Design Ideas for the Contemporary Kitchen

by Jacqui Zuzgo 05/23/2021

Photo by August de Richelieu from Pexels

If you’re moving into a home with an older kitchen or if your current home has a more dated style, consider bringing it up-to-date with contemporary design. This style can freshen up your kitchen while giving it a more inviting atmosphere. Contemporary design includes a mix of minimalist, modern and classic elements that can enhance your kitchen’s appearance and give it a more organized yet comfortable look and feel. Keep these tips in mind if you’re thinking of choosing a contemporary design for your kitchen.

Select White or Stainless Steel Appliances

White and stainless steel appliances give contemporary kitchens a clean and streamlined appearance. These appliances tend to pair well with warmer wood tones that are a common feature in contemporary kitchen designs.

Choose Warm Wood Tones

Wood floors in kitchens provide an organic, contemporary style compared to tile floors or other flooring materials. Consider putting in a hardwood floor, along with wooden shelves, to achieve this look. You might also want to include warm wood cabinets in your kitchen, especially if the rest of the room has a cooler color scheme.

Consider Slab Door Cabinets

Slab door cabinets are ones that don’t have panels or frames as more traditional kitchen cabinets do. These slab door cabinets are an ideal choice for contemporary kitchens, since they offer a more streamlined look with straighter, flatter edges. You can choose darker tones for a more sophisticated look, or go with white or light gray tones for an airier appearance. Warm wood slab door cabinets are another option to consider for a more cheerful look.

Install a Bold Backsplash

Contemporary kitchens tend to emphasize the cleaner lines and minimalist designs of modern interior design. However, they also typically have elements that are bit bolder, such as tile backsplashes in vivid patterns. Add a tile backsplash to your kitchen in an eye-catching design to get this look. This backsplash can add visual appeal to your kitchen, especially if it’s surrounded by white or neutral counters and cabinets.

Go with Black or White Overall

Contemporary kitchen design can include a mostly black or mostly white color scheme. If you choose a white color scheme, add touches of color and warmth to wood shelves and cabinets or natural stone counters. If you choose a black color scheme, add other colors, such as blues, for a dramatic appearance, or touches of light colors to keep it from being too dark overall.

Combine Sleek Cabinets with Wood Features

Sleek cabinets give contemporary kitchens a stylish and streamlined look. When you combine these with natural wood features, you get a blend of modern and classic styles. Cabinets with a sleek, shiny finish can be done in a wide range of colors, depending on the color scheme you want to go with. For natural wood features, such as countertops, floors and shelves, you can choose warm woods or darker woods that pair well with your cabinet color.

Put up Pendant Lighting

Pendant lighting can give your kitchen a touch of luxury. You can hang this type of lighting over your kitchen island or over a kitchen table. Choose light fixtures with a classic look if the rest of your kitchen is filled with more modern elements, or pair a more modern pendant light fixture with minimalist elements.

About the Author

Jacqui Zuzgo

I have been a REALTOR® in Massachusetts since 1984 and hold both a salesman and broker license. I am currently affiliated with Five College REALTORS® located at 190 University Drive, Amherst, MA. Over my career, I have consistently been a Top Producer in the Pioneer Valley and have gained a reputation for being a strong-minded, no-nonsense negotiator in the industry. I also frequently rank highly on Boston’s Top 20 for sales in Western Massachusetts. Some of my best qualities include my listening and communication skills. I have time and again proven to work well under pressure with exceptional attention to detail. My commitment to my clients and professionalism is obvious in every transaction.

Representing both buyers and sellers in Hampshire and Franklin Counties, as well as assisting in relocations throughout the United States and globally has helped me embrace the need for quality performance and develop an acute and sincere sensitivity to people's needs. Honing in on what matters most is almost a sixth sense. Communication and awareness of the situation at hand produce a final result that has undoubtedly led to the large referral business I maintain.

Education has been a theme throughout my 30 years of experience. Well versed in technology and holding key designations have proven to be assets to my performance and dedication to the Real Estate field. My never-ending enthusiasm, availability, knowledge and drive make for a seamless transaction every client, every time.

I am a native of the Pioneer Valley. I am committed to sharing all the area has to offer in making your transition, whether long distance or short, a satisfying experience.


  • University of Massachusetts, Amherst - Bachelor of Science 1983
  • Top Individual Seller for Residential Sales in the Pioneer Valley since 2006.
  • #1#1 Realtor in the entire Franklin/Hampshire Counties for Millions Sold since 1999.
  • Highest producer in sales since 2004 in Franklin/Hampshire Counties.
  • ABR®– Accredited Buyer's Representative
  • CRS – Certified Residential Specialist (only 3% of REALTORS® hold a CRS)
  • e-PRO – Digital Marketing, Certified e-PRO Realtor®
  • GRI – Graduate, Realtors® Institute
  • SRES– Seniors Real Estate Specialist®

Biographical Highlights:

Life long, active member of the community, born & raised in the Pioneer Valley. Graduate of University of Massachusetts, Amherst, BS 1983.

Current Committee Involvement:

Member of the local Chamber of Commerce - Post Board of Director's member Volunteer for the Road to Recovery.

Greenfield Community College Foundation Board Member 

Greenfield Savings Bank Corporator

MLS Professional Standards Committee Member

Have a question for Jacqui? Jacqui's email: [email protected]