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Contemporary Kitchen Cabinets

“Contemporary”
or “modern” styling, usually considered the opposite of
“traditional,” actually encompasses a fairly wide variety of
styles and historical periods. The common element is an uncluttered,
form-follows-function look where simplicity rules—an aesthetic
that’s perfectly at home from Shaker and Mission to Asian, Italian and
Scandinavian, not to mention the most avant-garde institutional
settings. Clean lines, beautiful surfaces, and clever use of natural
and other lighting are common features of contemporary
kitchens.

As this diversity
suggests, the contemporary palette offers a nearly infinite range of
choices, so that whatever effect you’re looking for, you’ll be able to
put together just the right elements. Never lose focus on simplicity
and function; ornamental but useless embellishment has no place here.
That doesn’t mean beauty has to be sacrificed to utility, though.
Quite the contrary.

From the overall
design and layout of your kitchen to the materials you choose,
consider the overall effect and make thoughtful decisions—not only
of what’s going to hold up to the day-to-day rigors of domestic life,
but what’s going to create a place you love to spend time
in.

While they’re simple, contemporary styles can include both framed and
frameless cabinets; doors and drawer fronts can be single slabs or
framed panels, e.g. Shaker. They often make a dramatic statement with
clean, unbroken lines, and a uniform finish; even drawer pulls and
door knobs are often absent. When they are used, they’re carefully
chosen for the right effect: metal pulls are especially popular, often
in brushed finishes and long, narrow shapes.

In general the contemporary look means lots of clean, straight lines,
but that doesn’t mean there’s no place for curves; modern European
designers in particular love circles, ellipses, and freeform shapes as
tables and work surfaces.

Choosing the right materials is essential with the contemporary look
—your choices have nowhere to hide. Luckily, the possibilities are
endless: any wood that looks well in simple designs is a natural for
contemporary cabinets, whether in a light or dark finish. Dramatic
grain can be a real design element here. Also note that some designers
are developing lines of cabinetry that feature such renewable
materials as bamboo, with pleasing results.

If wood’s not for you, never fear, thermofoil and melamine are your
friends here, allowing you to make a dramatic statement with a wide
range of color options. Or go for metal—brushed stainless steel, in
particular, is a hit in contemporary environments, particularly if
you’re going with black or stainless appliances.

If you like the clean and simple look, but aren’t sure how to proceed,
working with a good designer who understands your taste can be a big
help in getting the cabinets that will be a joy for years to come.

Often mistaken for the opposite of “traditional,” contemporary design actually encompasses a wide variety of styles and historical periods. The common element is an uncluttered, form-follows-function look where simplicity rules—an aesthetic that’s perfectly at home in styles from Shaker and Mission to Asian, Italian, and Scandinavian kitchens.

Here’s what you need to know in shopping for new contemporary kitchen cabinets.

Costs

The cost of contemporary kitchen cabinets depends on the manufacturer as well as the quality of the materials used and the size of the cabinets.

Pros

Contemporary kitchen cabinets offer clean lines and beautiful surfaces.

They allow for a wide variety of different styling options and material choices.

While simplicity reigns, European designers also incorporate freeform shapes into their contemporary cabinet designs.

Cons

Some homeowners feel that contemporary cabinets don’t create a warm and welcoming kitchen.

Many contemporary cabinets forgo drawer pulls and door knobs for more simplistic hardware, which some homeowners don’t like.

Durability

The durability of contemporary kitchen cabinets depends on the materials used, as well as the quality of the manufacturer and skill of your installer. Get a price quote to learn what contemporary-style cabinets would cost for your kitchen.

Maintenance

The maintenance of contemporary kitchen cabinets also depends on the materials used. However, most kitchen cabinets can be kept looking like new simply by wiping them down on a regular basis with a clean, damp cloth. For tougher stains, a cleaning solution of dishwashing detergent and water will usually do the trick.

Common Questions and Answers

Which materials are best for contemporary kitchen cabinets?

When it comes to choosing the right material for contemporary kitchen cabinets, the possibilities are endless. Any wood that looks great in simple designs is a natural for contemporary cabinets, whether in light or dark finish. Dramatic grain can be

What comes along with the contemporary look?

While generally all contemporary cabinets are simple, contemporary styles can include both framed and frameless cabinets. Cabinet doors and drawer fronts can be single slabs or framed panels. Drawer pulls and door knobs are often absent, but when they are

History

Contemporary style dates back to the 20th century, when designers began doing away with decorative accessories in an attempt to create clean, simple lines.

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