I’d like to focus on a design trend that has been growing in popularity for the last few years. (It’s loved by design bloggers such as SoloThais, Desire to Decorate, and Design Manifest.) It’s a design trend that require more stone in the kitchen, and, as a firm believer in the semi-ancient proverb “Your junk food lives in plastic, but a wise man covers all his surfaces with gorgeous natural stone from Granite Grannies,” we are excited about waterfall islands and counters.
A waterfall counter, also called a riser, is a fresh addition to the kitchen (or bathroom) because it breaks away from the expected horizontal countertops. The stone continues vertically down the sides of the island, creating a wonderful flow. This ties the countertops to the floor, giving the whole space a unified, connected feeling.
In the image below, the marble on the island is continued down one side. Notice how the pattern continues flawlessly over the right angle. The baseboard-esque piece at the bottom anchors the crisp, straight lines of the island. This kitchen certainly has modern elements and clean lines, but it also contains many traditional elements. In addition to affecting the lines of the room, this waterfall island also lightens up the dark space created by the floor and cabinets. The extra marble balances out the full backsplash, brightens up the room, and add energy, movement, and elegance to a quiet, straightforward kitchen.
This luxurious stone is Elegant Brown Granite from Brazil. The waterfall island in this granite adds warmth and contrast to the modern design. It looks like the far end of the waterfall edge also hides an appliance!
Waterfall risers are a great way to show off an unusual or exotic stone. This kitchen uses beautiful Indus Gold Limestone as the countertops. A vertical run of stone is a great way to make the kitchen look great from the adjacent rooms.
This waterfall island has Silver Travertine running down both sides. The stone extends farther than the cabinet to create a seating area. When not in use, the stools slide under and out of sight. I would have even recommended running the Travertine up the vertical where the stools are to avoid scuffs, scratches, and dirt from shoes and feet (especially with children!).
The black soapstone on this waterfall island creates a totally different look than if the focal point of the room had been the stark white cabinets that are to the right. Soapstone is soft to the touch and is a natural heat conductor. It warms up the modern design and softens it so that the room is both a stunning example of modern design and a comfortable, livable space.
Here’s another soapstone waterfall island, but in a much more traditional kitchen. The vertical soapstone on the walls and island adds weight in a kitchen that is otherwise light and airy. This balances the room, highlights the open space, and proved continuity from the counters to the floor. The top bar plus the waterfall island adds complexity to the island, which contrasts nicely with the simple cabinet design.
And last but not least: waterfall counters in the bathroom. This is a wonderful bathroom design. Note how the marble continues up from the tub on the left, encases the mirror, and then continues down the other side to meet the shower and floor. Nothing says luxury in the bathroom like marble flowing gently across the floor, counters, and up the wall.