This eye-catching look is made more accessible thanks to the growing variety of quartz options to homeowners.


It is nearly impossible to avoid designing a kitchen that will eventually look out of style. Cherry wood cabinets, anyone? Even if your countertops and layout stand the test of time, your appliances will not. Unlike other rooms in your home that may be redone in stages and evolve over time, kitchens are typically a snapshot of the year they were completed. And that's okay! As long as you genuinely love the finishes and materials you put in your kitchen at the time, you won't mind seeing them 8-10 years down the road.

So, if you're planning on putting a 2019 stamp on your kitchen, here's what you need to know about the latest countertop trends. Last year saw the rise of quartz as the preferred countertop material over granite and marble. And for good reason—it's super durable, non-porous, and comes in an increasing variety of styles since it's man-made. We don't anticipate the quartz trend to wane in 2019, but we are seeing a more specific look in countertop design, away from plain white countertops and toward those with more eye-catching color variation.

While the surge of solid quartz countertops is likely a response to the excess of busy, speckled granite we saw everywhere in the early 2000s, we're now seeing a shift back toward center with the rise of countertops featuring less densely packed color variation. The color—which appears in the form of veining that contrasts against the main shade of the stone—is more random and larger in scale than speckled patterns, but leaves a good amount of space in between each ripple.

Veining appears organically in certain marbles and granites (typically at high demand and cost), but because quartz is manufactured, you can buy countertops with a specific veining pattern without going searching for the one specific slab you like. There are several styles of marble-look quartz with a white background and gray, tan, or black veining, ranging from more subtle to quite dramatic.

But white is not the only background color option. There are black stones with white and gray veining, as well as gray stones with white veining. In a large slab on an unobstructed island top or backsplash, the random veining makes the stone look more natural and unique. We've increasingly seen designers opting for this style of countertop, and we think the beautiful results will undoubtedly catch on.

Here are a few ideas to make your countertop veining pack an even bigger punch: Try pairing hardware that plays up the color of the veining, like black hardware against a white stone with gray or black veining.

Installing a stone with larger ripples of veining makes for an especially dramatic statement when the same slab runs up the wall as the backsplash, or when countertops continue down the sides of a cabinet or island in a waterfall finish. (Plus, It's also a stunning option in bathrooms.)