1. Start with your countertops. "Countertops require careful contemplation, especially for a large island, as this can be the biggest single item of color and texture," says Ahmann. This large surface area is a great place to start and can be the basis for the rest of your kitchen's materials palette.Choose a countertop that's durable and easy to clean. Justrich recommends looking into granite or composite materials like Caesarstone first. For a bigger statement, go for stainless steel, zinc or natural wood. Aim for light, smooth and reflective materials. Large-format tiles or slabs of stone will minimize grout lines and create a smooth and easy-to-clean surface. Kelly recommends sticking with a single countertop material, with a slight variation at the pantry or island, for consistency and simplicity.