The Ultimate Style Guide: Contemporary Kitchen Design

Posted by Rhian Burrell, on January 31, 2024.

The sleek lines, innovative materials, and functional designs of contemporary kitchens have their own place as centrepieces in many homes – and here at Cherrywood Bespoke, we’ve been lucky enough to shape a selection of spaces that follow this kind of influence. 

This style guide explores the key elements of contemporary kitchen design, from trendy kitchen islands and lighting to luxurious features that truly make your space contemporary.

What is contemporary kitchen design?

We define contemporary design as current styles and influences that are popular and relevant now. We often characterise it by a focus on clean lines, open spaces, and a balance between form and function. 

So how do we achieve contemporary design? We’ve pinpointed a few elements that you can incorporate into your own bespoke kitchen plans.

Contemporary kitchen islands

Kitchen islands have become a staple of the modern home. A kitchen island isn’t just a functional component; it’s a statement piece that can elevate an entire space. Kitchen islands showcase the clean lines that are synonymous with modern styles, and they also maximise the utility of your space by incorporating multifunctional features – from built-in wine coolers, to smart storage solutions. Find out more about creating the right kitchen island for your space, or take a look at some of the focal points that we’ve created in our kitchen projects.

Contemporary kitchen lighting

Cutting-edge lighting is a fundamental aspect of contemporary kitchen design. These fixtures add visual intrigue, and they also contribute to the ambience of the space – in this way, lighting can serve to boost your contemporary influence. 

Lighting choices that we’ve seen more customers opt for in recent years include pendant lights. These fixtures are often found above the kitchen island or dining area, and they can create a distinctive spotlight effect. They’re also ideal for households that are against keeping the dreaded big light on! To keep it in fitting with contemporary style, choose geometric or abstract designs and consider adjustable heights for versatility.

Alternatively, you could illuminate your beautiful worktops with under-cabinet lighting. LED strips or recessed lights provide a clean, seamless look which can also set the mood of the room. Cupboard lighting can create a similar appeal, helping you to showcase your favourite glassware.

Luxury kitchen design

For those aiming to take contemporary kitchen design to the next level, incorporating luxury features is a must. From high-end materials to cutting-edge technology, luxury contemporary kitchens redefine sophistication.

To create a luxury feel, choose materials such as quartz for your worktops, high-gloss cabinetry, and understated backsplashes. 

Contemporary white kitchens

White kitchens have always had a classic appeal, but recent trends have injected a serious contemporary edge to this minimalistic choice.  A white palette creates a sense of openness, cleanliness, and versatility – there are plenty of ways to add subtle hints of other shades to avoid creating a ‘clinical’ feeling. 

Opt for flat-panel or handle-less white cabinets to achieve a clean and seamless look. This design choice not only aligns with contemporary aesthetics but also ensures a timeless appeal.

While the primary colour scheme is white, add visual interest with contrasting accents. Consider incorporating black hardware, bold-coloured appliances, or a statement backsplash to break the monotony and introduce a contemporary flair.

Adding contemporary accents to other design styles

If you’re inspired by contemporary style, but you don’t want to commit the entire aesthetic of your space to this influence, there are plenty of alternative ways that you can weave its hallmarks into your bespoke kitchen design. 

Elements such as taps, door handles, and cabinetry finishes can all embody some modern touches, introducing some creative juxtaposition into a classic shaker kitchen or creating visual intrigue in your custom plywood kitchen. 

Your kitchen colour palette of choice can also add some modern connotations to an otherwise traditional space. Lean towards ‘of the moment’ hues such as emerald green, deep navy, and ochre, and use them as subtle, understated accents to create a modern touch.

Contemporary kitchen design is all about merging style with functionality, creating spaces that are both stunning and practical. Start designing your own statement space, and understand how we can bring it to life by booking a home consultation with our kitchen designer. To arrange an appointment, or to book a visit to our Oxfordshire kitchen showroom, simply get in touch with us today.