There are a lot of sayings and adages that espouse living in the moment. What better way to extend that dogma to your home than by designing your own contemporary kitchen?
Contemporary vs Modern: What’s the difference?
It can be tough to distinguish between these two design styles. One thing to remember is that “modern” design typically refers to “mid-century modern”, a design movement locked into a particular span of time that emphasized clean, unadorned interiors.
Contemporary design, on the other hand, is “the design of the now”; as such, it’s always evolving and always current. While contemporary kitchens can be considered “modern” at the same time, elements of other design styles can also be commonly seen.
Essential elements of contemporary kitchens
1. Cutting edge appliances
As you can expect from a design style that keeps up with current times, cutting edge appliances are very much at home in a contemporary kitchen. These days, sleek and stylish electronics – from heavy duty range hoods to flameless induction cooktops – dominate the kitchen space, replacing the brightly colored appliances of old. As technology moves forward, contemporary kitchens are also now starting to give even commercial kitchens a run for their money; high-performance appliances are now more affordable and commonplace.
2. New uses for old materials
Contemporary design’s constant evolution has also given rise to new uses for old materials. Concrete, which in the past was relegated only to being a material for walls and floors, has found new life as a durable and easy to maintain kitchen countertop material. With these old materials being used in innovative new ways, homeowners now have more options than ever before.
3. Backsplashes with personality
Similarly, backsplashes are now getting more attention than ever. Whereas in the past a backsplash might just be a simple, unadorned affair, the patterns and designs in contemporary kitchen backsplashes are innumerable. A contemporary backsplash is practically a work of art, a veritable canvas where the homeowner can paint their own personal stamp.
4. Clever new accents and accessories
The major appliances aren’t the only cutting edge things you can find in a contemporary kitchen. From storage solutions to lighting, the gadgets and electronics in a contemporary kitchen take advantage of all of today’s technology. Hidden outlets that pop up out of the countertop, built-in coffee makers that can be tucked away quickly in a dedicated cabinet, and long-lasting yet very cost-effective lighting solutions, among others, are all conveniences that a contemporary kitchen takes full advantage of.
5. Mixed materials and shapes
The influx of old materials being used in new ways has led to contemporary kitchens being an eclectic blend of different materials and shapes. Where modern kitchens tend to be more restrained and sport a certain lack of ornamentation, contemporary kitchens celebrate the layering of contrasting and complementary materials. Any kitchen can have an island made largely out of stone and wood, but a contemporary kitchen will have five different kinds of each, all with different shapes, sizes, heights, and scale.
6. Smart and stylish lighting
Contemporary kitchen lighting is all about using current technology to better allow people to do their tasks comfortably and properly. Spotlights and track lighting on kitchen stations, for example, are used to great effect for targeted task lighting. Trendy and stylish decorative bulbs and shades can also be used to add a warm ambiance to the kitchen island. Of course, natural light also remains a big consideration.
7. Eye-catching accent colors
Another big difference between modern and contemporary designs is their respective color choices. The former used hints of color in moderation while the latter has a much wider color palette. It’s not uncommon to find a contemporary kitchen with one wall with a bold accent color offset by neutral hues. The design can be further spiced up with vivid and decorative accessories like lighting fixtures and even bar stools.