Contemporary Kitchen Cabinets

The contemporary kitchen has become a crowd favorite as it takes certain elements from other modern styles but makes a space more welcoming. Natural materials, neutral colors, sharp lines, what is not to love about contemporary kitchens? If you have been thinking of how to choose the perfect contemporary kitchen cabinets for your kitchen remodeling project but don’t know where to start, here’s everything you need to know about this part of contemporary kitchens. 

What is the Contemporary Design Style?

While the contemporary design style is often interchanged with modern design, this interior design is its own design movement. Contemporary design is a modern style that features a mix of natural materials like wood accents, sleek fixtures, and a clean and modern look. Unlike modern design which is described as a minimalist design with sharp lines and streamlined surfaces, contemporary style spaces have clean lines, neutral colors, interesting decorative elements, glass objects, and color palettes that feature natural tones. This way, the contemporary style kitchen transcends trends and is inviting but still has a modern feel. 

Simple contemporary kitchen

Elements of a Contemporary Kitchen

Contemporary kitchens will often have the following elements:


A contemporary kitchen is known to be open where the kitchen island is typically the focal point of the room. A contemporary kitchen design is often opened and connected to the dining or living room. This open floor plan is the best way to showcase your natural wood floors or beautiful tile flooring. Like other modern kitchens, a contemporary kitchen will take advantage of natural light and can use contemporary cabinets with glass fronts to reflect light around the space. 

Shapes and Angles

A contemporary kitchen has clean lines that may be in the form of flat bar pulls, stainless steel island with a rectangular slab style, or angular kitchen faucets. Contemporary kitchens use architecture, furniture, and other decor to become their own modern kitchen style. A contemporary kitchen is more than just flat surfaces and recessed lighting, natural light, and textures are why this is such a popular choice among modern styles. 

Neutral Colors

While some contemporary style interiors will feature colorful backsplash for a more modern look, most contemporary kitchens have neutral and natural color palettes. Most elements in a contemporary kitchen are made out of natural materials or have natural elements which can be the furniture’s clean lines or how the cabinet doors have wood veneer accents. Think brown, white, and gray when adopting the contemporary kitchen style. 


A contemporary kitchen takes after the modern style by having stainless steel appliances around. Mid-century modern or retro-looking appliances can be found on a flat surface or inside contemporary kitchen cabinets, but brushed nickel or stainless steel microwaves, toasters, ovens, and refrigerators are more common in contemporary design. 


While not completely minimalist like other design styles, clean lines and simplicity give contemporary kitchens their modern look. This may mean contemporary cabinets with simple cabinet handles or white countertops. 

Cabinet Style

When choosing cabinets for contemporary kitchens, there are different design styles to choose from:

Slab or Flat

Slab style or flat panel door contemporary kitchen cabinets are solid slabs. Flat-panel cabinets do not have frames or any raised portions. Contemporary kitchen cabinets with slab-style doors do not have inset glass either and are a simple choice. Of course, flat-front cabinetry can be accessorized with fancy flat bar pulls or be installed with integrated pulls to fall into the European-style design movement. 


Another popular cabinet style found in a contemporary kitchen is shaker-style cabinets. Shaker cabinets are classic and timeless which is why they are perfect for a contemporary kitchen. Shaker-style cabinets have plain squares that are vertical and rails. Shaker cabinets have a recessed panel that lies flat and is surrounded by a rail door. Shaker cabinets have a door with five pieces and in some cases, the recessed center panel in a shaker-style cabinet door will be raised. 

Glass Front

Contemporary kitchen cabinets do not have to be one or all the same material. Contemporary kitchen cabinetry can have frosted or clear glass. Though glass is not always used to describe the contemporary kitchen style, frosted glass cabinet doors check the boxes for modern design and can make a space look more put together by hiding dishes, cutlery, and drinkware. Contemporary kitchen cabinets can also benefit from clear glass fronts and light fixtures that highlight the contents of the cabinetry and can help you look for things easily. 

Contemporary Kitchen Cabinets

Contemporary Kitchen Cabinet Ideas

Here are popular ways to get contemporary kitchen cabinets and put together your space:

Classic Wooden Cabinets

A classic contemporary kitchen cabinet or kitchen cabinets are ones made out of wood. Of course, engineered wood is acceptable in a modern kitchen if there are other elements of the contemporary kitchen that you would like to splurge on. Go for a light-colored wood for your contemporary kitchen cabinets. 

Pastel Contemporary Cabinets

Contemporary kitchen cabinets can be bright and airy if you want to have a pop of color. Choose neutral colors in pastel shades like a muted blue or purple that can match the colored accents of your stainless steel appliances.  

Kitchen Cabinets with Metal Details

Another way to integrate contemporary kitchen cabinets into your contemporary kitchen is by choosing cabinetry that has metal hardware or accessories. A contemporary kitchen will seem more cohesive if you already have steel appliances, metal light fixtures, or a steel island. Look for metal knobs or pulls that have a similar shine or texture as other metal elements in your contemporary kitchen. 

Laminate Kitchen Cabinets

Laminate can be easily adopted in contemporary kitchens. Contemporary kitchen cabinets, though usually made out of natural materials, can be made of laminate instead. This versatile material can mimic the finish of materials that are typically found in a contemporary kitchen like wood or real stone. Look for a laminate that has a wood grain that complements the backsplash or countertops for your contemporary kitchen cabinets. 

Red Gloss Kitchen Cabinets

Contemporary kitchens can have an element of surprise if that’s more your style. To make your contemporary kitchen cabinets the star of the kitchen, choose red paint with a gloss finish or a shiny red laminate. Red is a bold color that can be used for some cabinetry for a modern look and can be paired with more neutral-colored cabinets. 

White Contemporary Kitchen Cabinets

Contemporary kitchens are usually spaces with various white elements. Contemporary cabinets that are white can be different shades and textures if you want to add a little twist to the classic white cabinets. You can’t go wrong with white contemporary kitchen cabinets because they are simple, elegant, and easily fit into different modern styles. 

Large Kitchen Cabinets

If you are looking for some change during a kitchen remodel, go for big contemporary kitchen cabinets. Choose sky-high cabinets or one large cabinet so that everything has one place. Large kitchen cabinets are also great for zoning in a contemporary kitchen that is usually a big, open space that continues into the dining or living room area.  

Dark Wood Kitchen Cabinets

Another contemporary style favorite is choosing dark wooden cabinets. Real or engineered wood works well and will highlight the wood accents and decor around your kitchen. Darker wood makes a kitchen seem warmer and more inviting which is the essence of a contemporary kitchen.