White is the new black for kitchen worktops, according to home makeover specialist Granite Transformations, having reviewed its sales figures for 2015. Two years ago it reported that black granite was by far the most popular amongst its own customers, although later that year it predicted that white worktops would be amongst the top interior design trends, attributing this to the ‘Apple effect’ of minimalist white product design.
Confirming this trend, white and off-white worktops have now shot to the top of the company’s best sellers, with Hydra White and Royal Ivory the top 2 and White Star coming in at No 5. What’s more, this trend is reflected in overseas Granite Transformations markets, North Americans currently favouring Royal Ivory, mottled neutral tone Perla di Sabbia and White Star, while in Australasia the most popular surfaces are the clean, white shades of Hydra White and White Star.
“It’s unusual for three of our major territories, and the top national markets for kitchen makeovers, to coincide so closely on colour choice,” says Granite Transformations UK General Manager, Hayley Fenn.
“Traditionally, UK kitchen customers have always plumped for black granite worktops, whereas the US and Canada had a preference for dark browns and a more colonial look,” she continues. “Only Australia and New Zealand favoured white, possibly due to the sunshine effect. Perhaps now we’re adopting a more summery outlook from down under and that’s reflected in the way we are styling our kitchens. After all, the kitchen is recognised as the hub of the home and closely reflects the family lifestyle and aspirations.”
Black granite was the long-standing UK favourite worktop material, authoritative, powerful, stylish and the signature colour for warehouse conversions and noughties developments. When the property market was volatile, black was the ‘go to’ colour for attracting would-be buyers, although nowadays homeowners are choosing kitchen décor that best suits their own tastes and lifestyle, hence the shift towards calm and relaxing white and neutral tones.
Granite Transformations also enjoys the distinction of marketing worktops in granite, quartz, recycled glass and porcelain, enabling it to monitor trends in material choice. Echoing internet feedback that ‘quartz’ is now the most searched term for worktops, its UK best-seller Royal Ivory is made from finely textured, neutral coloured quartzite, a tough mineral rock that originates from sandstone. Also rocketing in popularity are recycled glass worktops like Hydra White and White Star, made from toughened glass granules recovered from post-consumer wine, beer and mineral water bottles.
The latest fashion for smooth and refined porcelain worktops is also likely to filter across from North America, where Terra di Sienna and Terra Ombra, made from this extremely hardwearing ceramic material, are at #3 and #4 in the Granite Transformations charts.
Looking ahead, Granite Transformations also anticipates rising consumer demand for patterned worktops and splashbacks, like its newest Trend Trascenda dye sublimated collection. Offering the look and classic appeal of marble finishes, without the cost and impracticalities, as well as distinctive graphic and fluid patterns, these exciting designs will lend a whole new dimension to kitchen décor, says the company.