Hallmarks of the Classic Contemporary Kitchen

By Bill Ohs – January 9, 2012 –

Hallmarks of Classic Contemporary Kitchen

“Classic” meaning, “Characterized of simple, tailored lines, correct for a variety of times and places and basically in fashion year after year.”

The first principle in contemporary kitchen design is HORIZONTAL ORIENTATION: in which the strongest lines and predominant planes are parallel to floor and ceiling.  Strong horizontals create the sense of being grounded.  Often, tops of doors and drawer fronts are aligned, even sometimes unified by common recessed finger channels.  Pull hardware (if at all!) is installed in level formations.  Aligned appliance tops also reinforce this principle as do wall cabinet bottoms (if wall cabinets are present).

Unity is the watchword – sometimes even at the expense of function (for example: one may need to open a cabinet door first in order to access the glide-out shelves, thus illuminating non-aligning drawer divisions).

These design choices create a sense of organization or oneness in kitchen appearance.  Hence, a second hallmark is the INHERENT UNITY of the contemporary kitchen presentation.  With traditional design, the look is that of individual furniture pieces related by common decorations and moldings that unify kitchen elevations.  In contrast, contemporary design commands attention and wholeness by eliminating distinctive detail!

Contemporary design expresses the willingness to function within a new reality – one that eclipses a former history and embraces a new creativity.  One can always visit museums or dress in costume for special occasions, but present-day life as in automobiles, clothing and almost all material necessities is lived with a present perspective.

Additional contemporary design principles to follow.

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