What has metallic accents, impeccable attention to scale and proportion, a coat of crisp paint, either bold or neutral, and is completely clutter-free while still boasting a personal touch? The contemporary kitchen of our dreams. When it comes to striking the balance between form and function and tradition and modernity in a kitchen, we have a lot to learn from interior designers. As such, we compiled our 13 favorite contemporary kitchens from style-savvy professionals. These spaces offer plenty of fresh ways to show the heart of the home some on-trend yet timeless love.
So if you're renovating and want to feel out your options before committing to one design direction, or you simply want some inspiration, take a peek at these next-level contemporary kitchens.
With crisp white paint and subway tiles, simple silver handle pulls, classic hardwood floors, and subtle black countertops, this is one of the kitchens that's impossible to get tired of. From New York–based designer Elizabeth Roberts, its simplicity lets the great architectural bones of the room do most of the talking. The flood of natural light doesn't hurt either.
Midcentury perfection meets modern minimalism in this unique space. It almost has a futuristic cabin feel to it that could only be achieved by West Coast firm JH Interior Design. The use of warm chestnut brown wood in everything from the floor to the ceiling and even the appliances like the refrigerator creates a cohesive, one-of-a-kind environment. Even better, it allows us to focus on the striking textured orange facade, which is lit up nicely by the gold pendant.
This kitchen has a ton of personality without feeling over-the-top. We love how Open House LA chose leather barstools that don't quite match the blue painted cabinets—the room is a bit more offbeat this way, creating an intrigue that we wouldn't get otherwise. While the vintage wall art and avant-garde photographs and hidden hood are easy highlights, our favorite part is the counter nook since it's reminiscent of an Art Deco Italian coffee bar.
You can always count on designer Catherine Kwong to decorate flawless San Francisco homes with a sense of place. This kitchen is proof that you should always say yes to marble and a bulbous light fixture that's more like a work of art. The stone backsplash is sleek, elegant, and a bit more unique than your classic subway tile aesthetic. To keep things approachable and liveable, we love how the fancier elements are toned down with the minimal black leather sling chairs and surrounding light wood grain.
What would a roundup of contemporary kitchens be without a quintessentially modern one in the mix? If you appreciate the austere elegance of minimalist spaces, this kitchen by Scandinavian designer Annaleena will be up your alley. The lone suspended light bulb is the perfect piece to illuminate this kitchen and dining space, and that matte black dinnerware piled on the geometric white lacquered island is the finishing touch.
Traditional styles can still look creative and on-trend when paired with modern elements. Case in point? Elizabeth Roberts's masterpiece of a kitchen with this elaborate French statement range. To make it pop, it's nestled against a backdrop of gorgeous marble counters, hood, backsplash, and shelving. The slate gray painted cabinets help soften the contrast between the bright white stone surfaces and the deep black-and-gold stove.
Here's proof that a deep ocean blue hue is the ideal paint color for a contemporary kitchen. This bold color packs a lot of punch in the tiny dine-in kitchen. Plus the exposed shelving and lone leaning painting really personalize the room with a laid-back feel without taking up any valuable surface space. The gold wall sconces, hardware, and faucet also elevate the space without clashing with the lightly worn brown table and flooring.
We're impressed with the way this kitchen honors the Victorian bones of this home while also introducing some contemporary elements, like the Mediterranean floor tiles, exposed beams, white hidden range hood, and sassy brass pendant lights. Though we wouldn't know it if we saw each item on its own, they complement each other beautifully, which is thanks to Portland-based JH Interior Design's expertise.
For something a little moodier, we love these dark gray lacquered cabinets and backsplash in a kitchen from the Scandinavian firm Fantastic Frank. The gold hardware adds a touch of glam to the space, too, making a smaller kitchen still feel sophisticated and fancy.
First of all, we love the actual layout of this kitchen, designed by Los Angeles designer Amber Interiors. The island does a great job of breaking it off from the rest of the space since it bleeds into more formal settings, like the living room and dining area. Aside from the layout, this is achieved by mixing industrial styles (the pendant lights) with sleek countertops, hidden appliances, neutral stools, and a bright Persian rug to warm things up.
Tailored yet liveable, this Long Island home was perfected by BHDM Design. With plenty of storage space, sprawling countertops, and comfortable stools at the island for casual dining, this is the ideal family kitchen. The framed artwork above the stove adds just a touch of personality without creating clutter, and even better those tile floors are super durable and easy to clean up so no one will be crying over spilled milk.
We simply couldn't resist one more kitchen from JH Interior Design. It's the perfect guide for how to refresh a kitchen without doing a full-on renovation. For example, if you need more cooking space in the kitchen, bring in a tall farmhouse dining table instead of an island. You can use it as additional dining space when you aren't utilizing it for cooking purposes. The linear gold pendant adds a touch of modern style to make the room feel a bit more elegant.
Here's another contemporary kitchen that feels fresh and new but also incorporates classic pieces like an extravagant chandelier. The oak flooring, crisp white walls, and stainless steel stove peaking out from behind the kitchen island create an easy balance between casual and fancy, liveable and photo-ready.
This was originally published on January 14, 2018, and has since been updated.