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The Modern Kitchen

Crammed with the latest technologies, gadgetry and materials, the contemporary kitchen has become a real play area for today’s top designers. Recognized as a nightmare to clean, the all white kitchen that has dominated for the last fifteen years has now surrendered to a new breed of boldly coloured, well thought out incarnations, that make use of industrial design to cope with wear and tear, and styles usually restricted to living room use such as Neo Baroque or Hollywood Regency to create glamour atmosphere. The use of asymmetrical balance is also a huge trend helping to turn modern kitchen décor on its head.

Contemporary kitchens now have a wide and varied material palette of steel, plastic, linoleum, chrome, moulded plywood, laminate, acrylic, concrete, or glass. Natural materials such as granite, slate, stone, and wood are still included, helping to add warmth and depth, but are used in much more interesting ways.

For a streamlined but inviting look, use porcelain, ceramic or slate tiles for the floor and sharply cut stone such as granite for your countertops. Granite colours are vast, and help you to add individuality to the finished look. From blacks with copper-coloured flecks to smoky browns and tans, the countertop will help you select your accent colours.

Keep your backsplash simple in either tile, glass or brushed steel. There are a variety of tiles that will add interest to your backsplash, such as small mosaic tiles or larger sheets of granite. Bear in mind that the fewer grout lines you need to deal with, the easier cleanups can be. Long rectangular wall tiles placed in a “subway” pattern is a current trend. Mirror this long linear pattern by choosing blinds for your window dressing, cheap blinds will do as it is the shape that makes them effective.

One popular design trend in gourmet kitchens is the combined use of closed cabinetry on the lower portion and open shelving on top. Shelving can be wire racks or MDF units. An important thing to consider is the amount of strain placed upon your shelves by heavy dishes and ceramics. Ensure your shelves can withstand the weight by attaching a sheet of plywood to the wall before you place the drywall. This will provide a secure surface to secure the shelves to. Remember, if you go with an open-shelf concept you need to be aware of clutter. Therefore, the lower, closed cupboards should be reserved for the cereal boxes, soup cans and mismatched cups.

For an ultra modern finish, create stark contrast to the sleek finish of your units with a backdrop of untreated concrete walls. Add warmth and an on trend nod to classical style by juxtaposing an ornate mirror or picture frame against the wall.
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