It's All About Texture: These 10 Materials Will Set Your Kitchen Apart

It's All About Texture: These 10 Materials Will Set Your Kitchen Apart

Nancy Mitchell
Jan 26, 2017
(Image credit: Beth Kirby)

What direction will the design of the kitchen take in 2017? That's a question we've been asking ourselves for the past few weeks, and today we're taking a look specifically at materials — all the separate parts, from cabinets to countertops to floors, that come together to make up your space.

A general trend we've been seeing in kitchen design is a movement away from pure, stark modernism and towards a more layered look that mixes traditional and modern elements. Included on this list are lots of materials with a textured, variegated appearance — lovely, tactile elements that will give any kitchen a bit of warmth and history.



Not those heavily varnished dark cherry cabinets you remember from the early 2000s, but cabinets that celebrate the grain and texture of wood. If you're not sure about doing your whole kitchen in this style, mix it with white uppers, or use wood cabinets only for an island.

Shaker style

Shaker-style cabinets (especially painted in greys or dark colors, like navy or hunter green) add instant sophistication to a kitchen. They're a great fit for more traditional or country-style kitchens, but also a nice way to add detail to a modern space as well.



Soapstone is beautifully veined, pleasant to the touch, and instantly imparts to any kitchen a sort of old-world grandeur. (It's also, as a bonus, much lower-maintenance than marble.)

(Image credit: Plain English)


Butcherblock countertops are a great way to bring the warmth of wood into your kitchen, and they're a much more budget-friendly option than stone.

(Image credit: Bon Appetit)


Marble is still going strong and is especially nice when contrasted with natural wood elements, whether in the form of cabinets, open shelving, or a contrasting wooden worktop.



Terracotta tiles have a beautiful, textured, old-world feel, and are a perfect complement to kitchens of pretty much any style.

(Image credit: Popham Design)

Cement tile

Cement tiles, or encaustic tiles, are a lovely choice for a kitchen floor. Owing to their texture, even the brand new ones have this look of having been there forever, and their patterns can provide a nice contrast to the starkness of a modern kitchen.

(Image credit: Houzz)

Worn wood

A classic, and a great choice for any kitchen that needs a little extra warmth. Look for wide-plank or reclaimed styles to really take advantage of the texture of the wood.


Zellige tiles

Zellige tiles are like the grown-up, slightly more mysterious cousin of subway tile. They come in simple shapes, usually square, but their subtle texture adds a bit of excitement to any space.

Cement tile

Just as nice on the backsplash are they are on the floor.


This is really a very new idea, but there's nothing better than a brass backsplash to add a touch of glamour to your kitchen. It looks especially nice in a dark-hued kitchen, and a few dings and nicks only enhance its beauty.

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