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Contemporary Style Kitchen Renovations

Contemporary kitchens are defined by their straight lines and flush installation. The best contemporary kitchens are a perfect blend of sleek sophistication while maintaining a streamlined look and feel.


Sherbourne Street

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Cabinetry: Purewood Contemporary Door, Thermafoil, White Gloss White and Queenstown Oak
Hardware: Brushed Stainless Steel
Countertop: Caesarstone Stone Grey

Kitchen Layout Designed By David J. Designs

Bedford Park Avenue

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Cabinetry Wall: Slab, Laminate, High Gloss White
Base Cabinetry: Slab, Reconstituted Ash, Walnut Stain
Countertop: Caesarstone Concrete
Countertop - Peninsula: Caesarstone Blizzard

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Contemporary Kitchens

Contemporary kitchens are a radical break from traditional kitchens. While traditional kitchens were designed as functional workshops where food was prepared before being brought out to guests, contemporary kitchens are designed to be entertainment spaces, only secondly for function. This is part of a wider shift towards mixing the work of cooking with the pleasure of visiting with friends; a trend that has inspired open-plan homes, designer appliances, kitchen islands, and home bar stools.

It’s all About the Lines

Contemporary kitchens are designed to fit a particular line profile of straight and flush lines. These lines are particularly important because they guide how people look at a room. Our eyes and brains work by first noticing the overall lines and geometric shapes, and then filling them out later with details as time goes on. This is the reason that it’s much easier to find the door to a house than keys on a desk.

Contemporary kitchens create a sense of simplicity and cleanliness by keeping the major lines (cabinet doors, appliances, and countertops) ramrod-straight and flush (at the same depth). This can pose a great challenge for DIY home renovators as it is almost impossible to find high-quality cabinets with lines that match available appliances. This is why the vast majority of contemporary kitchens are planned and executed by design professionals. They have the materials and resources to execute the perfect contemporary kitchen without sacrificing style.

Simple Palettes

Contemporary kitchens accentuate their lines with simple palettes, creating large blocks of colour between the various lines. These tend to rely heavily on the neutral palette (white, grey, and black).

The neutral palette is important to designers because it does not inspire emotion. Reds and oranges inspire excitement, yellow inspires reflection, while blues and greens inspire calm. However, it can be exhausting to have your room pulling your emotions one way while your brain is pulling the other. Since your kitchen is used at so many times in the day, it is unlikely that any one colour will suit your mood. Too much red when you’re trying to relax with a cup of tea feels gaudy and crowded; too much blue in your morning can make you want to go back to bed. Designers of contemporary kitchens choose to get around this with neutral whites and grays in large blocks, typically with a little bit of black or colour to give the room some depth. Far from restricting you, these neutral colours actually allow you to dress up different parts of the kitchen with colourful small appliances that pop, rather than fade, against your countertops and walls.

Making it your Own

There are many other ways for homeowners to play around with the contemporary style. The most common personal touch is texture. White cabinets are a little lacklustre? Use glossy or textured finishes to make them stand out from the wall. Straight lines feel a bit too masculine and businesslike? Use slight curves in your cabinets, corners, and appliances to create a more relaxed and feminine atmosphere. The beauty of the contemporary style is that no matter how you play with it, the strong fundamentals still give your kitchen a sleek, sophisticated look of professional interior design.