The Countertop Material That We Loved 25 Years Ago Is Coming Back
Five ways to make it modern.
Updated Feb 16, 2023 2:47 PM
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These days it seems like white marble countertops are ruling the renovation world. The versatile, crowd-favorite surface has swept kitchens across the country—we’ve spotted varieties with intricate veining in Texas and classic speckled gray in Utah. However, across the pond, kitchen manufacturer DeVol is seeing another kind of stone gain traction with its customers: black granite.
According to DeVol’s creative director, Helen Parker, this material’s resurgence has been nearly 25 years in the making. “Black granite was a staple in the 1990s, and it still has a certain understated luxury, especially when honed,” she says. Prior to the Carrara craze, the coarse-grained, igneous rock was the go-to for nearly every design style—farmhouse lovers and minimalists alike put it in their kitchens. And we can back up Parker’s assessment: Some of our most recent kitchen renovation stories have featured the once dated worktop. If you’re still on the fence, ahead are a few fresh takes on the material, starting with encouragement to mix and match.
Soften Things Up With Wood
In Erin Zubot’s French-inspired renovation, she contrasted black granite with a butcher block island. And when paired with creamy beige cabinets, there’s no fear of the dark color visually weighing down her Alberta, Canada, kitchen.
Try Out a Texture
Not only does the wild veining of the granite in this Keri Petersen–designed kitchen offer a marblelike look, the leathered finish leaves a slightly matte appearance (as opposed to honed and polished).
Keep It in the (Color) Family
In Brooklyn, photographer Sebastian Kim stuck to one shade for his $28,000 kitchen: black. Taking a note from the age-old fashion trick, the all-graphite palette keeps things sleek. “Black is always a photographer’s color of choice,” notes Kim.
Continue It Onto the Vent Hood
Instead of swathing the vent hood in this kitchen in her go-to plaster, designer Sapna Aggarwal wrapped it in the same unpolished leathered granite she used on the island. The key to it not reading overly galactic or dark was using a lighter Taj Mahal quartzite around the perimeter of the room. “The contrast doesn’t feel too loud or in your face,” reasons Aggarwal.
Show Off Its Sculptural Side
British designer Matilda Goad‘s black granite counters are a striking contrast to her limewashed walls, so naturally she wanted to use the same material for the backsplash. Originally, she opted for a slab that was just 2 inches tall, but as she used her space more and more, she noticed that the patch behind the sink was starting to get stained. Her fix: She tasked a stonemason with carving an additional scalloped piece so she no longer has to worry about water getting on her walls.