Ever hear the words contemporary and modern and wonder what exactly they mean? They are often used interchangeably, but they’re not quite the same. Modern design refers to a specific design movement from the early 20th century and follows stricter guidelines; contemporary is more fluid and allows for more freedom with changing trends. Understanding the differences between these kitchen designs can help if you are considering a remodel.
Modern kitchens are exceptionally clean and open. This is a specific design style that focuses on the materials and function of the kitchen rather than ornamentation. It was first popularized during the 1920’s and 1950’s. Some preferred materials are wood, linen, plastic, and leather. The emphasis is usually on straight, horizonal lines so you’re not likely to find many adornments on the cabinets. You’ll know a modern kitchen by is minimalistic features: Solid color concrete or marble backsplashes, frameless cabinets, flat panel doors, minimal trim, and shiny, sleek appliances and hardware.
Contemporary kitchens usually mix modern design with new trends and materials. While still focusing on function, this style tends to be more artistic in nature. So, while you may see a minimalist kitchen with many modern elements, there may be pops of bold colors and ornamentation. In a contemporary kitchen you can often find something like dark wood or black cabinets, contrasting white countertops, and stainless-steel appliances. The backsplash often contains patterns made of stone, ceramic, or mosaic glass tiling. Some choose to disguise appliances as cabinets, have countertops with square edges, and under lighted glass. Light fixtures are artistic, and accessories are minimal.
You are not restricted to one style or the other. Find the elements that are right for you, prioritize what is most important in the design of your kitchen, and work within your budget. If you’re looking for contemporary or modern kitchen design ideas, Southwest Kitchen & Bath can help. Call our kitchen design experts in Tucson at (520) 531-9187.