The kitchen is my favorite area to design. It is also probably one of the most challenging rooms in the house because it is used for entertaining, preparing, cooking, and serving. The bar is always being raised higher due to the fact that there is no other room in the house where advances in technology, materials, finishes, and design evolve faster. It is a collision of form and function in relatively small space and the result can be frustrating or so successful it is unnoticeable.
In designing a contemporary kitchen, form more closely follows function than probably any other design style. The result is minimalistic and efficient where appliances and accessories are the focus but entertaining is far from forgotten. I have narrowed the driving forces behind contemporary kitchen design into a conceptual checklist that can easily be a helpful tool in other styles as well…after all, this is the cutting edge.
Hiding small counter appliances resulting in spacious open counters. Appliance garages and pull-out shelving make storage a joy rather than a hassle.
Appliance and accessory conveniences are vital such as cook top faucets, larger ranges, double dishwashers, ovens, and refrigerators or refrigerator drawers, wine coolers (divided for red and white for optimal temperature). The design is built around these elements rather than designing cabinetry and trying to fit them in.
Minimalistic, compact and functional is the mantra of contemporary kitchens everywhere. It is not that there isn’t room for art and décor, it is just you need less of it because the kitchen design is so efficient that less really becomes more.
Fewer upper cabinets and more open shelving in main work triangle. Closet-style cabinetry often with roll-out shelving is typically placed off to the side without an interrupting countertop in between upper and lower cabinets. This adds to the open feeling in the busiest part of the kitchen.
Professional chef implements are making there way into all kitchen styles but they integrate better into the contemporary with the stainless steel finishes and large scale mass – think of chef sink faucets, six-burner ranges with grill top, venting hoods, etc.
This is a forum for entertaining, as in any kitchen but maybe the contemporary kitchen does it better because by being compact and functional, there is more space left over in the room for people.