Contemporary Kitchens - Simple, Sleek & Uncluttered
Clean and simple, uncluttered designs with slick surfaces are the key words when describing contemporary design.
I’m sure you have heard these words many times on the numerous design shows on television or read them in design magazines. But what exactly do they mean and are these elements going to make the room cold.
Let’s start with the definition:
- Clean: Not Ornate; Gracefully Spare
- Simple: Plain, Uncomplicated
Putting this into contemporary design means that typically the cabinets are free of any type of design or pattern other than occasionally using frosted or plain glass in the upper doors;
Cabinet hardware commonly consists of plain round knobs on the doors and a plain handle on the drawers, many times in a shiny or brushed silver finish. The counter tops are one solid piece of material as opposed to tile, most often granite is used.
There are many styles of cabinet hardware that would be used in contemporary design. The materials are generally stainless steel although nickel and pewter are also used. The finishes can be shiny or brushed, this is really a matter of personal choice.
If the view from inside isn’t terribly desirable translucent glass blocks might be the answer. They are a great way to allow light into the kitchen while blocking the unwanted view. Run with the glass concept by installing glass tiles on the back splash, this will tie in nicely with the windows by mimicking the grid of the glass blocks.
Other window treatments that would work for this style include; Bamboo Shades, Roman Shades, Roll-Up Shades, Wood Blinds and Shutters. If a fabric treatment is preferred, remember to keep it simple. A simple valance in a geometric pattern or a solid color is all that’s needed.
What do you do if your kitchen opens directly into other living spaces within the home? You’re going to want to define the kitchen – giving it its own identity -but still keep a flow between the other rooms. The solution would be to define the kitchen by using contemporary materials.
For example: Dark stained wood on the cabinets, granite counter tops, glass or frosted fronted cabinet doors, stainless steel appliances and simple hardware for the doors.
Keeping the rooms connected can be accomplished simply the using the same flooring material in each area. Stainless steel appliances, fixtures – sinks, faucets – and hardware are also key elements in contemporary design. Granite countertops are another element, seen in a wide assortment of colors but typically done in black.
Working with a tight budget should not be a deterrent from redesigning your kitchen. If a complete overhaul is not in the cards try looking for other less expensive ways to achieve the look you want.
A couple of easy ideas are to repaint existing cabinets, add glass tiles to your existing back splash, have glass inserts put into upper cabinet doors and replace current hardware with something that has a contemporary flair.
Wall color also plays a part in this design. White or a pale gray are commonly used however, neutral shades like beige and brown would also fit.
Many people have the misconception that contemporary automatically means cold. Well any design style can appear cold without the final touch which of course are the accessories. Again, keep in mind you are going to want to keep it simple. Try to avoid using to many items which then turns into clutter and you’ve lost your original goal.
This is your chance to bring in pops of color for that feeling of warmth. Example include but certainly not limited to:
- Spice Racks Filled With Colorful Spices
- Art Work - Hung In Groups For Maximum Effect
So how do you know if contemporary design is for you? Look around your home even your wardrobe will give you a clue. If you line the minimal look chances are this design will fit your lifestyle perfectly.
Of course like everything else it’s not for everyone, so before you begin any redesign take the time to think it over and do your research.
Look in magazines, check out the internet sites regarding the design your interested in. If after you’ve done all of these things you still find yourself drawn to contemporary then by all means go for it.
About The Author - Bonnie P. Carrier is the creator of Savvy Home Decorating - The Information Center. She is the mother to two grown daughters and two very spoiled Shelties - Sebastian & Oliver. www.savvy-home-decorating.com
This article is shareware. Give this article away for free on your site, or include it as part of any paid package as long as the entire article and author’s bio. is left intact including this notice. Copyright © 2013 bonnie carrier.