From Beth on October 2nd, 2009 in Kitchen Remodel
A contemporary upgrade from top to bottom
For the New York City bachelor, a modern kitchen is about sleek design and minimalism. For the Chicago chef, it’s about accessibility and high-quality appliances. And for the eco-conscious San Francisco family with time-crunched schedules, a modern kitchen must be green and highly efficient. Though the meaning of what a modern kitchen is varies by lifestyle, the underlying theme is the same. So, what goes into a modern kitchen remodel?
In order to develop a clear objective for your kitchen remodel, you need to know the basic attributes of a successful urban kitchen design and then relate the design elements to your personal lifestyle. Here are the basics:
The flooring you choose can make or break the overall look of your kitchen, so put some deep thought into selecting the right material and colors. Choose flooring that will highlight your cabinets, countertops and appliances. Vinyl tiles, slate, wood, bamboo, and laminate go well in modern kitchens. For a cooler feel (literally), high-buffed natural concrete looks incredible and gives the flooring an ultra-modern look.
Modern kitchens are open and airy – all wasted space, dysfunctional walls and poor organization are eliminated. Freestanding appliances are replaced with built-ins to blend with the sleek, new cabinetry. All dead space is filled with highly efficient cabinets and updated accessories. Kitchen islands are a big asset to the modern kitchen – they open up the space and provide an eating area, extra storage and counter space for food prep and socializing.
Modern countertops are simple and uncluttered. Common materials include stainless steel, concrete slab, quartz, glass and granite. The cabinetry is complemented by the countertop and flooring. Thus, the countertop acts as a visual balance point.
Appliances are major design elements. They’re usually stainless steel or concealed to blend with the cabinets. Common appliances found in the modern kitchen are: Sub-Zero Fridge/Freezers, Viking or Wolf stainless steel gas ranges and range hoods, integrated refrigeration & dish warming drawers, Miele fully integrated dishwashers and built-in wine coolers.
Modern kitchen cabinets come in various price ranges and styles. The most common materials used include stainless steel and veneer or laminated covered wood. The cabinetry is well-designed and frameless, with a harmonious flow of lines that are simple, uniform, organized, and elegant (without appearing imposing).
St. Charles cabinets with stainless steel hardware, countertop and siding
You can really use lighting to your advantage by highlighting areas of interest. Under-cabinet strip lighting bounces reflections off the countertop, creates ambience and is useful task lighting for food prep. Concealed lighting in cabinets illuminates the kitchen with a warm, understated glow. Flex rail track lighting allows you to adjust fixtures to highlight cabinets or a tiled backsplash, and pendant light fixtures over an island give visual relief by serving as a space divider.
These are the basics for remodeling a modern kitchen. The cabinets, lighting, high-end appliances, countertops, flooring and layout have a general theme: they’re functional, efficient, sleek and state-of-the-art. Now, it’s up to you to custom-tailor these features to suit your own lifestyle.