Choose a countertop that's durable and easy to clean. Justrich recommends looking into granite or composite materials like Caesarstone first. For a bigger statement, go for stainless steel, zinc or natural wood. Aim for light, smooth and reflective materials. Large-format tiles or slabs of stone will minimize grout lines and create a smooth and easy-to-clean surface.
Kelly recommends sticking with a single countertop material, with a slight variation at the pantry or island, for consistency and simplicity.
Kelly keeps his materials choices as simple and natural as possible. Slate, marble and wood are all common choices. He recommends sticking to a small palette — three or four materials — to keep it simple. Look for light-colored cabinetry to keep the space open and bright, using other materials in small doses for visual depth and texture.
The other little things — lighting, fixtures, bar stools and hardware — can tie the look of the kitchen together. Again, less is more here. "Kitchens of multiple materials and colors require a lot of finesse," says Ahmann.
Tell us: How did you choose your kitchen materials palette?
Homeowner Workbook: How to Remodel a Kitchen