With sleek, clean lines, integrated appliances, and a minimalist color scheme, the modern kitchen is chic, elegant, and slicker than grease. Gone are the cozy fabrics, the homely ornaments, and the country-style cabinets of yesteryear, and in their place is something altogether more contemporary. Fortunately, updating the look is simple, affordable, and easy to master… all you need to bear in mind is these 10 features that define today’s modern kitchen,
No, we aren’t talking about math… although you may need to revisit your school days to some extent if you want to introduce one of the biggest features that define modern kitchens. Gone are the days of floral tiles or abstract patterns… today, it’s all about angles, curves, circles, squares, triangles, rectangles, diamonds, globes, and boxes. Geometric designs such as these are now integral to our kitchens design, whether we choose to exhibit them on lighting fixtures, furnishings, counters, wall décor or windows. How far you go with the theme is up to you… you can either keep it low key with a simple geometric backsplash or make it a focal point of the room with a bold diamond tiled floor.
While there’s still a place for homely, cozy kitchens, the industrial look is increasingly gaining traction. The easiest and most popular way to express the look is via stainless steel appliances, which, as an added benefit, are usually high quality, have a great lifespan, and are easy to clean. Stainless steel cooktops, stoves, dishwashers, refrigerators, vent hoods, and faucets are all widely available and will work wonders at updating your kitchen. To continue the futuristic theme even further, look for appliances that come with modern control panels.
The word on the street is sleek. Forget fussy, ornate finishing touches or bar-shaped hardware and opt instead for slick, clean lines with stainless steel, brushed nickel or chrome finishes. Fussy is out, and sleek is most definitely in. The minimalistic look should reflect on every last detail: keep away from knobs on cabinet doors and opt for simple handles instead, while any furniture you introduce should be clean, sleek, and contemporary- a few bar stools in a fuss-free style or clean-cut leather chairs are ideal.
4. Inspired by Nature
Whereas once there was a clear distinction between the outdoors and the indoors, we’re now seeing a trend for creating an extended living space that combines the indoor and the outdoors. While we aren’t suggesting you plant a tree in your kitchen, look to incorporate little flourishes of nature into your décor wherever possible. As well as adding plants, this could extend to choosing natural materials wherever possible. Stripped wooden flooring, honed or flamed granite counters, and wooden cabinets are all great ways of getting the contemporary look, as is introducing glass into cabinet inserts, shelves, and light fixtures.
5. Horizontal Lines
Horizontal lines are big in contemporary kitchens. Whether its workspaces, layouts, flooring, backsplashes or tile accents, aim to keep things linear for a truly contemporary style. The trend even extends to the grain of your worktops, cabinets, and flooring. As Line For An Architect notes, horizontal lines tend to elongate and expand, creating a more spacious feel to the kitchen and integrating it into with the main living areas of the home.
If you’re a lover of pastels, prepare to be disappointed. While peachy shades of yellow, pink, green and blue may make your kitchen look warm and cheery, there’s no place for candy colors in the contemporary kitchen. As Cayon Creek notes, the new look is all about stark, bold colors. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to slather your walls in purple; a pure white will complement the sleek, minimalist look expertly, while giving a crisp, clean look that never goes out of fashion. You can either go all-white, or, if you’re not afraid of big, bold color, introduce some bold accents in dramatic blues, reds, or purples.
7. The Island
Gone are the days when we’d see a huge kitchen table dominating the space. These days, tables are gone (or at least, have greatly reduced in size) and have been replaced with large, multi-functional islands. Islands are an ideal way of introducing extra cooking, prep and dining space, without comprising the sleek, pulled-together look at the heart of contemporary kitchens. Kids can spread out their homework on the island while parents use it for prepping the evening meal. The area previously devoted to the freestanding kitchen table, meanwhile, is now typically used as a seating area.
8. Layered Lighting
In previous decades, lightening in the kitchen tended to be limited to one central overhead light. Now that the kitchen has become more of a multi-functional space, a single pendant hanging over the kitchen island is no longer going to cut it. Multi-layered lighting that allows different parts of the room to be used for different activities (whether that’s relaxing in the seating area, prepping food at the kitchen island, or doing homework at the table) is bang on-trend. If you’re still relying on your central light fixture to provide all your lighting needs, a few accent lights and task lighting features can make a world of difference to both your kitchen aesthetic and function.
9. Full cabinetry
Thanks to its excellent function and aesthetic, full cabinetry is now the go-to option when it comes to storage space. The minimalist theme we’ve seen elsewhere is extended here: look for white wood cabinetry (mahogany and walnuts both make great choices) with full overlay slab panel door and drawer fronts.
Whether it’s dishwashers, refrigerators, or sinks, we’re seeing fewer and fewer standalone versions and more and more integrated alternatives. Stainless steel countertops are perfectly complemented by a run on sink in the same material, which creates the kind of sleek, customized look the modern kitchen is all about.