - A sturdy concrete countertop curves around the entire length of the kitchen, finished in a texture Webster describes as "bug splattered."  Its circular motif reappears in the custom cabinets’ finger pulls, which also help ventilate the cupboards. The fixtures are from Kubus and the appliances are from Miele.

A sturdy concrete countertop curves around the entire length of the kitchen, finished in a texture Webster describes as "bug splattered."  Its circular motif reappears in the custom cabinets’ finger pulls, which also help ventilate the cupboards. The fixtures are from Kubus and the appliances are from Miele.

20 Best Modern Kitchen Counters - Photo 19 of 20 - The kitchen of this Bay Area houseboat is marked by its Wolf gas range, white Carrara marble countertop bar, and Cobb Rise & Fall pendants by Original BTC. The architect designed a custom wine glass holder, which hangs nearby.

The kitchen of this Bay Area houseboat is marked by its Wolf gas range, white Carrara marble countertop bar, and Cobb Rise & Fall pendants by Original BTC. The architect designed a custom wine glass holder, which hangs nearby.

20 Best Modern Kitchen Counters - Photo 20 of 20 - This sleek wood  kitchen counter has a matching wood backsplash designed by Christian Woo.

This sleek wood kitchen counter has a matching wood backsplash designed by Christian Woo.

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