contemporary kitchen designs

How to Design a ‘Contemporary’ Style Kitchen

When designing a new or renovated kitchen, achieving a contemporary style is key to a lasting look that you can love for many years. Getting the kitchen design right will set the tone for your entire house and is the most popular room to ‘refresh’ according to a Houzz survey. So, how do homeowners achieve a contemporary kitchen style with all the right elements?

When people think ‘contemporary’ as a style they usually think functional and minimalist with linear and geometric themes. A common modern kitchen decor theme includes asymmetrical balance with cabinets and molding that feature only modest embellishments. Here are the McColl Cabinetmakers design team’s top tips to designing a contemporary kitchen, whether you are planning the build of your new home or renovating your existing kitchen.

Overall style of a contemporary kitchen

Getting the right mix for the right feel for your overall home: Choosing from modern man-made materials like steel, plastic, chrome, linoleum, molded plywood, laminate, glass, acrylic and concrete combined with a selection of natural materials such as granite, slate, stone and wood.

Style elements most commonly found in stylish contemporary kitchens include:

  • Basic slab or horizontal lift doors
  • Frameless cabinets with large, simple hardware
  • Geometric angles
  • Frosted glass panels or door inserts
  • Laminate surfaces in clean white or bold colours
  • Metal components
  • LED strip lighting
  • Wood with delicate grains like maple, ash or birch
  • Sweeping curves in cabinetry or benchtops

Top kitchen cabinet choices

Contemporary kitchens will include elements like rectangle or square-shaped cabinets. The cabinet frame is typically hidden by slab-front doors that have no recessed panels or embellishments. They have clean, sleek lines with minimal hardware.

Contemporary kitchen cabinets maximise storage capabilities by being floor to ceiling in length, and this also provides that clean and sleek, minimalist look to the overall kitchen.The design for these large walls of cabinets often include glass door/inserts, open shelving areas and deep drawers for pots and pan to break up the visual design.

Modern benchtops and backsplash tips

You have a lot of choices for countertops and backsplashes within the contemporary style. Depending on your overall theme, you could choose steadfast favourites granite or marble or you could choose a wood butcher block if you are looking for a ‘contemporary rustic’ theme. 

Laminate benchtops are great material choices these days with a wide range of colours and designs that have seamless edgings for that contemporary look and feel.

Backsplashes can tie a contemporary style together in your kitchen by choosing glass mosaic tiles, tumbled stone, slate or ceramic tiles.

Should you include an island bench?

Island benches are still a favourite in kitchen design and you can ensure it has a contemporary edge with options like using it as a colour statement by having it a different colour to your cabinets.

If you have room for an island bench, it also achieves the style element of a functional kitchen by providing extra storage space and user-friendly bench space.

How to choose contemporary colours for a modern kitchen

‘Contemporary’ colours are wide-ranging. The McColl design team can incorporate your preference for either subtle or bold with painted cabinets or dark wood stain, two tone cabinets or a combination of colours throughout the kitchen. Ensuring a modern mix of elements paired with the right colours throughout the kitchen will achieve your desired look and feel.

What flooring options suit a contemporary kitchen style?

Floor options can seem endless. The key to achieving a contemporary look is to keep continuity of design between your living dining and kitchen areas if you have an open-plan home. Wood and tile flooring are still typical modern options however you can choose modern vinyl plank flooring and some other material options that suit the functional and user-friendly style of your kitchen.

Contemporary lighting options = functional

Contemporary kitchens usually include a mix of lighting types. You may have recessed ceiling lights for an ambient feel, paired with under-cabinet lighting for “task lighting” so you can see what you are doing at your benches. You may then add some modern-looking pendant lighting above your island bench as a feature that provides both style and functionality.

If you’d like assistance to achieve a contemporary kitchen design, contact the experienced design team at McColl Cabinetmakers today to arrange for a free consultation