We throw around a lot of terminologies when we describe certain design styles throughout the ages. Some style trends are more comfortable to differentiate, but some are so closely related that it’s hard to tell the difference. So, we’re going to be doing a little blog series called What’s the Difference. Today, we’re going to try to shed some light on the difference between a modern and a contemporary kitchen.

Modern vs. contemporary kitchen design

If you’re confused by the difference between modern design and contemporary design, you’re not alone. No style can be placed in one specific box, all styles are slightly fluid and some blend together. In a Venn diagram, contemporary and modern design will have a lot of overlapping circles. Let’s take a look at the subtle differences between contemporary and modern kitchen design.

Modern kitchen design

You’d think that modern kitchen design is going to be the hottest latest trend, when, in fact, you need to look back a few decades. Although there are elements of modern design in every contemporary kitchen, not every modern kitchen has contemporary design elements. Confused? Let’s see if we can’t simplify it a bit.

The Best Tips to Clean Your Kitchen Cabinets

The first modern kitchen was designed in the 1950s. That was the time when the kitchen stopped being just a kitchen and started becoming a more social room in the house. It was also during this time that the kitchen started to become an extension of the living room and dining room, instead of hidden away in the back of the house. Because of this trend, the kitchen needed to be both functional and stylish.

To modernize the style of the kitchen, designers started getting rid of frivolous and ornate elements that were found in a traditional kitchen. Designers began to work with clean lines and simple design, ensuring that space was utilized to the fullest to maximize efficiency. The color scheme was also minimized and neutralized for a cleaner and sleeker effect. And, voila, the modern kitchen was born.

Contemporary kitchen design

Contemporary kitchen design is basically, taking the philosophy of the modern kitchen and incorporating the latest trends. The modern kitchen is like the foundation of a contemporary kitchen, utilizing the clean and simple design elements and neutral color scheme, and then adding contemporary trends, like custom designed storage, a bright pop of color, and natural stone countertops.

Designing an efficient kitchen
Open shelves can give your kitchen a little dimension for a great visual, and make it more efficient.

Modern Contemporary Kitchen

The simplicity and the sleekness of a modern kitchen can sometimes feel a little impersonal. Adding contemporary elements will soften the sharp edges of modern design, adding some warm personal touches to make the kitchen feel fresh.

Visit The Kitchen Showcase to see the subtle differences between modern and contemporary kitchen design in one of our 40 complete showrooms.