Corian came out with a gray toned solid surfacing from their Artisan Series that gives the look of natural soapstone (which looks great but is very soft and very expensive counter top material) at half the cost. I thought this is great as I never was a fan of the plastic looking Corian so a natural look with the durability of Corian is ultra practical. Soapstone looks great with wood or laminate kitchen cabinets.
I am practical above all especially in the kitchen which gets a lot of wear and tear. Trends are definitely moving away from granite counters to other materials that better fit the modern design Italian style kitchen. I find marble too soft and delicate for counter tops (even though it is very “in”) unless you do not cook.
Another new kitchen trend is bronze or copper colored appliances which look really great. I am sure in 20 years time we will think they are as ugly as those avocado or yellow appliances left over from the sixties and seventies which are back as well!