5 Must-Have Contemporary Kitchen Design Features 

A modern kitchen design with white cabinets and marble counter tops.

The kitchen was, in the past, hidden at the back of the house and only considered a place for meal preparation and washing dishes. Fast-forward to 2021, it is often considered the heart of the home – the place that brings people together at the beginning of the day and then again during meal preparation in the evenings.

Kitchen design and installations have changed a lot over the years and this makes it very important to plan for your kitchen remodel or new home construction. Thanks to technological advancements and the changing social dynamics, there has been a huge focus on contemporary kitchens. That’s because they offer a sleek and stylish design so your kitchen never goes out of style. In addition to aesthetics, they are designed to be user-friendly and to offer modern functionality for the whole family. 

Contemporary spaces also incorporate traditional ideas so your kitchen is liveable and not cold or sterile. Here are five must-haves that will instantly turn your kitchen into a fab functional contemporary space:

Modern Lighting

Kitchen lights have become more diverse, sophisticated, and flexible. A well-designed lighting scheme can make a world of a difference for both cooking and hosting. Generally, you’ll need bright light where you prep and cook meals but softer ambient light over seating areas. But first, do you prefer something more discreet to blend in or a statement piece? 

More than just a light source, today’s homeowners prefer lighting features that add a ‘wow’ factor. In that case, a low hanging pendant is an ideal choice for providing a focal point in your kitchen and a gentle pool of light.

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Halogens and recessed lighting give out a cool and more striking appearance than modern kitchens have. Also, when placed under cabinets, they help to brighten up the kitchen while also acting as a task light.

For a truly ultra-modern effect, consider adding plinth lighting, which is achieved by installing LED lights individually or in a long, unbroken line. This adds soft lighting to the flooring of the kitchen and makes the space feel large and bright.

Most importantly, maximise natural light to instantly brighten your kitchen space and give it a distinctly contemporary edge.

Adding different types of lights is essential for a contemporary kitchen as it allows you to see clearly what you are doing and creates ambience.

A modern kitchen design with stainless steel appliances.

A Splash of Colour

White has often been associated with a modern and futuristic feel and nothing says contemporary kitchen than a white kitchen scheme. But be careful not to step too far as space might feel a little too clinical. To help break the use of one colour, try incorporating different textures into the kitchen, add stainless steel appliances, and don’t forget accents of grey on the walls and flooring. Alternatively, you can include bright colour blocking on a statement wall or across the kitchen island.

Although the white colour scheme is a classic look, a contemporary kitchen doesn’t have to be monochrome; you can have fun with colour. This can be as simple as painting your kitchen cabinets or adding colourful furniture, prints, and lighting. Take it up a notch with a bold paint choice. This can transform your kitchen from clichéd and boring to contemporary and fresh. 

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While you can choose whatever colour schemes you like, bright, optimistic colours like orange, green, and red add a more stimulating and resonant feel to the space. Gentle colours like pale blue, cream, and grey work very well too. A high-gloss finish provides a greater impact. If you have an open-space kitchen consider a lighter contrast so the kitchen doesn’t visually dominate the living space.

Smart Kitchens

Technology has entered today’s kitchen and not just in form of fancy appliances and gadgets, but to make life easier for everyone at home. No contemporary kitchen is complete without having technology integrated into every appliance and function. Imagine ovens cleaning themselves, refrigerators helping you plan your meals and updating your online shopping list, a hands-free faucet, and lights turning on/off with voice commands. It seems like there’s an appliance/gadget out there just waiting to ease your work in the kitchen.

Smart-home trends are a growing aspect of contemporary kitchens. Many of today’s kitchens are built smart from the onset but if you have an older model, you can still add smart devices and appliances.

A person holding a smart phone in front of a kitchen for Kitchen Design inspiration.

Full-Overlay Cabinets

Cabinets help to define the style of a kitchen. Luckily, there are endless cabinet features that you can add to your kitchen for a contemporary look with the first one being full-overlay cabinets. With this type of cabinet construction, the door overlays the cabinet box, meaning little or none of the door frame shows. This makes the layout appear seamless and sleeker than with an inset cabinet construction that’s often associated with traditional kitchen designs.

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Multi-Purpose Space

Designing a contemporary kitchen is more than adding modern fixtures and fittings. What’s most important is creating a multifunctional space where everyone can meet for meals, entrainment, and even engaging. An ideal solution for this is to create a kitchen island with pendant lighting, complete with bar-style seating. This provides additional options for dining and entertaining while allowing everyone to be comfortable.

Final Thoughts

The sky is the limit when it comes to creating your dream kitchen and the above design features are just the tip of the iceberg to help you get started on your kitchen renovation or new home construction project. These features combine the best of aesthetics and functionality to create the ultimate kitchen. From the text above, the simplest description for contemporary kitchen designs is clean, simple yet sophisticated.

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