For everyone who loves carved cabinetry, multi-colored mosaic tiles decorating every surface, dramatic window coverings and lots of nooks and crannies in their kitchen, there is another type of person who likes things, modern, geometric and uncluttered. This client might be called a minimalist and for them, the perfect kitchen style may be Contemporary.
Less is more
Contemporary kitchens purposefully strip down a kitchen to its function. Gone are moldings and unnecessary ornamentation. Lines are horizontal or asymmetrical and sleek is the order of the day. Appliances (sometimes industrial strength) are often stainless steel and other materials used in the kitchen are mostly man-made like chrome, laminate, frosted glass, polished concrete or even linoleum. Surfaces are often reflective.
Cabinetry may have minimal or no visible hardware and cabinet surfaces are often flat (sliding cabinets sometimes play a big part in Contemporary design.) Spaces are open and every part of the design is clean. Even window coverings are often reduced just to functional blinds to keep the sun's glare down or the window glass itself treated to shade the room without the need of window coverings all together. This bare bones approach has been perfected by European designers, particularly those in Scandinavia, Germany and Italy, who have been in the vanguard of Contemporary design.
Design follows function
Everything in a Contemporary kitchen design is about functionality—Whatever makes the cook's life easier. From the layout of the appliances (usually the classic triangle of refrigerator, sink and stove is used to increase efficiency) to where and what type of cabinetry is used. The idea is for everything to have a place and for that place to be exactly where the cook needs it to speed up and make the cooking process easier. Such lack of clutter and smooth surfaces also make cleaning a Contemporary kitchen a whole lot easier.
Different use of light and color
Contemporary kitchens often make use of recessed lighting (even using miniature spotlights in cabinet interiors if the cabinets are glass-faced.) Halogen lights are used to radiate on the countertop or workspace to give the cook the light they need. Pendant lights can light a kitchen island. What you rarely see in a contemporary kitchen is a chandelier.
Color in a Contemporary kitchen design can go either way—Perhaps walls painted in some hot shade can add the pop of color needed to keep all that stainless steel from becoming too industrial or you may go Italian and get tomato red cabinetry, making it the focal point of your new design scheme.
“Contemporary design allows for the use of more unique and interesting materials, such as exotic wood veneers and specialty metals,” says Jason Landau, kitchen designer and CEO of Amazing Spaces, LLC. “Since such design offers the opportunity to mix several different materials like wood and high gloss lacquer, multiple countertop thickness and more diverse materials, I find designing a contemporary kitchen to be a very creative outlet.”
Creating a Contemporary kitchen, using subtle geometric curves to soften the straight lines and the right materials to appear sleek and modern without being too dehumanizing, requires a kitchen designer with great creativity, years of experience and an architectural education. Just such a designer is the one quoted above--Jason Landau of Amazing Spaces, LLC. From the initial project drawings through picking the exact fixtures and best cabinets to bring life to the space, right through to appliance installation, Jason and his crack team can help develop and hone your vision of your perfect Contemporary kitchen and then implement the plan flawlessly. Call him today at 914-239-3725 or visit www.amazingspacesllc.com.5