A dark, richly veined stone can actually feel less dramatic when paired with dark cabinets. Whether you use espresso wood or a modern painted gray, as shown in the previous photo, coordinating a base tone in the stone with one of a similar darkness or lightness in the cabinets will help the two connect.
Pure white countertops, generally only available in manufactured materials such as Corian or Caesarstone, bring a contemporary, minimalist freshness that no natural stone can match. Luckily, these materials resist stains well, so they can stay a crisp white for years with just a little care. This stark look works well in contemporary spaces. As mentioned, the severity of a true white can fight a traditional decor, but in a modern space it feels appropriately crisp. It’s especially effective in small spaces, such as compact condo kitchens, paired with minimalist white cabinets to give the illusion of a bigger space.
Flecked or Softly Veined White. One of the most common and coveted countertop finishes is a stone or manufactured slab material, such as quartz, in a white or off‐white shade with a light multitonal fleck or grain to give it subtle natural richness. This snowy, sparkling look works well in many situations since it is very neutral but also contemporary and fresh. The pale tone brings a sense of cleanness and lightness to the space with a twist of subtle sophistication. In more traditional kitchens, this is usually a better choice than a true minimalist white countertop, which can be too severe and fight with the elegance of other elements such as knotty woods, Shaker cabinets or lantern pendant lights.