Are you thinking about giving your kitchen a long-needed facelift this spring? Smart thinking. Upgrading your kitchen is one of the best ways to boost your home’s value at resale. But what vibe would work best for your kitchen? Consider the contemporary style. Let’s examine the elements that make up a contemporary kitchen.

Contemporary Style Kitchen: What Is It?

Contemporary kitchens feature minimalistic, functional, and user-friendly designs. Creating a contemporary kitchen means creating a cooking and dining area that uses the space efficiently and features linear themes.

These types of kitchens usually feature the following types of manufactured materials:

  • Glass
  • Concrete
  • Acrylic
  • Laminate
  • Molded plywood
  • Chrome
  • Linoleum
  • Plastic
  • Steel

These materials are combined with stone and wood to add warmth to your kitchen, making it more inviting.

Contemporary Kitchen vs. Modern Kitchen

Contemporary and modern kitchens are often mistaken for each other but aren’t the same thing.

A modern kitchen reflects the design of the mid-century era — the 1920s to the 1950s. The design elements that were popular during this period were based on what could be mass-produced, making them widely available.

A modern kitchen is timeless, clean, and airy. The modern design will always be distinct.

A contemporary kitchen, however, reflects the most current kitchen design trends. What society considers contemporary today will rapidly change, soon becoming a past trend.

Put another way, modern design is static, while contemporary design is dynamic.

Full Overlay Cabinet Design

A key element of a contemporary kitchen is full overlay cabinetry. This style of cabinet looks seamless, as the cabinet door frame is mostly invisible if not fully hidden. It also features a sleek, angular design with little ornamentation.

Two dominant contemporary kitchen door styles are the Shaker style and the slab front. Both of these feature simple lines.

A Shaker cabinet has five flat panel pieces that form a frame. It is typically made of oak, hickory, or maple.

A slab-front cabinet door is a solid flat-front door without framing. These types of doors are created using single pieces of wood that have been covered with veneer or painted. The right paint or wood veneer can make a bold statement in your home’s kitchen.

These contemporary kitchen cabinets are popular because they give a kitchen a clean look, especially if the hardware is omitted.

Geometric Designs

Contemporary kitchens also stand out for their geometric forms. The following geometric forms are popular accents:

  • Boxes
  • Globes
  • Diamonds
  • Rectangles
  • Triangles
  • Squares
  • Circles
  • Curves
  • Angles

Look for these shapes in windows and wall decor. These forms can also be found in counters, furnishings, and lighting fixtures. For instance, you can give your kitchen a contemporary feel with a stylish angled or arched vent hood.

Horizontal Designs

Horizontal lines are also a hallmark of contemporary kitchens.

These lines can be found in the layout of counters and cabinets. You can also use tile accents, backsplashes, and flooring featuring horizontal lines.

Built-In and Stainless Steel Appliances

Adding built-in and stainless steel appliances to your kitchen is another way to create a contemporary kitchen.

These types of kitchen appliances offer an industrial, futuristic, high-end vibe that fits the smart home idea. This is especially true for appliances such as freezers, refrigerators, stoves, cooktops, ovens, and dishwashers that have lights and control panels. These appliances are also often designed to save energy and water.

When stainless steel appliances are built-in, they also add a touch of luxury. This is particularly true for small appliances, such as coffee machines and microwaves.

As we mentioned earlier, contemporary kitchens are also extremely functional. So, it’s common for these kitchens to feature convection-speed ovens, which offer the benefits of both microwave ovens and traditional ovens. 

Elements of Nature

Natural elements are also predominant in contemporary-style kitchens. As mentioned earlier, these elements include stone and wood. They also include glass.

Kitchen products that feature these natural elements include the following:

  • Travertine tiles on floors and walls
  • Wood-finish cabinetry
  • Wood flooring
  • Granite counters

Glass can also be found in counters, light fixtures, shelves, and cabinet inserts used in contemporary kitchens.

Sleek Yet Simple Hardware

If you want your contemporary kitchen cabinets to feature hardware, choose hardware that is bar-shaped. Another option is V-shaped hardware pulls. These hardware options are simple and sophisticated looking rather than ornate.

Contemporary kitchen hardware finishes vary, but the most popular selections include chrome, stainless steel, and brushed nickel. A matte or black finish is also popular in today’s contemporary kitchens.

Ideally, your contemporary kitchen hardware selections shouldn’t detract from your cabinet style. Subtle hardware can complement your cabinets to elevate their look.

Innovative Use of Old Materials

The materials utilized in past designs can be repurposed in contemporary design as well, as contemporary design constantly evolves.

For instance, traditional-style, rustic, and farmhouse kitchens mostly featured wood accents in the form of panel doors. However, you can enjoy this same look with slab-front cabinets.

Likewise, concrete has previously been used for floors and walls. Now, many contemporary kitchens feature concrete kitchen countertops.

Countertops and Backsplashes

Along with concrete countertops, stone countertops remain a popular option for contemporary kitchens. Marble and granite are also favorites due to their luxurious look and feel.

Glass and quartz countertops are increasingly in demand as well. Unlike granite, quartz isn’t porous, so you don’t have to reseal it. The fact that it requires little maintenance and has a clean appearance makes it appealing to many homeowners.

Quartz and granite particularly come in many patterns and colors, so you’ll have no problem finding ones to match your contemporary kitchen’s target color scheme.

Want to give your contemporary kitchen more flair? Make your kitchen island’s countertop different from those in the remainder of your kitchen. You can also install lava stone to give your kitchen a glossy, super-smooth, more upscale addition.

For backsplashes, consider adding a white one to your contemporary kitchen. Other popular choices include ceramic tiles, slate, tumbled stone, and glass mosaic kitchen tiles.

Emphasis on Lighting and Space

Paying attention to both lighting and space is also critical if you’re trying to create a contemporary-style kitchen.

For instance, introduce track lighting or Puck lights for task lighting. Strip lighting beneath your cabinets is another way to ramp up your kitchen’s ambiance and brighten up your guests’ and loved ones’ moods.

Contrasting Accent Colors

Contemporary kitchens also feature contrasting accent colors in flooring, countertops, and backsplashes.

For instance, you’ll often see white countertops mixed with dark wood cabinets. Another contemporary design combination is matte black cabinet hardware, white glossy cabinets, and marble countertops.

You could even introduce white cabinets on your floors and gray cabinets on your walls. In addition, consider pairing hardware featuring a matte or black finish with light or white cabinets.

Neutral Colors

Contemporary design also uses neutral fabrics and hues but also includes bold-color accessories or accents. Your contemporary kitchen’s statement-making accents should complement your neutral hues.

In-demand colors in contemporary kitchens include gray, black, beige, and white. An all-white kitchen is especially popular, as it goes well with multiple types of materials, including tile, granite, and wood. You can make your all-white kitchen look even bigger by incorporating beige accents into the kitchen’s design.

Note that contemporary kitchens’ walls are usually unadorned. This will keep your kitchen from looking cluttered. Likewise, you should minimize your use of textures and patterns in a contemporary kitchen.

Light Wood Flooring

Finally, add light wood flooring to your kitchen to make it look contemporary. For instance, maple and birch woods are excellent options.

You may also use engineered wood floors with plywood cores. This will allow you to use wood sustainably and economically. Ash and oak are currently popular finishes.

Another light wood flooring option is to use wood-looking porcelain tiles. They will give your kitchen a wood look while being easy to maintain.

Vinyl floors are a cost-effective flooring option and are waterproof. This makes this flooring option a great choice for a family with young kids.

How We Can Help with Your Kitchen

A contemporary kitchen features full overlay cabinetry, geometric designs, and horizontal lines. These types of kitchens also include neutral colors and contrasting accent colors.

At German Kitchens, we take pride in designing and creating modern-looking kitchens. We also offer high-quality vanities, countertops, and appliances. We can work with you to bring your dream contemporary kitchen design to life.

Get in touch with us to learn more about our services and products, and begin your project today!

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