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How Do You Design A Contemporary Kitchen?

If you’re thinking of renovating your kitchen and going for a contemporary kitchen look, we’re guessing you’re either super excited; looking forward to how amazing your new space will look, or, more likely, totally overwhelmed with the amount of choice on offer. Which handles go with which door? Which worktop works best with an inset sink? There’s just so much to take in!

That’s why we’ve decided to shed some light on the whole kitchen style, design and buying process, so you can find the contemporary kitchen look for you, whether it’s an ultra sharp slab or a minimalist glass.

What is a Contemporary Kitchen?

Unlike ‘modern’ kitchens, which actually follow a specific style movement, much in the same way as an art deco and shaker kitchen would, contemporary kitchens are simply following trends that are in style ‘right now’. Whilst a contemporary kitchen can be cutting edge; fitting with current design trends, there is a danger that a particular style could go ‘out of fashion’, something to keep in mind when planning your renovation.

At the moment, the general consensus of a contemporary design is to make use of quality materials, focusing on clean lines, sharp edges and streamlined surfaces. That doesn’t mean your designs have to be so pretty there unusable though, mix in functionality to make sure your kitchen works for the whole family.

The success of a contemporary kitchen depends upon the quality of material and finish, so be sure your handiwork is up to standard, or consider employing a professional to get that perfect look.

Contemporary Kitchen Style Guide

Contemporary Kitchen Design
Source: (WOW Interiors)

Contemporary Kitchen Doors

Slab style doors are popular at the moment, particularly with integrated handles which reduce ‘clutter’ and help achieve the minimalist look. Try using wider drawer widths and choose drawers over cupboards to enhance the flowing lines of slab style doors.

As well as being on trend, gloss finished doors maximise light with their reflective surface, as well as being easier to wipe down. Be warned however, the glossy surfaces of slab style doors do show up marks more frequently, so require more regular cleaning!

Which Sink Works Best With A Contemporary Kitchen?

In general, stainless steel sinks work best in contemporary kitchens and can tie everything together, when matched with appliances, handles and electrical fittings. We recommend an undermount kitchen sink to continue the pared back design. If you’re looking for something a little different, consider a coloured granite sink which can add a hint of colour.

Avoid Belfast sinks and larger ceramic sinks which are more traditionally paired with classic style kitchens.

Grey and Metallic
Source: (Homify)

Decor & Colour Schemes

Neutral tones have long been popular in contemporary designs, with grey tones taking precedent over creams and beige in recent years. Use light greys and white as your main colours, with darker greys reserved for feature walls and impact areas. A limited colour palette doesn’t have to be boring! Think high contrast and incorporate a variety of natural materials and textures to generate interest in your kitchen, without the need for a wild colour scheme.

Stones and wood grain work well in contemporary kitchens, as do metallic finishes (with copper being particularly on trend at the moment), use them in blocks to complement and soften up the harder edges of your kitchen doors.

Although contemporary colour schemes are generally quite reserved, if your units are dark then you can afford to include a bold colour; the contrast will really set things off.


Unlike traditional kitchens, which try to squeeze in every last bit of cupboard space, contemporary kitchens take the ‘less is more’ approach. Using wider drawers where possible not only adds to the overall look, it also gives you easy access to all your pots and pans, with no rummaging around at the back of the cupboards.

Space permitting, an island can add extra functionality and provides an opportunity to add some style to your room, often by contrasting the main kitchen units.


Continue the linear emphasis using tiles or wooden flooring. Flooring is an opportunity to bring in more materials such as stone to contrast with the smoother surfaces of the doors and add a little texture (and interest) to the room.

Rough or smooth flooring both work well in a contemporary kitchen, but avoid smaller tiles or planks, stick to a larger scale to emphasise the modernity of the room and give a sense of space.

Porcelain is hard wearing, doesn’t require sealing and glossier tiles can help reflect light.


Again, making use of natural materials emphasises the quality and overall feel of a contemporary kitchen. Whilst some designers choose to match flooring and worktops, this isn’t a requirement.

Consider a quartz or granite worktop to add patterned interest to your room.


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Ready to get started on your kitchen? Take a look at our worktops, sinks and taps for more inspiration!

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Style Guide: The Contemporary Kitchen

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