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Contemporary Kitchen Design: What Makes Decor ‘Modern’?

Tips and Tricks for Contemporary Kitchen Design: What Makes Decor ‘Modern’?

 The kitchen is fast becoming the heart of every home, and with many opting for the open plan kitchen/dinner, it’s the room that houses everything from lazy breakfasts to drunken dinner parties. With this in mind, careful planning of the design and decor are more important than ever. This post will focus on how to create a contemporary kitchen and what makes decor modern.

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The main concept of contemporary design is simplicity. Keeping the space simple, with clean lines, and a neutral colour palette are sure-fire ways to keep a modern feel throughout the room. This can be done by opting for flat kitchen cupboards with handleless solutions. Not only does the lack of hardware convey the modern message with new technologies, it also goes back to the concept of simplicity with no interruptions and clean lines. If handleless doesn’t appeal to you, opting for linear hardware, such as tubular bar pulls can offer a sleek alternative. In this instance, matching the handles to features such as the taps can turn the hardware into a contemporary design feature rather than an interruption.

Keeping the space clutter-free and airy can play a vital part in creating the simplicity needed for contemporary decor. This can be done by using innovative space saving technology, such as carousel corner cupboards and appliance cupboards on the worktop. Maximising storage space allows for less clutter to be left on the counter, which in turn adds to the modern design. Appliance cupboards take this one step further by creating a home for small appliances, such as the toaster or kettle, so they can be tucked away and out of sight with no more than the close of a door.

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Clutter-free not only refers to maintaining clear worktops, but also keeping the ‘kitchen triangle’ free of obstacles. The concept may be anything but modern, but the premise is still appropriate to be considered when creating a contemporary space. This idea is that there are three main workspaces in a kitchen, forming the three points of the triangle, and the space between them should always be kept clear to reduce the amount of steps needed to perform basic kitchen tasks. When the concept was created the three main points were the sink, oven and fridge. I personally disagree with designing a kitchen purely to minimise steps (although keeping all the appliances in the same room is a real usability bonus), however, keeping this space free of obstacles helps to maintain the minimalistic modern style of the room.

This airiness can also be created in smaller spaces by avoiding elements that make that space feel even smaller. Key examples of this are floor-to-ceiling and over-head cupboards, as they give the effect of lowering the ceiling in smaller rooms. As old-fashioned buildings are known for cosy, low ceiling spaces, the effect of these types of cabinets can reduce the spacious feel and thus impact the modern style of the kitchen. This will have less of an impact in larger kitchens, however, could be avoided entirely by using space saving solutions within a kitchen island. For example, including the hob or sink within the island to create more storage space beneath work surfaces, or building drawers and cupboards into the island.


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So what makes a modern kitchen? Clean lines, minimal clutter, and a spacious atmosphere. Little touches like using flat cabinets rather than inset can make the world of difference, but ultimately, contemporary design can be interpreted in a variety of ways. Many bespoke furniture makers can create the feel and style you’d like while working to maximise your storage and increase the usability of the space.

 About Author

This post has been written by Ellie McDaniel; interior design enthusiast and digital marketing professional. She represents Anthony Mullan Furniture (link: an independent, award winning furniture company, specializing in bespoke kitchens (link:

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