A reader writes:

Hi, Re-doing kitchen to include new cabinets, gunstock oak flooring, stainless appliances. What color countertop do you recommend? Should I get something med/dk brown quartz or keep it lighter. The kitchen cabinets are Maple–Cream Glaze (Cream colored or off-white with just an almost invisible lighter cream/white glaze). The flooring, unless you talk me out of real hard wood for a kitchen floor, will be gunstock oak-see attached. I've had people tell me not to put real wood in a kitchen, so…that's still up in the air based of further advice. Wall color and dinette color/material, I will try to figure out once I get a handle of what to do for counter top. Thank you so much! 

I will definitely not talk you out of real wood flooring.  I prefer it to be eco friendly… made of reclaimed wood or wood that has been sustainably forested.  I have test driven every type of  kitchen flooring  in my 8 military moves.   I love wood the best.   On to the counters.  I like to keep the counters neutral and devoid of any specific color, especially if you are considering a move in the future.  FYI, the inquirer, prefers Black to Brown.  With that in mind,  I have given her a few options.

Free Advice Friday 5 11 10

In the classic options, I've given her a Sensa granite and marble.  Sensa Granite has a long term stain protection built into it so that it doesn't have to be sealed. When I choose granite, I look for the color of the elements going into the kitchen within the stone.  For example,  I look for the tone of any wood or the color of the appliances.  I like it to have a little silver shimmer if the appliances are stainless.   Marble is a classic, sophisticated choice.  Beware, however,  marble does stain rather easy.  Some like the patina this creates over time.  I currently have marble in my kitchen.  If it is sealed, you can get most stains out.  I don't mind the character.  If you have little kids or lean type A, this is not the counter surface for you. 

There are some really awesome new eco friendly options out there too.  I have shown two Ceasarstone options which are made from 17 – 35 percent recycled glass and quartz.  For performance and function is doesn't get any better than quartz.  It is stain resistant and doesn't require sealing.  It is heat, scratch and chip resistant too.  The last option is a high constrast, surface from Eco.  This is made from 75 percent post-industrial recycled raw materials.  It too has all the attributes of the Ceasarstone.  The Black makes this a dramatic choice.  My three favorites are the Marble, Chocolate Truffle and the Black.  The marble is dressy and beautiful.  The Chocolate Truffle has every color element of the kitchen in it.  It has Silver for the appliances, a warm Russet for the tone of the wood, Cream for the cabinets, and a hint of Black.  You just can't go wrong with Black counters and Cream cabinets.  It isn't for everyone, but I like the drama.  I  can't wait to see what the reader chooses.  What would you pick?  I'll be joining Paula Grace for Timeless Tuesday and then for real martinis Thursday night.