Each kitchen theme is defined by specific elements, and contemporary kitchens are no different. This particular theme represents the different styles that gained popularity during the second half of the 20th century. Since inspiration was borrowed from so many different time periods, it can be difficult to pinpoint what exactly is contemporary design. Let’s learn some of the universal elements that characterize contemporary kitchens, so that you have a clear vision when you design your own kitchen.
While it is very common to find splashes of bold color in contemporary kitchens, the color scheme tends to be predominantly neutral overall. Think all white except for a red backsplash along the countertops or a blue chandelier hanging above the kitchen island. The incorporation of color is meant to have an artistic significance rather than be dominant in the color scheme. Contemporary color schemes tend to include very muted shades, including white, cream, taupe, gray, and brown. This creates the perfect neutral foundation to build upon.
Full Overlay Cabinets
Contemporary kitchen cabinets appear seamless. To achieve this uninterrupted look, very little or none of the door frame will be visible. Slab front or Shaker style are the most popular contemporary kitchen cabinets because they offer that simple, clean look. Some homeowners opt to eliminate hardware to accomplish true minimalism, but that’s up to your personal preference.
Natural elements are prevalent in contemporary kitchens, and they can be incorporated in a variety of ways. From stone countertops on your modern kitchen island to water-resistant, wood-look ceramic flooring, there are many materials found in nature that fit perfectly into contemporary design. This is also true for kitchen fabrics, such as your window curtains or upholstery. When possible, opt for natural fabrics and accessories, like cotton, wool, jute, sisal, and silk.
Geometric Shapes and Interesting Lines
Geometric shapes are a major element within contemporary design. Since this style became popular in the 1970s, it is not surprising to find some Art Deco inspiration present. You’ll also notice the use of both straight and curved lines. Imagine an arched entryway followed by a kitchen layout full of straight, horizontal lines. To achieve this imbalance in a beautiful way, set your sights on a few eye-catching elements such as a round, modern kitchen island or a hexagon Carrara marble backsplash. Then keep the rest of the lines in the room straight and clean.
A contemporary room is filled with bright, natural light. If you can achieve this with windows or a skylight, you’ll be ahead of the game. However, sometimes you must rely on artificial lighting to mimic the sun’s presence. This is best accomplished with great ambient lighting from recessed lighting, track lighting, and wall-mounted fixtures. Accent and task lighting will complement your ambient lighting and bring attention to key areas like your modern kitchen island or a breathtaking piece of art. Your lighting is also an excellent way to include more geometric forms into your contemporary design. Elect shapely fixtures such as squares, diamonds, triangles, or rectangles. These lighting fixtures will help to define your kitchen’s theme as well as light up the room.
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