They say art imitates life€”and so do our countertops.

If cozy and serene paint colours are our therapy in these turbulent times, then countertops are our rebellion. That’s right: gather your dark concrete slabs and inky blue paint chips, because we’re fighting back (with backsplash!). This year, the surfaces we chop, doodle and dine on are moving away from the subtle and modern towards bolder colours and veining—and if you ask us, it’s exactly what we need.We chatted with Caesarstone‘s Elizabeth Margles to get the scoop on upcoming countertop trends, her must-know tips and tricks, and her personal favourite designs. Margles says that while white and grey are still popular choices, boldness is now playing a role in surface trends, which is in harmony with a throwback to the industrial: “This pull toward craft, tactile and natural elements grounds us when we feel a bit unnerved,” says Margles. We need a strong foundation, and our countertops are no exception.Margles says that trends are a continuum—instead of existing individually, each new trend builds off the previous one. Last year, we began seeing bold patterns, but in traditional styles. This year, boldness is radicalizing; having exhausted traditional styles, new and original colour designs (like Montblanc) are now getting an intensity makeover.And other kitchen elements are following suit. Margles says moody blues and deep greens are popular cabinet colours and that she’s seeing less lacquer and more matte finishes. We think our countertops are telling us something…2018 is the year to be bold, no gloss required.

How to Choose the Right Countertop:

1. First Thing’s First

When it comes to kitchen design, the countertop is key—and should be one of the first elements you decide on when building or renovating. Choosing your countertop sets a foundation to inspire the rest of your space, and has some economic advantages, too. Margles says leaving the countertop to last can result in homeowners either going over budget or purchasing a lower quality surface. She suggests choosing the countertop first and altering your budget for other elements, like cabinetry or backsplash, if necessary. (Photo: Martin Knowles.)

2. Quality Matters

From everyday messes and family dinners to last-minute art projects, your countertop needs to be ready for anything. Make sure to choose a surface that will endure years of spills, splatters and slams. “Choose a product that has an excellent track record, and an after-service lifetime warranty,” says Margles. (Photo: Caesarstone.)

3. Mix it Up

Can’t choose between concrete and marble? Try mixing surfaces and shades for a unique, modern look. Margles suggests trying one surface on your counters and another on your island—just make sure they compliment each other and add dimension, not confusion. Cloudburst Concrete and Raw Concrete together is one of her favourite combinations. (Photo: Alison Andersen.)

4. Consider Quartz

No countertop is complete without a complimentary backsplash, but grout can be uneven, outdated and, if you’re doing it yourself, just plain messy. When picking the perfect backsplash to compliment your countertop, Margles suggests using quartz: “It eliminates all grout and is a clean, modern finish.”

For more on the latest interior design trends, subscribe to the WL newsletter!