We’re seeing a lot of white kitchens these days in the design media. It seems that the absence of color is a sign of sophistication, modernity and cool. But just as certainly, there is plenty of color in many of today’s kitchens.

Color evokes emotion. And while there’s certainly a continuing trend for the white commercial look in home kitchens, some homeowners want a different look.

Color can bring the warmth of the Mediterranean, the sophistication of Old World, or the exotic charms of the Orient into your home.

Color is an opportunity to express your personal style. If you’re shy about using strong or bold color, consider using near-neutrals that can offer you considerable variety for different effects.

Do you want the cooler and more neutral look of a stainless steel sink with a dark granite countertop? Or would you prefer to use a gray cast iron sink that might make the look richer and warmer with the same granite?

Similarly, your choice of faucet finish and other accessories will all contribute to the overall look and feel of your kitchen.

Today, as the kitchen is considered a primary living space, the desire to make it more comfortable and beautiful is accelerating change. Dramatically different materials and color palettes are used to achieve individuality.

Artwork is taken into the design scheme, as well as varied finishes and materials, textures and sizes.

With all that attention to color, however, don’t overlook the popularity and drama of a totally white kitchen. While the price of marble and its maintenance concerns might have dissuaded some homeowners from installing those countertops, today there are materials that simulate the look so precisely that only an expert can tell them apart.

Polarstone, for one, makes a particularly effective quartzite alternative to marble. It has the look and feel of marble without the maintenance challenges or price.

The bottom line: Know thyself. Make your own choices, buck the trends, and create the dream kitchen that works for you and your family.

Andrea Antunes McGilton is project manager at Distinctive Granite and Marble, with showrooms in Okatie; Lady’s Island; Pooler, Ga., and on Hilton Head Island.