Modern kitchen design is heavily focused on creating clean, sleek lines and an uncluttered minimalist feel. While this look is stylish and contemporary, you may feel that it leaves your kitchen feeling a little sterile and cold. Adding some warmth and subtle colour to the space can give your modern kitchen some charm and character without detracting from the basic principles of the minimalist look.

Your kitchen benchtops are a great feature to use to achieve this. They are a central focus point for the room and can add just enough colour to break up the monochromatic palette. These two stunning kitchen benchtop materials will help to create a beautiful, stylish and inviting look in your new kitchen.

1. Natural stone

Natural stone benchtops such as marble, granite and limestone make a striking and timeless addition to any kitchen. Their classic beauty and durability have made them a material that is enduringly popular. Natural stone works equally well in both contemporary and more traditional design.

Natural stone comes in a wide variety of shades so you'll be able to find the perfect colour to add life and elegance to your kitchen. The earthy and subdued palettes that are available will turn your benchtop into a functional yet sculptural feature.

2. Hardwood

Another timeless material for benchtops is hardwood. Hardwood has featured in home design for centuries and is still an incredibly popular and attractive option for modern design. As well as adding warmth and colour, a hardwood benchtop provides a soft, tactile surface that is a joy to interact with while you're using your kitchen.

One of the many appeals of hardwood is the sheer number of different finishes, grains and hues that you can choose from. From pale, bleached oak through to rich, dark mahogany, you'll be able to find a hardwood variety that adds the right amount of natural colour to your kitchen. Hardwood is also a highly durable benchtop material if it's sanded and oiled on a regular basis.

Although natural stone and hardwood benchtops are at the top end of the scale when it comes to budgets, they are a worthwhile investment. They'll provide your new kitchen with a feature that has broad appeal and they will both outlast cheaper but less durable options.

If you'd like to add some natural colour and warmth to your kitchen with natural stone or hardwood benchtops, then contact your local kitchen remodelling contractor. They can help you to decide which material will be the best choice for your new kitchen.