January 2013

I love to read up on what’s happening in remodeling, and while trends come and go, one choice that is consistent among homeowners over the years is the use of wood as a countertop in kitchens.  I’ve always loved the look myself and we opted for a wood kitchen island countertop years ago. 

Hard woods of all kinds can be used in a kitchen – walnut, cherry, and alder among others, and chefs love a giant slab of butcher block for its convenience in food prep.

kitchen countertops in wood bhg


Choosing wood as a countertop brings warmth to a kitchen space in contrast with the common cooler materials used in kitchens such as glass tile, ceramic sinks, or stainless steel appliances.

dark wood kitchen countertops bhg


Wood countertops are also an affordable option in comparison with pricier solid surface choices, and retailers like IKEA sell slabs of butcher block that can be stained darker or even routed with an ogee edge. 

wood kitchen countertops bhg


Wood countertops have a reputation for being a higher maintenance surface than granite or marble, but if sealed properly they’re virtually waterproof.  The one thing homeowners must avoid is the placement of anything too hot on the wood, but trivets and pot pads within arms reach will prevent any accidental burns.


The use of wood in any space brings character to your home and when cared for properly, wood countertops will remain useful and beautiful for years.

wood kitchen countertops around sink


Other helpful articles from the archives:

Wood Countertop Guide

Wood Basics for Kitchens & Baths

Wood Countertop Ideas


Have you installed wood countertops in your kitchen?  Share your thoughts and maintenance tips!



I adore fresh patterns in bright and bold colors and layering them together brings personality to your spaces at home.  If you’re in doubt as to how to successfully mix multiple textiles in your home, here are a few simple tricks to use so that the patterns you love all work in harmony!  

Area rugs ground a space or sitting area and can be used to set the color palette so they are one decorative element should be considered first, not last, when deciding on pattern.  This striped rug  is a jumping off point for this breakfast nook and by pulling colors from the palette established by the stripes, you are free to mix in simple florals and geometric patterns from the same color family.   


striped rug geometric fabric bhg


If you’re more comfortable using neutral tones in your spaces, then layering patterns is one way to keep it interesting.  Mix a large scale graphic pattern (as seen in the rug) with a floral in a slightly smaller scale (notice the sofa), and layer one additional geometric print (the upholstered chairs) for a pulled together look.

mixing patterns florals and geometrics bhg


Sticking to one color gives you permission to mix just about any style of fabrics, like this classic damask mixed with a blue and white buffalo check.  Modern floral pillows on the chair freshen the space when more traditional patterns hang from the windows and are on display inside the hutch.

mixed traditional patterns bhg


Instead of blue, this bedroom is layered in shades of coral but the same principle of monochromatic color applies.  Note how the smaller scale print in the window panels is a pleasant juxtaposition next to the large scale medallion motif on the duvet and shams. 

layered patterns in bedroom bhg


Five different fabrics in the shade of green are layered in this open concept living room connected to the kitchen proving the point that the simplest way to mix and mingle your geometrics, stripes, prints, or floral patterns is to keep them in the same color palette.  The vibrant textile pillow in the center incorporates the citrus shades from other room accents to create a cohesive space. 

mixing patterns bhg


Analagous colors are hues adjacent on the color wheel and since they’re neighbors, they blend together well.  Vibrant pinks and oranges make good mates just like cooler toned greens and blues.

mixed patterns in bedroom bhg


Finally, neutral walls and furnishings always allow for more eclectic mixing of colorful textiles.

 eclectic mix of patterns bhg

To learn more about pairing patterns and colors in complementary or tertiary combinations, be sure to grab Better Homes & Gardens’ Confidence With COLOR – it’s a complete guide for anyone seeking to mix color and pattern throughout the home and one of my go to resources for pulling together prints to create a cohesive space!



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