Modern or contemporary kitchens

Modern or contemporary kitchens 
Contemporary kitchens are driven by clean design, and the best of available kitchen technologies. Image by Corian.

What is a modern kitchen?

To say modern kitchens are popular right now would be to state the obvious; after all, for what reason other than the kitchens being a popular modern choice would they be called 'modern' kitchens? Modernity in its current incarnation entails kitchen designs that are sleek, minimalist and sexy.

The driving force behind the current trend in modern kitchens comes from technology. As kitchen staples like fridges and dishwashers have modernised and improved, so too have the kitchens around them. Though functionality remains important – it always will, to some extent – modern kitchens are now a tremendously aesthetic affair.


Geometrical shapes

Straight lines and open shelving are currently very popular in modern kitchen design. These characteristics are often used alongside asymmetrical shapes and non-parallel lines running through the kitchen. Curves are also finding their way into modern kitchen designs, particularly in the form of things like waterfall benches that melt down towards the ground at the ends. The focus is still mostly on linear shapes, and what results is normally a room that looks very polished and smooth.


Modern kitchen materials


Perhaps the most noticeable point of difference between modern kitchens and other styles of kitchen design is the types of material used. Modern kitchens are likely to feature a much greater variety of materials than most other kitchens. Stainless steel, glass, plastic, concrete, chrome, acrylic, stone and timber are all a part of the repertoire. What this means is a huge amount of stylistic possibilities, and (provided that the clients and budgets are both willing), a blank canvas for all manner of creative design expression.


Maximising space

Space is at a premium in most households, but the aim of modern kitchens is to maximise and exaggerate space to create a feeling of openness and size. A busy kitchen feels cramped and claustrophobic, and the aim in most modern kitchens is to combat this sensation. This is normally achieved using clean, uncomplicated surfaces, neat layouts and by concealing things like kitchen furniture and appliances as much as possible into the cabinetry and storage areas.


Less is more

Contemporary kitchens don't use much decoration or ornamentation in their designs. Fixed benches and furnishings are kept relatively bare and clean to prevent clutter and open up the room. This is all part of a “less is more” philosophy, which extends to the cabinets and accessories as well. In most cases, cabinets and other permanent kitchen items are not freestanding, and are build in to the kitchen along walls.