KITCHEN STYLES – Whats Your Style ?

Long gone are the days when kitchens were dreary confined workspaces, hidden behind closed doors. Today’s kitchens are central to everyday living and special-occasion entertaining, often doing double duty as family rooms, offices and media centers, as well.

“The kitchen is truly the focus of the home today,” says New York-based interior designer Andrew Suvalsky.” A great kitchen design will give essential clues to how the rest of the home can and should develop.”

To meet the growing demand for showstopping kitchens, Flair Cabinet’s designers can offer cabinets, benchtops and fixtures in all of today’s most popular design styles, from Old World to modern, city chic to country cozy.  Your options aren’t limited to what you’ll find in the kitchen showrooms,  whether you’re designing your kitchen to match the decor of other rooms, or planning your whole home’s look around the kitchen, you can make it a beautiful reflection of your personal style.

A summary of some popular kitchen designs -> Industrial / Country Style – Farmhouse / French Provincial / Hamptons / Entertainers / Modern Contemporary

INDUSTRIAL Design Element Summary:
(a)      spacious layout and functionality
(b)      cement floors , metal pipes , industrial pendant lights
(c)       different wall coverings , exposed brick , wooden or metal beams
(d)      sheet metal , open shelves , staircase


Industrial style anything is usually a big hit. It’s easy to achieve, always looks great and is functional, this is especially effective in a kitchen. It’s also a versatile concept that can be tailored to suit individual personal tastes. Part of what makes it such an effective style is the fact that old objects can be transformed into something new, creating a room with a nostalgic atmosphere. Taking into account the popular trend, we’ve compiled a list of all the elements of industrial style kitchens.

Industrial style kitchens are renowned for their spacious layout and functionality. Uncovered tubes and industrial pendant lights add the industrial chic, while the kitchen shelves make part of the decor. Different wall coverings create an mismatched effect that ties the entire room together, while open shelves, ladders and furniture incorporate industrial style. Dark wooden floors give the room elegance, while the raw wood elements and industrial style lighting add the factory tone.

The exposed brick wall highlights the black shelving. Light permeates this kitchen from an overhead skylight, framed by thick black metal bars. The room is decorated almost exclusively with vintage furniture. Wooden beams replace the need for a ceiling, merging the top and bottom floor. Using different shades of grey is an easy way of making a room look industrial. Industrial kitchen cabinets can be made from any cupboard that looks or is old, vintage is always a necessity.

Pendant lights? Check. Industrial shelving? Check. Think ornamental ladder. An old work table has been given a new life in the form of a kitchen island. Black piping and ventilation tubes set against a white ceiling create an intriguing contrast. The floor of the kitchen opts for a softer color palette, while the walls are darker. The lighter shades ensure that the space doesn’t look small and cramped, while the darker walls add personality. Raw brick and pendant lighting, industrial shelves turn the kitchen into a prime example of a sophisticated industrial kitchen. Patterns in the cabinets create a modern design feature Exposed wooden beams, concrete, bricks

SCANDINAVIAN Design Element Summary:
(a)      embracing nature and light, function and comfort
(b)      abundance of natural light
(c)       white and lightly coloured interiors
(d)       light timber and other natural materials are used
(e)       white is often used to complement the pale tones in the timber ,blues , greys
(f)        minimalist and uncluttered

SCANDI Kitchens
Scandinavia doesn’t have the easiest of climates to live in. I’m talking near-24 hours of light for several months of the year; near-24 hours of dark for several months; plus the temperatures, snow, and sun that accompanies these extremes. To counter these harsh conditions, Scandinavian architects make a concerted effort to design houses that make living a little easier. They recognise the importance of light, nature and comfort, and design houses to be functional and modern, yet traditional and rustic.
incorporates nature into its structure by using finished wood on the exterior of the home, and natural materials throughout the interior. Additionally, large full-length windows open to the trees outside, creating a close connection with nature while also letting natural light flood in.

The subtle beauty of Scandinavian architecture and design is in its simplicity. There is nothing superfluous, unnecessary or useless, as this summer house demonstrates. It is a simple composition with clean lines, basic shapes and solid colours. Natural light is important in Scandinavia, particularly in the winter months, as it contributes to wellbeing, happiness and productivity. Therefore, large full length windows will line the sides of Scandinavian houses capturing as much daylight as possible. Plus, windows are generally kept clear – definitely no heavy curtains.

White and lightly coloured interiors – walls, floors, ceiling and other architectural features – maximise the feel of natural light. Additionally, open plan layouts make homes look and feel lighter and brighter.
Timber and other natural materials are used to visually and physically warm interiors, functioning as natural insulators. Timber floors, panelled walls and stairs create warm spaces and a welcoming ambience, interiors are also characterised by simplicity – designed for functional and comfortable living.

Light timber makes an appearance in most Scandi kitchens, but the clean lines are really the telltale style statement. White is often used to complement the pale tones in the timber; add a splash of black, navy or grey for depth. Fine craftsmanship is important in Scandinavian homes, so opt to spend a little more for well-made items built to withstand the test of time.

Timber is certainly a dominant feature, but care is taken with both the choice of timber and its tone. Timber cladding, furniture and flooring are all encouraged. Introducing texture is important to prevent a space from feeling cold or uninviting. These couches look soft enough to sink into, and the woven rug adds both texture and welcoming appeal.

Coloured glass is a way to introduce a little more personality into a home that’s big on Scandinavian style, and its transparency is less of an interruption to the eye. There’s no such thing as being too minimalist when it comes to Scandi style. Pare back, then pare back some more. This Danish home takes minimalism to a whole new level, but it’s utterly chic, too, thanks to two additions – the unexpected colour of the range hood and the relatively busy black and white artwork.

Give over-bench cabinets a miss to streamline your kitchen and opt for drawers rather than cupboard doors to introduce uninterrupted lines into the space and let the light flood in. Keep window treatments sheer or forego them entirely.

COUNTRY STYLE – FARMHOUSE  Design Element Summary:
(a)      open shelving and doorless cabinets
(b)      old fashioned style cooking range and a fireplace
(c)       classic flooring – timber , lino etc
(d)       vintage accents – pottery , lighting , jars , trays
(e)       a big table , apron front sink , free standing cabinets ( eg pie safe , hutch )
(f)        cup pulls and pendant lights

Farmhouse-style kitchens recall a time when rural communities and customs were still at the forefront of our way of life. Spacious, warm and homey, they anchored life amid the land, and today they evoke a bygone period that whispers of a simpler time. Try these eight elements to reinterpret the look for your kitchen.

COUNTRY Kitchens
1.    Open shelving.   In a classic farmhouse kitchen, wall-mounted shelves and doorless cabinets keep dishware and utensils easy to locate and grab. If your kitchen has traditional upper and lower banks of cabinetry, consider removing some of the doors for the look of open shelving, or replace upper cabinets with floating or bracketed shelves.

2. An old-fashioned range. As with any kitchen, the stove is the heart of a farmhouse cooking space.

3. Classic flooring. Although wood floors in a farmhouse kitchen are always on point, they aren’t your only option — black and white tile and checkered linoleum also feel true to the style. If you do choose wood, you can either leave it natural or paint it, both of which are appropriate.

4. Vintage accents. Period touches ground the farmhouse look in its old-fashioned roots. Consider pitchers, pottery, lighting and other accessories as nostalgic top notes.

5. A fireplace. Nothing makes a kitchen feel cozier than a fireplace, and in old farmhouse kitchens, the hearth formed a central gathering spot. Even if you can’t install a working fireplace in your space, you can approximate the look by bricking in a section of the wall or mounting a mantelpiece and surround for decorative displays.

6. A big table. What’s a farmhouse kitchen without an expansive, welcoming table? These workhorses pull double duty as eating space and food-prep surface — roll out dough, chop vegetables or perch pies and cakes to cool on them.

7. An apron-front sink. This is perhaps the single most important element in a farmhouse kitchen. With its broad face, deep bowl and sturdy construction, an apron-front sink stands up to heavy-duty use. You’ll find plenty of new ones on the market, but you can also source vintage models from salvage yards and flea markets.

8.Freestanding cabinetry. Kitchens of the past typically included hutches, pie safes, presses and other stand-alone pieces rather than built-ins. Tuck a freestanding cabinet into your space or replicate the look with a built-in unit that has furniture-style detailing (such as bun feet) or is painted a different color from the rest of the cabinetry.

9. Cup pulls. Cup-style drawer pulls, such as those that might have been found in an old-fashioned general store, lend an extra dash of period flavor to cottage kitchens. Choose a finish with patina, such as oil-rubbed bronze or brushed nickel.

10. Pendant lights.  Low-hanging pendants help a kitchen feel cozy and also provide all-important task lighting. Select models that have a retro feel, with shades of seeded or frosted glass or brushed nickel. If you like, mix the pendants with vintage-inspired sconces and perhaps even a lamp or two to create a collected feel.

FRENCH PROVINCIAL         Design Element Summary :
(a)      carved (routed) cabinets , corbels , fluted columns , painted panels
(b)      benchtops : marble , stone , granite
(c)       leadlight panels , splashbacks in traditional carrara / marble  / plain white tiles
(d)       chandelier lighting , glass shades , cane basket lights
(e)       freestanding stove with traditional styling , built in rangehood
(f)        traditional style taps : elegant lever type in pewter / bronze with ceramic levers

FRENCH Provincial Kitchens
The quintessential French provincial kitchen is richly detailed yet elegant and refined. The look is warm and welcoming, textured and encompasses luxurious as well as rustic elements. To achieve this look, keep to traditional materials that would have been around a hundred years ago, such as wood, stone and cane, and choose simple, soothing colours such as white, cream and grey.

French provincial kitchen features carved, handpainted cabinetry, corbels, iron chandeliers, wood flooring and a stone benchtop. Design elements are carried through to the pitched ceiling, French doors and dining furniture. Consider the architecture of the room when designing a French provincial kitchen, as architectural features are an important part of the overall design. The detailed leadlight windows and archway seen in this kitchen are true to French provincial style.

archways, small pane windows and wooden beamed ceilings add to the French provincial aesthetic. French provincial cabinetry is ornate and detailed, often featuring carvings and corbels. This is easiest to achieve with solid wood, and can be finished with a clear polyurethane or simply handpainted. Painted cabinetry, which is often then sanded or rubbed back, like in this Sydney kitchen, will achieve a more rustic look.

Wood features heavily in French provincial kitchens and is traditionally mid-toned, like the flooring here. Here, wooden details are picked up in the cabinetry trim and cane stools, too. The elegant mouth-blown lights are Sorenson 18 Lanterns, and the splashback tiles are Cararra marble mosaics. Stone flooring is a good alternative to wood, and using the same material for both the floor and benchtop achieves a cohesive look. The mid-grey travertine seen in this Sydney kitchen is warm and calming.

Stone, such as marble, granite or limestone, is a practical solution for benchtops, the cold surface being perfect for rolling pastry. This island features Superior White Quartzite, a stone with a similar look to marble but with the durability of granite. It makes a nice contrast to the painted black maple cabinetry. In traditional French provincial kitchens, the cooking would have been done in a large fireplace, with a chimney to extract the smoke. A more practical solution nowadays is a large oven with a built-in range hood mimicking the lines of a chimney breast.

Splashbacks in French provincial kitchens are kept traditional, usually featuring stone or ceramic tiles. These white tiles are hand-cut, which gives an imperfect profile and lends an authentic, rustic feel. Taps in French provincial kitchens are traditional in style, like these elegant lever taps. They are often available in finishes such as chrome, nickel, pewter or bronze, and feature ceramic levers.

Lighting should reflect the overall French provincial theme, like these metal lights do. Other appropriate choices are glass shades and cane basket lights. If the kitchen is open plan, the furniture in the rest of the room should reflect the French provincial style. Here the chandeliers, antique rugs, mid-toned wood and cane furniture contribute to the overall aesthetic.

Don’t forget the little details when planning your kitchen, such as the clock, white crockery, cane basket and blue and white striped rug seen here. Authentic or antique pieces can be found at flea markets and will contribute to the overall feel.

HAMPTONS Design Element Summary:
(a)      casual , elegant , refined . Extensive use of white
(b)      benchtops : marble , stone , granite
(c)       shaker style doors and panels on cabinets
(d)       ceramic tiles for the splashback,  subway tiles suit
(e)       oversized pendant lights , open shelves , cane baskets
(f)        quirky coastal memorabilia (divers helmet , driftwood , shells)

Hamptons-style is coastal and casual, yet elegant and refined. Originally, it took its inspiration from a group of villages called The Hamptons on Long Island, New York, but has come to represent relaxed coastal living, natural materials, classic shapes and lots of natural light. Hamptons-style kitchens reflect this classic, coastal look and are designed and built to last.

The classic Hamptons elements – detailed white cabinetry, large island and subway tiles, dark floors, white crockery on display.

1. Architecture Classic Hamptons architecture features details such as pitched ceilings, exposed beams, timber sarking on walls and ceilings, wood floors, pale colours and lots of light. Consider this when planning a Hamptons kitchen, as it will work best in a house that already possesses some of these features.

2. Use of white White is the perfect choice when designing a Hamptons kitchen, and is loved for its light, reflective quality. This kitchen showcases white in the cabinetry, marble benchtops, lights and window frames.

3. Dark wood floors Dark wood floors are an alternative to light floors in Hamptons kitchens. The dark floor in this kitchen contrasts beautifully against the off-white cabinetry, bar stools, splashback, and chandeliers.

4. Frame and panel cabinetry  Traditionally, kitchen cabinets were constructed with a frame around the panel, and these are sometimes called shaker-style cabinets. These cabinets are popular in Hamptons kitchens because of their solid, traditional lines and detailing.

5. Blue/green/grey cabinetry Blue, green or grey painted wood cabinetry provides an interesting alternative to white, and works well in coastal kitchens as it reflects the colours of the ocean.

6. Marble benchtops The beauty of marble is undeniable and it comes in a huge range of colours and patterns. It suits the Hamptons look due to its natural, timeless quality. Two popular types from Italy are Calacatta, seen here, with bold veins, and Carrara, with softer, more subtle veins.

7. Wooden benchtops  Wood is an alternative to marble and is often chosen for its natural, tactile, organic properties. However, be careful with moisture and heat, and only choose solid hardwood species.

8. Ceramic tile splashback Choose ceramic tiles for the splashback, such as these small grey subway tiles. They come in a variety of colours and can be square, rectangular, hexagonal, or penny rounds.

9. Bar stools Classic Thonet bentwood bar stools feature decorative braced hoops and come in oak, walnut and black, as well as a range of custom colours. White suits this kitchen and the Hamptons look perfectly.

10. Over-sized pendant lights Large pendant lights are the perfect choice for Hamptons kitchens with its high ceilings, and add to the drama and scale of the room. Other choices for Hamptons-style kitchens are metal, woven cane and ceramic.

11. Open shelves and cane baskets Open shelves are a great way to show off kitchenware, especially if the pieces are beautiful like these vintage scales and glass bottles. Cane baskets help keep clutter to a minimum, and store unsightly items while adding to the Hamptons vibe.

12. Quirky coastal memorabilia This delightful kitchen ramps up the coastal Hamptons vibe with a vintage surfboard on the wall, but other choices could be old fishing or diving equipment. Introducing elements like this will add character to the kitchen, but try to choose authentic items to keep it from looking contrived or twee.

ENTERTAINERS KITCHEN  Design Element Summary :
(a)      open plan setout , comfy seating and plenty of it
(b)      warm, welcoming and exude show-stopping appeal
(c)       easy to clean surfaces, large island bench, walk in pantry, beverage station
(d)       mood lighting, set of speakers,
(e)       roomy oversize fridge, freezer, coffee maker, top of the range cooking appliances
(f)        a connection to the great outdoors (eg. alfresco area)

The kitchen is the heart of the home, so it’s only natural that when you’re entertaining family and friends – whether you’re hosting an intimate dinner party or a larger, more casual celebration – that’s where most of the action happens. It’s the spot where dishes are made and drinks are mixed, a social hub where guests mingle before migrating to the designated dining area, and it becomes clean-up central once any lingering visitors have left and it’s time to restore order to your home.  Following kitchens courtesy of one of the GREAT DESIGNERS:  MAL CORBOY


Want to create the ultimate entertainer’s kitchen in your abode? Here are 15 need-to-know design solutions and handy additions you should consider incorporating into your culinary zone – they’re sure to make your kitchen more inviting, stylish, functional and efficient, resulting in a truly social space that’s a joy to cook and entertain in.
1.  Comfy seating (and plenty of it!) Your top priorities when hosting a get-together at home should be making sure your guests are well-fed, thoroughly entertained and comfortable. While being well fed and entertained ultimately come down to your culinary and conversation skills (sorry, you’re on your own there!), we can definitely help you with the comfort side of things – simply provide cushioned seating that offers support and sink-in softness, and we promise your guests will be more than happy to hang around until the party’s over. In fact, you may have a problem convincing them to leave!
If you frequently entertain larger groups, make sure you have enough seating for everyone. With several bar stools (and space for more), a large dining table and outdoor dining setting (plus lounges both inside and out, toward the other end of the expansive room), this combined kitchen and living zone offers plenty of spots where guests can sit down to chat and eat

2. A stylish and inviting scheme  An entertainer’s kitchen should be warm, welcoming and exude show-stopping appeal – it is, after all, the social hub and centrepiece of the home. When designing your cooking space, choose a palette that’s striking yet soothing; finishes and appliances that offer form and function in equal measure; and eye-catching accents that tie the look together. This elegant blue-tinged kitchen and entertaining zone ticks all the right boxes.

3. Easy-to-clean surfaces  Upon saying goodbye to your last guest, the last thing you feel like doing is spending the next few hours cleaning your kitchen before you’re finally able to fall into bed. That’s why durable, low-maintenance surfaces (like porcelain tiles, engineered stone benchtops and stainless steel appliances – three materials that are used in this kitchen) are every entertainer’s best friend. They’re a breeze to clean, which means you can spend less time scrubbing and more time congratulating yourself on hosting another successful social event!

4.  A warming drawer  Do you consider yourself a serious entertainer? Then you should seriously consider investing in a warming drawer. Why? You can use this nifty appliance to warm up cups and plates so they’re at an optimum temperature when you’re ready to serve hot drinks and dishes. It will also keep pre-cooked food at just the right temperature if you’re waiting on guests to arrive or in between courses.
5. A large island bench  No entertainer’s kitchen is complete without a generously sized kitchen island. It offers extra storage, work space and additional room for seating – just place some stools around the bench, and we bet that’s where all your guests rest, relax and catch up while waiting for the chef (that’s you!) to finish preparing dinner. Install your cooktop or sink in the island if you want to ensure that whoever is on cooking and clean-up duty doesn’t miss out on all the fun.
If you don’t have room for a kitchen island, consider incorporating a breakfast bar into the space instead.

6. A set of speakers  No party, large or small, is complete without some background music. I love the idea of installing a pair of speakers in your kitchen and entertaining zone (as shown here) so you can listen to some tunes while prepping for or during the party, but an iPod (or any other MP3 player) speaker dock would work just as well, too.

7. A dishwasher (or two)   Who hates being on dish-washing duty after a party or even just a casual dinner with friends? Pretty much everyone, right? Rather than constantly roping in your kids, taking up kind offers from guests to help or being left with the task yourself, think about investing in a dishwasher. Research has shown that dishwashers use less water and energy than washing a load of dishes by hand, plus it’s more hygienic and (obviously) saves you time, too. It’s a win-win!
If you often host multiple get-togethers during the week (and feel like there’s a never-ending stack of dirty dishes in your kitchen), consider installing two dishwashers instead of just one.

8. Mood lighting  As well as music, lighting is another way to set the scene and mood for intimate dinner parties and more festive (and perhaps rowdier) celebrations. The style of a space comes into play, too. Here, a cluster of chromed glass ball lights complements the elegant kitchen design and casts a warm glow over the space. The result? A relaxing, welcoming ambience.

9. A spacious walk-in or butler’s pantry  Need loads more storage so you have enough room to store your growing collection of kitchenware, cookware, ingredients, and other culinary odds and ends? Then a walk-in pantry might be just what you need.  If you love entertaining but hate leaving piles of dirty dishes, pots and pans in plain sight, then a butler’s pantry – a small, fully equipped cooking and storage area that’s usually found just off the main culinary zone – may be a better option for you.

10. A roomy fridge and freezer  If you often have friends and family over during the week, then a small refrigerator just won’t cut it. No, it’s time to enter the big leagues and get yourself a large, cutting-edge fridge that can accommodate plenty of platters, leftovers, drinks and fresh ingredients so you can make a new batch of munchies and mains for your next gathering.

11.     A connection to the great outdoors             Australians love entertaining outdoors all year round, so it makes sense that the ultimate social kitchen should have a strong connection to outside living spaces, just like this dream set-up. Here, a bi-fold servery window opens out to an outdoor bar and seating area – the perfect scene for barbecues with the whole gang or casual drinks with your neighbours. Plus, the nifty window also allows food and drinks to be passed between the kitchen and alfresco area with zero fuss or effort. Genius!

12. A growing collection of crockery, cutlery, glassware and servingware   There’s nothing worse than spending hours whipping up dips, hors d’oeuvres, main dishes and desserts, only to find you don’t have enough serving platters or dinnerware to serve and plate up your gourmet spread. While having a comprehensive collection of crockery, serving dishes, cutlery, tumblers and stemware is an essential for any entertainer, keep a supply of paper or plastic plates, cups, and knives and forks in your kitchen as a back-up if you ever find yourself running low on the real thing.

13. A beverage station  Want to impress your guests with your impressive cappuccino-making skills, large wine collection or cocktail-shaking abilities? Then a fully equipped drinks station is exactly what you need. With an espresso machine, coffee grinder, drinks fridge, sink and ample storage, this compact-yet-complete set-up has all bases (and most beverages) covered.

14. An open-plan layout  The best social kitchens are open, spacious and offer a seamless transition between the cooking zone, and dining and living areas. Why? Because open-plan layouts encourage interaction between the host (who’s often busy in the kitchen) and guests, and provide more room for visitors to move around and mingle. Open areas are also more relaxed and inviting compared with separate cooking, dining and living zones, which often feel very formal and closed in.

15. A second sink  A two-sink set-up is perfect for the entertainer’s kitchen because it allows multiple cooks to prep, rinse or wash food and dishes at the same time without getting in each other’s way. Plus, you can designate different uses to each station to make the zone more efficient. The left sink in this space is used for food prep and rinsing dishes (take note of the inset chopping board and commercial-style pull-out sink mixer), while the second sink is the designated washing and drying zone, as you can see by the dish and glass rack

MODERN CONTEMPORARY Design Element Summary:
(a)      open plan setout, show stopping appeal and design elements
(b)      cutting edge appliances (eg. steam oven, pyrolytic oven, induction cooktop)
(c)       mixed materials : engineered stone benchtops, 2 pac painted doors and panels, metals, glass, popup power outlets, soft close drawers and doors.
(d)       extensive use of splashbacks, island benches with unique features ( waterfall ends )
(e)       bar stools, led feature lighting, dedicated task stations – forget the work triangle
(f)        state of the art storage and waste solutions

If high-tech appliances, cutting-edge storage and the layered look appeal to you, a contemporary kitchen may be right up your alley . it can be hard to distinguish between modern and contemporary. “Contemporary” typically means of the moment or current, the design of right now. Contemporary kitchens can be modern as well, but they can also have elements of other styles. When I think of what makes a kitchen contemporary, it most often includes cutting-edge design and technology and use of new trends and materials.

Modern Contemporaryl Kitchens
1. Cutting-edge appliances.  There’s been a technology race in almost every industry since we put a man on the moon, from spaceships to cars to appliances. Engineers are looking for better performance, lighter materials, durability and advanced features. Gone are the pink ovens of the 1950s and the avocado or harvest-gold appliances of the 1970s. Now it’s all about sleek, stylish and high-functioning electronics in the world of appliances: built-in coffee makers, high-performance hoods, induction cooktops and more.

2. Old materials used in a new way. Contemporary design is often know to push the boundaries of what we know. Sure, everyone knows concrete sidewalks and glass windows, but what about concrete or glass countertops in kitchens? New and improved products are added to the marketplace every day. From concrete to glass to solid-surface materials like quartz, which tries to achieve the look of natural stone without the maintenance concerns, there are more options for homeowners than ever before. Concrete countertops have gone from the standard gray, beige and putty to a wide array of colors, inlays and patterns. They’re also more lightweight and more durable, and have better stains than ever before. What I love about concrete is that it can be modern and really warm and earthy at the same time. It works as well in a purist modern kitchen as it does in a warm craftsman one.

3. Extensive options for splashbacks In a pure modern kitchen you might see a full-height marble or concrete backsplash with little ornamentation, but in contemporary kitchens there’s often a lot of pattern. Glass tiles are a favorite, as are mosaic, stone and ceramic. Contemporary kitchens often exude personality and let homeowners really express themselves through the use of different materials, and the backsplash is a great place to do that.

4. Updated accents and accessories From aluminum appliances and hidden outlets to new options in glass-front doors and under-cabinet lighting, today’s contemporary kitchen takes advantage of every new gadget, convenience and product available . Pop-up hidden outlets are a great solution for islands. New and improved storage solutions are seen throughout most cabinet lines. Dramatic decorative and functional lighting solutions

5. A mix of materials, shapes and scale. One of the biggest telltale signs of a contemporary kitchen is the use of multiple, layered materials with lots of pattern and texture. Modern kitchens tend to be more restrained and lack ornamentation. Here we have various types of wood and stone, shifting planes of countertops, round lights contrasting the rectilinear elements and even some pattern in the fabric on the chairs.

6. Bar stools and decorative lighting. When a modern kitchen is more adorned with texture and pattern, it goes contemporary. The glass tile, concrete countertops, whimsical lighting and bar stools add another layer. Contemporary can be soft, earthy and eclectic as well. The funky modern light fixture in the foreground contrasts with the different tile materials on the island and backsplash and the muted countertop surface.
7. Dedicated task stations. It’s not just about the work triangle anymore. State-of-the-art kitchens are designed more like restaurant kitchens, complete with a clean up station, a prep station, a hot station and computer station.
8. Universal design.  Product design is becoming more thoughtful and taking into account how people age with their homes. Everything from faucets to raised dishwashers are being designed for easier use by people of all ages and needs.

9. Stylish workhorse sinks. The new sink designs coming out everyday are truly reinventing the infamous mousetrap. Offset drains, integrated cutting boards and multi-level interiors are just some of the options in sinks, which are available in all sorts of stunning shapes and sizes.