Create a clean, modern kitchen look
Clean, simple and without any clutter, the contemporary kitchen is streamlined but liveable. Glossy surfaces and metallic accents work together to create a look that is sleek and where everything has its place thanks to clever storage solutions.
With these space-saving innovations, this style suits all sizes - even the most compact and small of kitchens.
Check out our top tips and create your modern kitchen.
Tools & materials required
Contemporary kitchen ideas
In the contemporary kitchen, glossy cabinets are the way to go: they look sleek and modern and are available in a wide range of colours so there’s something to suit all colour palettes.
For an urban look, consider the Cooke & Lewis Raffello or the IT Santini gloss kitchen ranges. They both make a bold style statement and work well with shiny metallic accessories and handles. The Santini is available in four muted shades, while the Raffello is classic with white and cream and dramatic with red, aubergine and anthracite. Alternatively, inject just a bold dash of colour by opting for the white or cream option with a strip of coloured cabinets. This acts much like a feature wall - drawing your eye and adding a fun accent to an otherwise neutral space.
If you're keen to keep your kitchen look as streamlined as possible, check out the Cooke & Lewis Appleby (pictured) or the IT Marletti kitchen ranges. These feature integrated handles for a sleek, clean finish - plus, you won’t catch your clothes as you move around the room.
As this trend is all about organisation, explore our selection of innovative storage solutions to make the most of your space, as well as make your time in the kitchen easier. Our cabinet storage includes carousels, pull-out units and corner units all designed to hide away tinned food, pots and pans or cleaning products in narrow or difficult places. Complement with larder storage options – simply open the door and internal trays glide forward, making items easy for you to see and reach.
Colour, thickness and profile shape can all be added into the mix when choosing a contemporary worktop. Simply focus on one of these elements, or consider all three to get the look you want.
The glossy style works well with lighter coloured surfaces, as they conceal fingerprints and watermarks better than darker worktops. And we offer a variety of pale shades across our laminate, solid wood, Earthstone and bespoke material options.
Square worktop profiles offer a blunt, sharp look, while thin ones are increasingly popular for this hot trend. Combine the two thanks to the Exilis range of super-slim, square-edge laminate worktops that are only 12.5millimetres (mm) thick. They're compatible with undermount sinks – a strong look for your modern kitchen – and can have drainage grooves cut into them to avoid the clutter of a separate drainer. Exilis worktops are available in four colours and we love the light and warm Pyla Wood Effect for the contemporary kitchen.
To really ramp up your kitchen's modern style, why not mix and match thick and thin worktops? It creates definition and can help differentiate between different areas in your space. For example, you may want a thicker worktop for food preparation, while a thinner option may be better for entertaining.
If you have the room, ditch the traditional kitchen table for a breakfast bar. Add bar stools for casual dining and simply pull under the bar when not in use. Or if lucky enough to have a large kitchen, introduce an island. It increases your storage and counter space and brings the whole look together.
Contemporary sinks should be tough but stylish - just like our composite quartz sinks. Hard-wearing and highly scratch-resistant, they contain real quartz and so can withstand very high temperatures. Available in black, white or grey they work well with modern colour schemes. Or, if you’re looking for something a little more eye-catching, consider one of our toughened glass kitchen sinks. The frame is made from glass while the bowl is stainless steel creating a distinctive look.
When it comes to taps, the ever-popular monobloc and single lever taps work well with a contemporary kitchen scheme. With only one spout and fitted to the sink with just one hole, they're a more streamlined alternative to more traditional pillar taps. Or if looking to declutter your work surfaces as much as possible, why not ditch the kettle and opt for a boiling water tap that offers steaming hot water?
If you’ve chosen to have black appliances, consider whether to match your sink and tap. Black makes a statement in any room and looks stunning when paired with the clean lines of a high gloss kitchen.
Cookers and hobs can effortlessly blend into the seamless style of a modern kitchen. Opt for a single built-in oven that can fit snugly underneath most worktops, or a double (also known as eye-level) oven which can sit between drawers and cabinets. These require a separate hob on a nearby work surface, rather than more traditional range cookers which feature them directly above the oven. We love induction hobs - they're the quickest and most energy-efficient option. Look for ones with touch-slide controls to add an innovative flair to your cooking.
And when choosing your cooker hood, find one that coordinates well with your oven or hob. We offer a selection of styles in black, stainless steel and glass. So whether you want one that's angled or one with soft curves, both complement the contemporary look and make a stylish focal point.
As this style is all about sleek, clean lines, look for built-in versions of your large kitchen appliances or white goods. By keeping them behind cupboard doors, the seamless feel isn't interrupted and this works well in both kitchens and utility rooms.
We offer integrated under-counter dishwashers, washing machines, freezers and fridges. While for larger kitchens, we can fit even larger appliances. Dependent on the ratio of your fridge to freezer, choose between 50/50 and 70/30 built-in fridge freezers, or go for tall, built-in options of both. If your appliances can't be integrated, look for ones in silver, grey or black (where available) to match the colour scheme. And if feeling creative, why not paint them to match? We offer a wide range of renovation paints, including appliance paints that are specially designed for use on white goods.
One appliance you won't want to hide away is one of our wine coolers. A fun addition to any kitchen - they're sure to impress when entertaining.
Neutral colours complement all kitchen styles and the contemporary kitchen is no exception. Whites, blacks and greys are all popular choices and contrast brilliantly against glossy kitchen cabinets. And while the contemporary kitchen look is all about neutral colours, it works best with light walls and dark floors.
Charcoal grey is particularly on-trend at the moment and happily it works with most other colours and is available in a range of flooring materials. We love it for floor tiles, especially the Washington Grey Stone Effect Porcelain Floor Tile with its satin finish. You could even choose a tile that works on both floors and walls for a completely seamless look. For a little more warmth and softness underfoot, consider our grey vinyl flooring - stylish and a great budget option.
For the walls, explore our range of kitchen paints - these are specially designed to resist the humidity, condensation, moisture and grease from everyday cooking and create a tough surface that's easy to scrub clean. Or add some interest with our kitchen wallpaper - the Graham & Brown White Whitewashed Wallpaper is fun while still keeping walls pale.
And if you’ve gone for neutral walls and cabinets, why not add a dash of colour with a bright splashback? We offer a dazzling selection of shades in both acrylic or glass options. Choose from passionate reds and purples, or more glacial greens and blues.
In the contemporary kitchen, your lighting choices are as much a feature as the cabinets and worktop. Combine several options to achieve a range of lighting effects, ambient moods and show off those glossy surfaces.
For task-orientated lighting, choose between discrete and subtle flush ceiling lights or spotlights which are slightly more of a feature - we love bar spotlights for a strong, modern look. And add to that counter and cabinet lights which are fitted underneath your wall-hung units to highlight your worktop and help with food preparation.
For a more showy statement, introduce some pendant lighting - a hot trend across all kitchen looks. And as a final touch, light up your floors with plinth lighting underneath your base cabinets and around the floor.
Ensure your modern kitchen stays sleek and stylish by removing as much clutter as possible. This doesn’t mean completely bare surfaces at all times, but that everything has it’s own designated space and that any decorative touches on surfaces are kept to a minimum.
For more space-saving and decluttering ideas, check out our helpful how to guide.