When granite and solid-surface countertops came on the market, people used them the same way they placed laminates – at one level covering the lower cabinets. With the introduction of countertops that provide such a rich design element, designers began to recognize the possibilities.
Multi-level counters provide multiple benefits. One important plus is evident in this photo. The raised counter camouflages many of the standard counter elements that a kitchen requires. For example, the soap container is functional but not really a design accessory.
Camouflage is even more important when entertaining. Dirty dishes and clutter from food preparation hides from guests.
The higher counter in this photo is rather narrow, possibly because of space limitations. However many raised counters are wide enough to provide an additional eating space by placing stools or bar-height chairs on the other side. With the addition of the raised counter, your home suddenly gains a breakfast bar or place for afternoon snacks, or even a location for spelling drills while cooking dinner.
This area is also useful for parties. It provides another conversation area as well as buffet space. Imagine people seated there munching on various appetizers while talking to their hosts as they complete the meal preparations.
Many people spend time and energy planning their kitchen layout and then stop before addressing their countertops. Be flexible with your thinking and you may find that your countertop design adds to your kitchen’s beauty and usefulness.