These 12 Contemporary Kitchen Ideas Are What Culinary Dreams Are Made Of

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Do you ever notice that no matter how lovely or spacious the rest of your house is, guests always wind up congregating in the kitchen? That's just one of the many reasons to ensure that your culinary headquarters reflects your personal style as much as possible.

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If nailing down the general vibe of your cook space is proving to be tricky, why not consider a contemporary style kitchen? While often confused with modern design, contemporary style is an "of-the-moment" aesthetic. Most of the decor that you see when shopping in big-box stores will display contemporary decor that reflects the current trends. While you may find elements of modern design in contemporary kitchens, modern style reflects a specific period of interior design (typically from 1950-1970).

Intrigued? Keep scrolling for 12 contemporary kitchen ideas that will certainly get the wheels turning for your makeover.

1. Bring in a bold light fixture.

If you want a quick and easy way to add contemporary flair to your kitchen remodel, then consider installing a bold light fixture. We love the suspension lighting spotted in this sleek culinary setup designed by PLOW. The FLOS fixture adds loads of visual interest while also providing ample illumination to spotlight the gorgeous marble dining table below.

2. Try out checkerboard flooring.

Want to add an eye-catching design feature to your contemporary space? Consider a checkerboard kitchen floor pattern. The geometric motif adds a playful dose of energy, while remaining elegant thanks to the luxe green and white terrazzo. Complete the look with an island flaunting marble and verdant green paneling.

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3. Opt for stainless steel appliances.

If you really want your cook space to feel up-to-date and current, invest in stainless steel appliances. In this contemporary design by Elizabeth Roberts, kitchen features like the stove, fridge, and range hood work together to add a touch of industrial contrast to a crisp white scene. Pro tip: Balance the hardwearing material with more elegant textures — like the thin marble countertop and dark wood cabinets seen here.

4. Showcase a waterfall edge.

Introduce a dramatic moment in an otherwise understated cook space with a gorgeous waterfall countertop on an island or peninsula. Adding faux sheepskins to a set of modern barstools immediately ups the cozy factor, while layering in diverse textures. Top it all off with open shelves, a touch of greenery for an effortless infusion of color, and voilà! Your perfect contemporary kitchen awaits.

5. Give colorful cabinets a go.

Multicolored kitchen cabinets work especially well in a small kitchen, as proven by this chic design from Anna Bialobrzewska of the firm In Architekci. Keep it simple with a two-tone palette or follow the lead of this culinary space and invite several pops of color. An otherwise minimalist scheme with white walls and herringbone wood floors balances the vibrant cabinetry.

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6. Make a statement with natural stone.

Marble (or a lookalike material, like quartz) is easily one of the most popular kitchen countertop materials in a contemporary design, and for good reason. With so many colorways and patterns, just about anyone can find an option that suits their vision. For a culinary space that feels extra luxurious (and even a bit glam), take a tip from Decus Interiors and go beyond marble countertops by constructing your kitchen island base in marble as well!

7. Consider an open kitchen layout.

Contemporary kitchens favor open floor plans in place of separated or defined rooms. To keep the look cohesive with the rest of your living space, consider keeping the color scheme simple and neutral to allow the adjacent areas to flow effortlessly from one to the other. Here, the integrated refrigerator and white stove allow the open-concept cook space to make an impression without distracting from the rest of the home.

8. Add a dash of glam with brass cabinets.

Pretty much everything about this contemporary kitchen design by Flack Studio feels downright dreamy, but the brass cabinets and range hood are the true showstoppers. The light wood cabinetry, marble countertops, gray tile backsplash, and concrete ceiling keep the lustrous material from feeling over-the-top.

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9. Go for a monochromatic look.

If you've grown sick and tired of culinary spaces flaunting walls of white cabinets, then this black monochromatic kitchen by Hecker Guthrie is the perfect antidote. Black cabinetry still manages to feel light and inviting with the contrast of white marble countertops. Also, note the restrained styling and accessories throughout the space — proof that sometimes less really is more.

10. Swap painted cabinets for wood.

Painted kitchen cabinets are certainly not the only option for contemporary kitchens these days. More and more, we're seeing warm wood cabinets resurface throughout designer homes, like this gorgeous project by Avenue Design Studio. The white marble countertops and matching shelving paired with white wall sconces lighten up the space and keep the cabinetry from feeling too heavy.

11. Or, welcome both painted and wood cabinets.

If your heart desires both wood ​andpainted kitchen cabinets, why not welcome the best of both worlds? In this contemporary design idea by Nordiska Kök, a muted shade of navy blue paired with warm oak upper cabinets is enough to make us swoon. But if you really want to create a picture-perfect scene, follow the brand's lead and top it off with decadent limestone and swanky light fixtures, too.

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12. Utilize floor-to-ceiling glass cabinets in place of traditional storage.

This kitchen designed by Amber Interiors utilizes floor-to-ceiling cabinets with glass doors in place of traditional storage to allow an easy display of beautiful dishware and tchotchkes. The clean lines and transparent design keep the entire room feeling light and airy. Black countertops, trim, and finishes help ground the room.

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Caitlin is the former social media manager and staff writer of TheEverygirl.com in Chicago, now working as a freelance writer from her laptop in New Zealand. She loves soulful, collected interior design that feels like a warm hug, English Breakfast tea, and trips to the theatre.

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