Butcher block brings warmth and workability—at a good value
The material you choose for your kitchen countertops will have a big impact on the style and functionality, as well as your budget. Butcher block delivers on all three, thanks to its natural look, durability, and affordability. (Per square foot, wood starts at about $35, compared to $60 for granite and $100 plus for marble.) Part of its appeal is the development of patina over time, though butcher block does require sanding and oiling to keep it in shape. See how these Sweeten homeowners incorporated wood countertops in their kitchens.
Sticking with the tight layout of their galley kitchen, Kate and Daniel prioritized other details to make it chef-worthy. One such element: butcher block countertops. Aside from the white quartz around the sink area (to prevent water stains on the wood), they made every surface prep-ready with cherry butcher block. The wood provides a nice contrast between the black cabinets and white subway tiled walls, striking the right balance of warm and cool tones.
A big focus of Janet and Jerry’s home renovation? The kitchen. Designed to be the most efficient space possible for cooking, they maximized storage with IKEA cabinetry and open shelves, and went with two different countertop options: a mixed-material, sleek white surface and a section of butcher block to serve as the chopping and prep station.
Since the kitchen in Kelly’s studio apartment would always be a focal point, she “needed it to rock.” Along with her Sweeten designer Courtney, they transformed the space, extending the cabinetry, replacing appliances, and updating finishes. The new bar counter was outfitted with butcher block (for its more affordable price point) and to bring in a natural element to the otherwise cool-toned kitchen.
Kate and Graham decided on a mostly white kitchen with hidden appliances to make the culinary space feel integrated with the rest of their prewar home. Envisioning a room for family gathering, they added a central island—a perfect place for doing homework and preparing meals—complete with a butcher block counter. It also ties in with the original but newly sanded and stained parquet floors.
When Amanda and her husband purchased their two-bedroom apartment, they knew the dark and closed-off kitchen would need an update. She envisioned a clean, bright space that didn’t feel too modern or sterile. The result: a harmonious mix of color and texture, achieved with butcher block counters, patterned tile floor, and white cabinets.
Sam and Sean’s kitchen went from closed off to open and sophisticated thanks to knocked-down walls and refreshing design details. The island connecting the kitchen with the living room is one example. The butcher block counter on the island matches other natural wood textures throughout the space, from the flooring to the bar stools.
Love to entertain? See how other renovators overhauled their kitchens to be the ultimate space for hosting friends and family.
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