The Best Kitchen Countertops for Your Home, According to Design Pros

The world of kitchen countertop materials can be a baffling one. There’s just so much to consider—from the type of look you want for your space to the material that’s going to function best for your home, family, or cooking style. Countertop selection …

The world of kitchen countertop materials can be a baffling one. There’s just so much to consider—from the type of look you want for your space to the material that’s going to function best for your home, family, or cooking style. Countertop selection is also uniquely individual—while there are trends that come and go, ultimately selections must be tailored to the designer, client, or homeowner choosing them. “Many materials come with a long list of upkeep demands, while others are extremely resilient,” says Remodelista’s Christine Chang Hanway. “Be realistic about how much effort you’re willing to put into the care of your countertops.”

Everyone has their own idea of what they’re willing to sacrifice or bend on when pulling together those oh-so-important details. When redesigning the kitchen of our 1820s colonial, my husband and I wanted a “living” countertop material that felt genuine to our home’s provenance and would patina beautifully. After much deliberation, we went with marble countertops and a soapstone island—and we haven’t stopped hearing about it since. While everyone admits they’re beautiful, many are of the opinion that tender stones and high-maintenance marble have no place in a home with a young family. I disagree: their imperfections are what I love most about them.

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How This Baker Turned Her Guest Room into a Bakery

If you walk down Lafayette Avenue between Grand and Classon in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn, you might catch a glimpse of a blonde woman popping her head out of a second-floor window as she lowers a pulley basket containing a paper-wrapped parcel down to a n…

If you walk down Lafayette Avenue between Grand and Classon in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn, you might catch a glimpse of a blonde woman popping her head out of a second-floor window as she lowers a pulley basket containing a paper-wrapped parcel down to a neighbor. Her name is Carla Finley, and the package is a sourdough boule (or a sheet of grape-and-za’atar focaccia, or maybe three toasted pecan cinnamon rolls). Look closer, and you’ll see a rack stacked with warm bread in the window. Shout hello and Finley’ll drop you a card for Apt. 2 Bread, the bakery she runs out of her apartment.

Finely launched Apt. 2 Bread in March 2020, an anxious month for us all. She had been furloughed from her baking job at the Italian-Mediterranean restaurant Il Buco, which she had recently started after a year spent working at the Brooklyn sourdough mecca She Wolf. Apt. 2 Bread was a way for her to stay sane by continuing to use her hands, while also feeding those locked down in her neighborhood, the best way she knew how—with freshly baked bread.

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Lessons From Renovating Our Homes During a Pandemic

March 2020 in Paris was disturbingly warm, a detail I know not from memory but from the pictures on my phone. There we are on our wedge of a balcony, splayed out on green metal chairs, my husband, Guillaume, squinting into the late-day sunlight with my…

March 2020 in Paris was disturbingly warm, a detail I know not from memory but from the pictures on my phone. There we are on our wedge of a balcony, splayed out on green metal chairs, my husband, Guillaume, squinting into the late-day sunlight with my daughter, Mimi, rosy-cheeked and just shy of her first birthday. A few photos later, there’s Mimi in front of our tall living room windows, her hands as plump as balloon animals and pressed against the glass, gazing outside. There are just a few pictures from quick walks around our tumbleweed-quiet neighborhood, the sky cobalt blue over the buildings with their charcoal mansard roofs.

Builder-Grade to Zen Retreat: A DIY Bathroom Makeover

In the spring of 2020, avid DIYer Jenny Flynn and her husband, Bryson, moved into a 1970s fixer-upper in American Fork, UT and have since made swift work of bringing it up to date. Think: monochrome paintings, seating that swerves, and a crisp neutral …

In the spring of 2020, avid DIYer Jenny Flynn and her husband, Bryson, moved into a 1970s fixer-upper in American Fork, UT and have since made swift work of bringing it up to date. Think: monochrome paintings, seating that swerves, and a crisp neutral color palette. There isn’t a room that hasn’t been altered: “My main goal was to create a space that I felt myself in,” says Flynn. Her latest undertaking? The main bathroom which, prior to a two-month long renovation, was chockablock with dated and poorly made fixtures, including an impractically tiny sink and toilet. “[They] felt like they belonged in a dollhouse,” Flynn jokes.

By doing the work herself and keeping the plumbing in place, Flynn was able to recast the uninviting room as a luxurious and calming retreat for just $1,600, the bulk of which she spent on fixtures–a brushed brass faucet joins a sinuous Gio Ponti inspired mirror, non-slip tile, and, of course, a human-sized sink and commode. Even more impressive than the savings is how Earth-first some of the fresh additions are, notably the vanity and paint. “Being environmentally friendly is important to me because little changes I make to be more sustainable can reduce my carbon footprint,” Flynn explains.

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Lessons from an Uber-Minimalist Kitchen—Plus, Where They Keep the Clutter

Architect John Pawson is known for his rigorously minimalistic aesthetic. A typical John Pawson interior looks like it is waiting for the owner to arrive: There’s no clutter and the furnishings are kept to a minimum. Looking at his own bare kitchen and…

Architect John Pawson is known for his rigorously minimalistic aesthetic. A typical John Pawson interior looks like it is waiting for the owner to arrive: There’s no clutter and the furnishings are kept to a minimum. Looking at his own bare kitchen and dining room, it might come as a surprise that Pawson and his wife Catherine have just published a cookbook Home Farm Cooking that’s geared towards home cooks.

Despite the book’s pristine photos of the Pawson’s kitchens, a lot of cooking goes on in the Pawson household. “This book is about home cooking,” says Catherine. “I invited some of my favorite chefs in to collaborate with me on recipes, but the rest are old favorites: some from my mother and John's mother, plus other people's recipes that I've adapted.”

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12 Upgrades You Can Make (& Get Away With) In Your Rental

Rent Like You Mean It is a series all about giving our rental spaces a new lease. We’ve rounded up a whole host of refreshing spruce-ups (and cover-ups), impactful DIYs (plus how to get them back to square one when you leave), and peeks at real-life re…

Rent Like You Mean It is a series all about giving our rental spaces a new lease. We’ve rounded up a whole host of refreshing spruce-ups (and cover-ups), impactful DIYs (plus how to get them back to square one when you leave), and peeks at real-life rental transformations. Because a lease should never stop you from having a space that feels like yours—even if it’s only for a year.


I am passionate about making rentals feel just as decorated and designed as any owned home. I am constantly redecorating my apartment, asking my landlord if I can make updates, and generally (I think) improving the value of the place. By documenting much of this on social media, my hope is to instill some confidence in others that they, too, can make changes and updates to their spaces—without having to worry about getting their security deposits withheld.

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What Restoring an Old Home Can Teach You About Life

Late last year, my husband and I bought an 1826 colonial in the Hudson Valley. As a first-time home owner, the learning curve was steep—there was plenty to be grasped about things like mortgage rates and down payments, real estate trends, and property …

Late last year, my husband and I bought an 1826 colonial in the Hudson Valley. As a first-time home owner, the learning curve was steep—there was plenty to be grasped about things like mortgage rates and down payments, real estate trends, and property investments. Ever the students, my partner and I threw ourselves into mastering anything we thought could come our way after owning the home, too—how to spot water damage, the best method for heating an old house, how to reinforce a rickety stairwell—the list truly went on and on.

I thought my degree in home ownership would be tangible and actionable, a suitcase packed with knowledge about how to renovate and then care for something that we gleefully sunk our savings into. Little did I realize though, that buying an old home came with a slew of less tangible—and perhaps, more important—life lessons, too.

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A Camper That’s Stylish, Functional & Fits a Family of Five

Whenever they can, Californians Roman and Christina Molitvenik pile their three kids, Liam (5), Iris (2), and Matthew (6 months), into their motor home-away-from-home and hit the road. “We want our children to love the outdoors, and the camper is an ea…

Whenever they can, Californians Roman and Christina Molitvenik pile their three kids, Liam (5), Iris (2), and Matthew (6 months), into their motor home-away-from-home and hit the road. “We want our children to love the outdoors, and the camper is an easy way to experience them,” Molitvenik says, adding that it’s also been a great way to travel while social distancing.

And that travel is now both stylish and comfortable thanks to some thoughtful, Scandi-inspired touches: leather benches elevate family dinners; blonde cabinets keep things light and airy; and IKEA bedding beckons the family of five after a long day of hiking.

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4 Interior Designer-Vetted Tips for Picking Bedroom Paint Colors

Even if you don’t necessarily spend a lot of time in your bedroom—and are asleep for most of the time you do spend in there—it’s still worthwhile to make the room beautiful. A well-decorated bedroom will not only bring you joy, but also help you relax …

Even if you don’t necessarily spend a lot of time in your bedroom—and are asleep for most of the time you do spend in there—it’s still worthwhile to make the room beautiful. A well-decorated bedroom will not only bring you joy, but also help you relax and unwind at the end of the day—and wake up on the right side of the bed each morning.

If you’re planning to give your bedroom a lil’ facelift, one of the key decisions you’ll need to make is what color to paint the walls. That’s easier said than done, though, as there are quite literally thousands of hues to choose from—so many, in fact, that you might not know where to start.

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The Best Lighting For Maximum Kitchen Visibility

Shopping for light bulbs can be as simple or complex as you make it. My roommate and I, who spend an inordinate amount of money at the nearby corner store (because it’s right there!), tend to suffer through whatever light bulbs they’ve got in stock—mor…

Shopping for light bulbs can be as simple or complex as you make it. My roommate and I, who spend an inordinate amount of money at the nearby corner store (because it's right there!), tend to suffer through whatever light bulbs they've got in stock—more often than not they're soft white 60-watt incandescents. I realize I should be embarrassed.

But in our living room, where there are four to five lamps lighting a space barely larger than a dog house, these hazy bulbs create a warm, layered blanket of light that we love in the evenings. In the kitchen, however, where we try to use them in lieu of our fluorescent ceiling fixture, they fail—in the kitchen, it turns out, you actually need to be able to see.

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