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Countertop Options For A Contemporary Bathroom Design

There are many different materials that can be used for the countertops in your contemporary bathroom design. From unique patterns only found in nature to nonporous surfaces that block bacteria and stains, each material has its benefits. With so many possibilities, it’s important to weigh your options before making a final decision. Here are four countertop options from Willow Lane Cabinetry for contemporary bathroom vanities and some key information about each.


Quartzite originates as pure sandstone and is a metamorphic rock. Since it is a natural stone, it offers a unique variation in design for a truly one-of-a-kind look. If you love marble but find it to be too much maintenance, opt for quartzite. The swirling white and grey color mimics marble, and is certainly one of its favorite features. It is also scratch, stain, and heat resistant. Since many contemporary bathrooms tend to be predominantly neutral and monochromatic, this material is excellent for complementing those popular white or grey custom cabinets. All of the quartzite countertops from Willow Lane Cabinetry also come pre-sealed, so there is no maintenance sealing required.

1-14-20 RTA2-Pangea Acrylic Countertop 2. Acrylic

Acrylic is a solid surface and 100% man-made. It’s great as a countertop (especially in high-traffic areas like bathrooms and kitchens) because it is non-porous, which means bacteria and stains cannot penetrate the surface. It is also extremely easy to clean and considerably low maintenance. If you prefer contemporary bathroom vanities that feature an integrated sink, acrylic might be the best countertop option for you. Solid surfaces like acrylic are the only countertop materials that can create that seamless appearance in your custom cabinets.

1-14-20 WLC3-Pavarotti Quartz Countertop

 3. Quartz

Some homeowners consider quartz to be the best of both worlds. It is essentially an engineered stone, made of natural and man-made materials. Quartz countertops are composed of more than 90% quartz, but the addition of polymers, resins, and other types of pigments makes it non-porous and greatly increases its durability. This combination is very appealing to some homeowners, because it combines the beauty of nature with the efficiency of science.

1-14-20 RTA4-Baratta Granite

4. Granite

Last but not least, let’s take a look at granite. This breathtaking natural material boasts a brilliant array of speckles and swirls that can truly awe. Each design is unique, and you will find granite in a range of tones from black to white. Granite can be porous and may require more maintenance than some of the other materials. However, with sealing, granite becomes more durable and resistant to scratches, stains and heat. While some granite countertops require routine resealing, granite countertops from Willow Lane Cabinetry come pre-sealed and never have to be resealed!


Welcome to Willow Lane Cabinetry — the #1 place to buy affordable, semi-custom cabinets online! Let us help you create the kitchen, home office, home bar, laundry room, TV room or bath of your dreams with our 100% free room design tool. We offer all wood cabinetry, fully assembled and delivered for free, plus all the accessories needed to complete your remodel. Visit our website to see our products today!

Ideas for Custom Kitchen Islands

Kitchen islands are becoming a staple in more and more kitchens because they take care of so many practical needs, while also adding a stylish element to the room. If you’re looking into installing an island in your kitchen or updating an existing one, you’ll find numerous options for kitchen island designs.

To ensure you end up with the island of your dreams, we highly encourage you to consider how you use your kitchen and keep that as your focal point. This will help you determine which specific functions the island will handle and then you can go about customizing it to suit your personal style and most important needs. Let’s take a look at a few popular island designs and ideas.

  1. Custom Cabinets

Cabinets are an excellent way to store kitchen equipment and other items, while keeping them out of sight behind closed doors. Design an island with custom cabinets that will best store the items you want to keep in your island for convenient access, such as pots and pans, bakeware and appliances.

  1. Cook Station

If you plan on doing a lot of actual cooking at your island, you’ll want to include a cooktop and, ideally, a large butcher block, a prep sink and a pullout waste container.

Depending on how many spices you use in your cooking, you may also want to add built-in shallow shelves specifically designed for storing spice jars, so you’ll always have them within easy reach.

  1. Unconventional Shape

While most of us envision a rectangular or square shape when thinking about kitchen islands, keep an open mind when looking at different design options – especially if your kitchen has a unique layout that may not be conducive to a more traditionally shaped island. L-shaped islands are increasing in popularity and bean-shaped islands are a fun alternative, too.

  1. Waterfall Edge Countertop

A waterfall edge countertop – where the countertop extends vertically down the sides of the island – provides a sleek, dramatic look, creating a focal point that constantly draws the eye to the center of the kitchen.

Providing strong, clean lines, a waterfall edge is ideal for contemporary kitchens. Islands with a waterfall counter down one end will create a strong 90-degree angle, while a waterfall edge down both sides of the island creates appealing symmetry.

  1. Open Shelves

Often, the spaces at the ends of islands are overlooked. Be sure to keep this space in mind when customizing your kitchen island so that you can best utilize every aspect of your island. These end spaces can be used to display items you use often, such as coffee mugs and favorite cookbooks, or to add thoughtful, welcoming décor like framed photos or artwork.

  1. Double Up

While installing two islands will certainly not be practical for every kitchen, if you do have the space and the budget, it can be an excellent option. By having two medium-sized islands instead of one larger one, you’ll cut down on unused space in the middle of the kitchen. Also, with the path that’s created between two islands, you’ll be able to move about your kitchen more easily.

A substantial benefit to this set-up is being able to create more efficient work zones. For example, one island can be dedicated to meal prep and/or cooking, while the other can be used for eating meals and snacks, working and, if you have kids, doing homework.

Find creative inspiration from these ideas for custom kitchen islands and tailor them to create an island that will be functional and stylish, while fostering connection with family and friends and bringing you joy and ease when cooking.

Comparing Countertops 101

Roosevelt Sage with Chocolate Distress and Honey Highlights – Willow Lane Cabinetry

When choosing a countertop for your kitchen you want both spot-on style and killer quality. We’re sure a few materials come to mind, but figuring out which type of kitchen countertop is the best fit for your home and budget can be a bit tricky. Here we’ll evaluate the most popular countertop materials to help you pick the one that’s right for you.

Laminate Kitchen Countertops

Roosevelt Ginger Vandyke Distress – Willow Lane CabinetryIf the word laminate alone makes you shudder, it’s time to change your opinion on this inexpensive, durable and versatile countertop material. Yes, laminate is pretty much a piece of plastic glued onto a board, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t look great or last long. That “piece of plastic” is soaked, treated and sealed to make it highly resistant to stains and grease. With proper care and installation, laminate offers a great countertop option at a fraction of the cost.

Granite Kitchen Countertops

Granite offers a level of uniqueness that no other countertop material can provide. Since it is made from natural stone, no two pieces will be the same. For a long time, granite was considered a very high-end material, and was not an affordable option for the majority of homeowners. With more shipping possibilities and advanced technologies, granite has become more accessible, and is now one of the most popular countertop materials. Granite is sold in 9×5 foot slabs, so if your kitchen remodel requires different measurements, you will most likely incur a “waste fee” to cover the unused material. You can avoid these excess charges by keeping these dimensions in mind when planning your kitchen design.

Engineered Stone Kitchen Countertops

A hybrid of crushed down rock and polyester or acrylic resin, engineered stone gives the look of natural stone, but is less fragile. Since it is manufactured, it’s also available in a wider range of colors, making it a likely choice for those trying to match their countertops with a specific kitchen cabinet finish or flooring. The downfall of engineered stone is that it is a bit pricey; you are almost paying as much as you would for natural stone without getting the real thing. It is less likely to scratch than granite, but cracking is still possible.

Stainless Steel Kitchen Countertops

Society Tidewater – Willow Lane CabinetryFound in most restaurant kitchens, stainless steel countertops are attractive for their anti-microbial properties and ability to resist heat. They are less common in homes partly because they can be expensive and hard to come by, but also because they are hard to keep as spotless and shiny as you imagine. Stainless steel countertops show water spots more easily, and can be smudged up when touched by greasy hands.

Wood Kitchen Countertops

Butcher Block Top Kitchen Island in Black Finish – Willow Lane CabinetryWood countertops are beautiful, but can easily be damaged by water, making it difficult to keep their appearance, especially around sinks. On the plus side, wood countertops are considered resistant to bacteria, and won’t dull your knife during food prep. A penetrating oil or finish will need to be applied to protect wood countertops, and will make touching up scratches much easier. Wood is best as an attractive accent countertop, for example, on a kitchen island.

Tile Kitchen Countertops

DIY’ers love tile countertops because they can install them on their own, and tile comes in a wide variety of colors and shapes. The drawback of tile is the grout, which can make keeping that clean appearance a bit more difficult. Some varieties of tile can also be porous (like marble and limestone), meaning they can stain and become discolored over time. Using large tile in a hard, non-porous material (like porcelain) can offer less maintenance while being just as much fun.

Welcome to Willow Lane Cabinetry — the #1 place to buy affordable, semi-custom cabinets online! Let us help you create the kitchen of your dreams with our 100% free kitchen design service. We offer all wood, semi-custom kitchen cabinets, fully assembled and delivered for free, with standard features like soft closing doors and drawers, and 6-way adjustable steel hinges. We give you more and save you money! Visit our website to see our beautiful products today!


How To Mix And Match Countertop Styles

Contrasting Countertops In A Kitchen

Mixing and matching countertop styles is a popular trend with designers and homeowners alike. And for good reason! Choosing different countertop surfaces adds visual interest and that desirable custom touch to your kitchen. And it’s simple to do — with a little know-how, of course. Just like mixing and matching colors, fabrics, and textures in your decor, and cabinet styles and finishes, you want to follow the rules of good design to strike the perfect balance in your space.

The Rule of Threes

When it comes to decorating, three is the magic number. Odd numbered items are always visually more appealing, and anything more than three will just be overkill. With that said, when it comes to large items like your countertop surface, you may want to go with the less is more approach. If you want to be adventurous, go with three different surface materials but stick to a common hue, or at least a color that compliments your scheme. Or take the more conservative approach and select two completely different surfaces that enhance the overall look of your kitchen. For example, dark granite countertops below your cabinets, paired with a butcher-block top, in a natural finish, on a built-in kitchen island. Whatever you choose, they should be placed apart, but connect visually. 

Practicality and Placement

Butcher Block Island Countertop

In addition to good design, consider practicality and how your surfaces will function. Opt for durable, stain-and-moisture-resistant materials like stainless steel, quartz or granite next to the cooktop or sink, and accent with marble, wood, or tile in areas where you will be baking, or housing canisters and small appliances like your toaster or stand mixer. Kitchen islands are a great focal point in a kitchen, and the perfect place to showcase your style. A raised bar top with extra seating is also a great place to transition between countertop styles.

Color Consideration

Always consider the color of your cabinets and floors first, and choose countertops that compliment both, and tie the two together. When using two separate surfaces, contrast is key. For a balanced look, pair dark perimeter countertops with a neutral or light island, or vice versa. For example, if you have white cabinets, you could opt for black granite with little variation, paired with a veiny white marble. And if you have dark cabinets, you could go with mottled quartz in light tones of brown, and pair that with a charcoal gray stainless steel. If you decide to go for three separate surfaces, keep two tone-on tone, and contrast with the third. For example, cool gray granite and stainless steel, paired with warm wood.

Welcome to Willow Lane Cabinetry — the #1 place to buy affordable, semi-custom cabinets online! Let us help you create the kitchen of your dreams with our 100% free kitchen design service. We offer all wood, semi-custom kitchen cabinets, fully assembled and delivered for free, with standard features like soft closing doors and drawers, and 6-way adjustable steel hinges. We give you more and save you money! Visit our website to see our beautiful products today!

TiffanyWritten by Tiffany.  Tiffany honed her skills as a writer and editor working in the fast-paced newspaper, magazine, and television industries. Tiffany is also an award winning graphic designer, with extensive experience in the worlds of mass media, publishing, and advertising. As a designer, she also has a strong eye for interior decorating and color. Tiffany has a BA in Communications and a minor in Fine Art. She is a natural cook just like her mother, and rarely uses a recipe. She also enjoys reading, photography, painting—and most of all, spending time with her husband (a skilled DIY’er) and two sons.

6 Metallic Accents To Incorporate Into Your Kitchen

Society Shaker Steel Gray with Black Island – Willow Lane Cabinetry

Metallic finishes are one of the top home design trends for 2016, and there are tons of interesting and eye-catching ways to add this stylish element to your kitchen. Here are a few of our favorite ways:

  1. Metallic Backsplashes

Venetian Glass and Aluminum Tile in Satin Copper – Willow Lane CabinetryA metallic backsplash is definitely a top pick, as well as the easiest way to incorporate this trend into your kitchen. Depending on the layout of your kitchen and how much of a wow-factor you’re trying to achieve, you could tile anything from the small space above your oven to the entire area between your kitchen cabinets and countertops. You will be able to find a wide selection of metallic tiles to achieve the look you want, and can go with either a subtle metallic infused color to complement your current color scheme or a true silver, copper or gold.

  1. Metallic Tile Flooring

There is something incredibly alluring about metallic tile, and it can look amazing when used as flooring within a modern, contemporary, or even traditional kitchen. If you’ve had your mind set on new flooring for a while, consider this unique avenue and choose a tile in a rich color and metallic finish to update your kitchen floors.

  1. Metallic Countertops

Society Shaker Tidewater – Willow Lane CabinetryIf you’re all about stainless steel everything and love industrial kitchen design, go crazy and install a stainless steel countertop. This popular metal is strong, heat and stain resistant, nonporous and hygienic. Plus the sleek look will blend in seamlessly with stainless steel appliances and create an ultra contemporary feel. The monotone color scheme will also leave room for some exciting accessorizing, paint choices, or flooring options. Other metal countertop materials include copper, pewter, and bronze.

  1. Metallic Knobs and Pulls

1-22-16 WLC-3--Asher-Pull-in-Brushed-Oil-Rubbed-BronzeReplacing the hardware on your kitchen cabinets is a simple upgrade, and a great opportunity to incorporate metallic accents into your kitchen. Cabinet pulls and knobs come in finishes like polished brass, brushed antique brass, satin nickel, oil rubbed bronze, pewter, gun metal, matte black, brushed chrome, and more, so there is a style and color to suit every kitchen.

  1. Metallic Pendant Lights and Seating

Metallic pendant lights can illuminate your kitchen, and come in a large selection of styles and finishes to complement your look. Add industrial metal chairs to a wooden table, or stylish barstools with wooden seats and a metal base to your breakfast bar.

  1. Metallic Hoods and Sinks

A metallic sink is an excellent choice to complete your kitchen. Strong and easy to clean, stainless steel sinks are one of the most popular options today, but copper sinks are a unique alternative that can warm up your kitchen. Although it serves a purpose, adding a stainless steel hood to your kitchen can also give your space an amazing, finished look.

Welcome to Willow Lane Cabinetry — the #1 place to buy affordable, semi-custom cabinets online! Let us help you create the kitchen of your dreams with our 100% free kitchen design service. We offer all wood, semi-custom kitchen cabinets, fully assembled and delivered for free, with standard features like soft closing doors and drawers, and 6-way adjustable steel hinges. We give you more and save you money! Visit our website to see our beautiful products today!


5 Tips To Get More Countertop Space

Get More Countertop Space

Does your countertop seem to easily clutter up with papers, appliances and kitchen utensils? Does it seem like you are always searching to find the one thing that you need? Even if your countertop space is lacking, there are still a number of ways you can make the most of the space you have. Here are 5 ways to help you get started.

Create A Message Center

Clear out that scattered mess of papers by creating a message center to help you stay organized and on track. Store important papers in a tidy basket or wall organizer, and consider hanging a cork board, chalk board or magnetic board in your kitchen to keep all important notes visible. Don’t forget a place for pens and notepads so that your family can easily leave messages that are sure to be read!

Roll The Clutter Away

Newport Natural Wood Top Portable Kitchen Island In MahoganyIf you want extra space, consider a portable kitchen cart with a butcher-block top. You can use the top for prep as needed, and store kitchen supplies and cookbooks in the cabinets and shelves underneath. Roll it out when you need it, and roll it away when you don’t!

Think Vertically

When drawer space is limited, cooking utensils will often end up in a crock on the counter. But there is a better alternative! Most spatulas, ladles, whisks and spoons have a notch on the handle, perfect for hanging up on wall hooks and out of the way. While you’re at it, ditch the knife block and install a wall-mounted magnetic knife rack to keep your cooking tools in reach.

Maximize Your Storage

Install a tilt out tray for kitchen tools that you use near the sink, like sponges andTilt Out Tray For Sink Base vegetable brushes. And consider finding a new home for your toaster, blender, mixer and coffee maker when they are not in use. When bulky appliances are off of the countertop and out of the way, you’ll have more space for meal preparation.

Utilize The Kitchen Sink

Create a quick prep area by utilizing your sink space. Find a cutting board that is slightly wider than your kitchen sink so that it will easily sit on top while you get to work, and then store it away in a cabinet until you need it again.

There are a number of ways you can minimize clutter while making the most of your kitchen countertop space. Get into the habit of keeping your countertop space clean and your kitchen organized. When everything has a home, cooking and cleanup become simple and stress-free!

Welcome to Willow Lane Cabinetry — the #1 place to buy affordable, semi-custom cabinets online! Let us help you create the kitchen of your dreams with our 100% free kitchen design service. We offer all wood, semi-custom kitchen cabinets, fully assembled and delivered for free, with standard features like soft closing doors and drawers, and 6-way adjustable steel hinges. We give you more and save you money! Visit our website to see our beautiful products today, including space-saving Kitchen Accessories!


Written by Bridgette.  Bridgette Wagner is a freelance writer and English M.A. student with an interest in writing on DIY, travel, and family fun. She loves reading, spending time with her two kiddos and living near the beach in Wilmington, N.C.