Contemporary Kitchen Design Ideas for Your Fairfax County Home

Contemporary kitchen style has origins in 1940s Europe, its simplicity, clean lines, and monochromatic palette the backdrop for a functional, minimalist approach that emphasizes the efficient use of space.

Whether you are planning a complete remodel or just looking to add some contemporary elements to your kitchen, we’ve put together some essential tips to spark your imagination.

The Contemporary Color Palette

From Pinterest

A contemporary approach tends toward a neutral, monochrome palette. Shades of grey, white, black, and greige are most common, although a splash of color here and there is not unusual. Bright accents lend a mid-century modern feel.

Black is still quite popular in contemporary design. It lends an aura of elegance and luxury that suits any type of home, from urban condos to family homes.

A monochrome palette using shades of grey might sound industrial, but adding wood elements, such as flooring or countertops, softens the look and takes it a step away from looking too industrial. Natural fibers and textured fabrics are warming as well, and a few plants or a kitchen herb garden lend depth and life.

Adding dimension to a monochrome color palette requires contrast, which can be achieved with high-gloss cabinets or island. Contrasting shades of the same color create depth and make your neutral colors pop, while brighter hues, like orange or teal, lend a modernist look and feel. If you opt for an accent shade like this, think about where you are placing it. The island is one possibility, but for a more subtle, albeit dramatic, approach, try painting the insides of your drawers and cabinets.

Contemporary Cabinetry Style

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Simplicity and function are the order of the day with contemporary style. Contemporary cabinets are flat-fronted and generally have no hardware, lending a clean, uncluttered look.

You won’t see crown moldings or corbels, either, as the style intrinsically avoids unnecessary decorative elements. Think seamless, and you’ll be on the right track.

Contemporary kitchen cabinets come in a wide range of materials, including plastic, glass, and wood, many with a glossy, lacquered, or metallic finish.

Concealed storage keeps your surfaces clear without having to downsize. Pull-out pantries, built-in appliances, and freezer drawers are great ways to keep things simple on the surface. For a completely seamless look, think about custom panels to conceal your refrigerator, dishwasher, wine fridge, and so on.

A built-in range might seem a bit old-fashioned, but it fits right in with the contemporary aesthetic.

Backsplash and Tile for the Contemporary Kitchen

From Pinterest

Shape and geometry are the first considerations when choosing tile for a contemporary kitchen. Colors and textures take the backseat – even when it comes to the backsplash, often the most ornate feature of kitchen design.

Glass and ceramic tile are common choices, laid in a uniform pattern. A geometric design with grout in a contrasting color gives you enough distinction without being overly ornamental. The idea is to enhance the simple, clean lines of the rest of the kitchen features, so ornate, and colored tiles are best avoided.

Open Shelves


Open shelving gives you so many design possibilities to work with. For example, floating shelves offer you a chance to display beautiful but functional kitchen tools, which then double as decorative elements.

Open shelving can also be integrated into your kitchen island to extend the design. To extend your interior design and create a seamless look in an open-concept space, use the same type of shelving in your adjacent living or dining room.

Not all shelving in the contemporary kitchen has to be open. You will need plenty of closed cabinetry to hide your things away. Unless something is immediately functional, it should not be in the line of sight. Pantry items, for example, should be stored away behind closed cabinets, although a set of canisters for essentials like coffee, tea, sugar, and flour would do nicely.

Think about functionality, too. How do you work in the kitchen? Open shelves above your work area give you a place to display the things you use most in a place that is within arm’s reach of all the action. Economy of movement should always figure into your plans.

Geometric, Flexible Design


Many homeowners today are opting for a multi-generational approach to kitchen design. Having countertops at varying heights, integrated seating, extended breakfast bars, and easy access for storage at any height makes your contemporary kitchen future-proof.

Are you planning a kitchen remodel and thinking about contemporary design? Reach out today to find out how we can help.

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