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How to Create a Contemporary Kitchen

This is the ultimate guide to contemporary kitchen design, with tricks and tips to get that contemporary feel for your kitchen.

How are truly unique contemporary kitchens achieved? By understanding the true style behind them. When it comes to kitchen design, there are so many ways to go. Classic, Modern, Shaker kitchens are but some of the styles that have become so popular in the last decade. But, what happens if you want a modern look, but a classic feel? How do you pair the styles together without creating an interior design mess? If you follow these kitchen design tips, you’ll know what separates contemporary fitted kitchens from all the rest.

To understand the true design of a contemporary kitchen, it’s essential to understand how they differ from modern, classic and shaker kitchens. In this article, you’ll find out the design inspirations behind contemporary design, as well as tips on how to achieve a contemporary look to the heart of your home. This is, how to create a contemporary kitchen.


Back when the modern kitchen trend first began, there was some sceptics. Those who didn’t want to part from the traditional styles of kitchen design. But it went both ways. Those who wanted a modern kitchen, disliked the ‘old’ feel of classic kitchens. Thus, there was a movement. A fusion of the two styles into one happy middle. A design to please both the modern enthusiasts and the traditional style lovers. Enter, contemporary kitchen design.

Contemporary kitchen design comes from both an inspiration of modern and classic design. Current design elements paired with traditional features, that truly gives a uniqueness to any home. Minimal, simplistic, clean and uncluttered, some of the features of a modern and contemporary kitchen, but with one difference. It combines traditional elements too. It’s lived in, welcoming and warm. It feels more inviting and less intimidating than an ultra-modern kitchen, whilst being stylish and more modern than a classic one. That’s what separates contemporary kitchens – ultra stylish design meets traditional elements.

Redefining Modern

The staple of a modern kitchen is its overall functionality and style. Sleek surfaces, clean cut and without clutter. What differs contemporary from modern kitchens, is the term itself. Where modern comes from modernist design, contemporary is all about the now. It’s about creating a look that is both modern and classic. Clean but lived in. Stylish and welcoming. But how do you incorporate tradition into an otherwise modern kitchen? Modern means clean, sleek and stylish, therefore contemporary does too. It’s about finding the right meeting point between the two.

Some favour the use of both industrial and natural materials. By pairing industrial materials and colours, like stainless steel, concrete, or reflective white surfaces, a truly modern look can be achieved. However, to create a contemporary style, you need to include natural materials. The brilliance is that whites and steels pair so beautifully with natural wood colours and finishes, that your kitchen retains its stylish look, but feels warm and welcoming.

Make or Break

There’s one thing all interior kitchen designers agree on, and that’s the big thing that ruins in a contemporary look in a kitchen. Yes, clutter is the enemy of contemporary design. Whether that be clutter of décor or too many colour tones competing against each other, clutter truly detracts from the contemporary aesthetic that designers aim to achieve when creating a contemporary kitchen. However, there is a way to make sure your colours are balanced out. You should never have more than three colours competing (white walls are a free pass). Then, to truly make sure the colours are balanced against each other, you need 60% of your kitchen in a single dominant colour. Your secondary colour should occupy 30% of the scheme, and finally 10% for a third colour. Your natural wood surfaces and whites don’t count, but it’s all about finding the right balance in your contemporary kitchen. To create a sophisticated, modern look, with traditional, warm touches.

Achieving Contemporary Style

You can achieve a contemporary look no matter your budget. You don’t need to completely overhaul your design, just add some little accents, colours and tweak a few things, and a contemporary kitchen could be within your grasp. Leading Essex based kitchen designers, Roman Kitchens, have given us all the info you need to land yourself a beautiful contemporary kitchen.

Tile Feature – Revamp an old wall with some colourful, unique tiles. It will give your kitchen a whole new lease of life, whether it be around the oven, hob or sink, it’s an easy way to achieve a contemporary style.

Paint Feature – If tiles aren’t your thing, don’t forget about the power of paint! Go bold in your choice of colours, just remember keep it minimal. A paint feature, that takes the place of a tile feature, should be your 10% of colour. The minimal use will make the area stand out, and compliment the rest of the colour tones well too.

Lights – Another simple thing, which is fairly easy on the wallet, is to upgrade your kitchen with some modern lighting solutions. Uppers, downers and side lights with a modern design touch can really do wonders for the heart of the home. Brighter is always better! More light makes a kitchen feel more spacious and open. Modern lighting can create mood settings too, they can be dim for evening drinks or be bright for cooking. The right lighting can set a desired tone for any occasion.

Cabinets – Replace old cabinets with modern materials. The more modern, the better. Make them sleek and stunning, with bold colours or complimentary whites to match the natural wood tones in your contemporary kitchen.

Woods – The stable of ever contemporary kitchen is the introduction of natural materials, such as wood, incorporated into the modern design. Whether you just do the floor, or the surfaces (why not both?) You can truly achieve a contemporary look by including natural wood tones into your design. It’s the meeting of industrial materials and colours, and wood tones, that makes a truly contemporary feel.

Décor – If you’re going to display those beloved knickknacks and the other décor you can’t possibly live without, really show them off. Instead of having them littered on surfaces, creating a display cabinet to truly feature them. Less is always more when it comes to contemporary and modern design. Keep your surfaces clear, with only essential kitchen appliances on display. The more modern the kitchen appliances, the closer you are to achieving a contemporary look.

Furniture – A great way to give your kitchen a contemporary vibe is to include a pop of colour, through furniture. Yes, bar stools are a great way to introduce a fresh colour piece that compliments the softer tones around your kitchen. You can introduce a burst of bright colour through stools, benches, or just a simple arm chair. Not only does it convey contemporary style, but it becomes a feature piece for your home.

Make it your Own

One integral part of both contemporary and modern design is individuality. Creating a unique kitchen, truly unlike anyone else, is a huge part of design. You can put your own creative flair into your design, with your own choice of colour tones, fixtures and furniture. As long as it is modern design paired with traditional elements, a contemporary kitchen is easily achievable.

Remember, the key point of contemporary kitchen design is the meeting of natural and industrial tones – such as woods and steels. This creates a modern look, accented with classic design elements. The wood makes the kitchen warm and welcoming, whilst the modern aspects make it stylish and on trend. You really can have it all. The right balance of colours is a necessity too, with 60%, 30% and 10% of complementary colours. The 10% can be a featured wall, either in dazzling tiles, or bold colour detail. A remember, your white walls don’t count as part of your colour ratio, it’s a free pass and a great way to introduce some light and space into your kitchen. Lighting is key, make them modern and make them functional. They can create moods and give your kitchen the boost of light it needs. Upgrade your cabinets with new materials, be it bold or subtle to compliment the wood tones of your floors and surfaces. Display your knickknacks in stylish cabinets and use furniture to give your kitchen a pop of colour. But, overall, make it your own. Don’t copy someone else’s design, take contemporary style and make it your own. Create the ultimate marriage of modern and classic design, with a contemporary kitchen in your home.

Author Bio:

Hugh Sallows is a Content Marketing Executive at Revive Digital. Writing content for magazines, blogs and websites, Hugh has an extensive history in writing. Hugh is currently researching and writing in home improvements, specifically working on kitchen designs and kitchen renovations.