Difference between Modern and Contemporary Kitchens

Kitchen Styles: Difference between Modern and Contemporary

Even though people interchange the terms “contemporary” and “modern”, the two kitchen styles are actually quite different. Learn the different nuances between the two and discover which kitchen remodel works best for you.

Modern Kitchen:


Modern kitchens follow strict guidelines. When I think of modern kitchen styles, I think of cutting-edge designs and technology, and using the latest materials and trends. A modern kitchen tends to be more “futuristic”. While a contemporary kitchen shares the same hard edges as a modern style it is more free form and allows for some breaking of the rules.

Back Splash

A purely modern kitchen could come with a fancy full-height back-splash made from concrete or marble, with a little decoration. There are many ways to do this but the most common in a modern kitchen is tile or brick. But some homeowners opt for a wood grain surface. Again, we can consult you on the best options for you to choose from.

Cabinets and Shelving

Cabinets and shelving that go all the way to the ceiling are good in a modern kitchen remodel, but color choices are crucial as well. Colors and materials run the range in a modern kitchen from white to black, and stone to wood. So it all really depends on the rest of your home. It’s important that your modern kitchen blends and enhances your home rather than stick out like a modern sore thumb among nearby older style, outdated rooms.

Counter Tops

With counter tops, it’s ideal to continue the modern style theme of clean and simple. So take advantage of current stone countertop trends and opt for a sleek, solid white or black counter top. Counter tops with lots of veining or natural details are beautiful in a large expansive kitchen but might feel overwhelming in a smaller kitchen. So keep in mind that solid colors tend to open the space up and carry the eye onward.

Contemporary Kitchen:


The term “contemporary” is ever-changing. There’s more freedom and more trends in the contemporary style. A contemporary kitchen styles may be modern, but it may also have different elements from different styles. A contemporary style is one that is basically in the now and follows current trends but is less rigid, more futuristic casual. This makes it different from the modern style, which is a specific design movement with a rigid interpretation about what does and does not belong in a modern design.

A contemporary kitchen is the very definition of sleek and minimalist. Contemporary kitchens are known by their dark wood cabinetry; the white counter tops; and appliances made of cool and smooth stainless steel. The contemporary kitchen is all about function and, in some cases, even an artistic flair of an “upscale urban” style. Contemporary styles celebrate the bold and unexpected use of materials and colors. A contemporary kitchen has simple to no decorations and well organized. People who are interested in clean and sleek are interested in contemporary kitchens.

Simple yet Functional

The contemporary kitchen is clean, uncluttered, and simple. They are livable with a touch of the modern kitchen here and there. Contemporary kitchens borrow some things from the modern kitchen; such as streamlined surfaces and high functionality, but the style creates a sleek and livable feel by borrowing from other traditional ideas. To create a truly personal contemporary kitchen, you must choose resources that are a reflection of your lifestyle; from the materials, to the texture, colors, and design.

Sleek and Artistic

In a contemporary kitchen, the appliances are hidden, made to look like cabinets to give the kitchen less of a kitchen-y feel. The cabinets are flat-fronted, made of wood, steel, or lacquered. Counter tops are kept to a square edge, and made from metal or with lighted glass. In addition, light fixtures are artistic masterpieces.

Back Splash

While a purely modern kitchen could come with a full-height back-splash made from concrete or marble and with a little decoration, by comparison contemporary kitchens tend to have a lot of patterns. Glass tiles, along with mosaic, stone, and ceramic tiles, are favorites. A contemporary kitchen shows charm and personality; giving homeowners a way to creatively express themselves with a range of materials. The back-splash offers a great place for this.

Counter Tops

The island in a contemporary kitchen will often be a reflection of the cabinets and counter tops. Something to consider is giving one side of the island some pub-style seating, with stools made from metal such as chrome.


Treating a contemporary kitchen window provides a way to balance the hard edges of the kitchen with a soft approach. So luckily there are a range of different window treatments available to create versatility among treatment ideas for contemporary windows. Given that there is a huge selection of contemporary window treatments, how you approach the project will be determined by your budget, and the kind of window you have.


Anything from a small addition to a major change can give your kitchen a contemporary look. On the other hand, it takes a major renovation to create a modern kitchen. “Contemporary” and “modern” kitchens are both comfortable, current, and functional. Which one is best depends on your own personal tastes. Get the kind of kitchen that matches your own style and needs, or the kitchen that makes your heart leap when you first see it. Our kitchen remodeling design team can help guide you towards what may work best for you and your family. If you have any questions feel free to ask. We love to help!

Kitchen Remodeling Service

Unmatched quality services in kitchen design and remodeling is what you can expect from HK Construction. Our team consists of highly experienced home and kitchen professionals with deep knowledge of the latest styles, designs, materials and current trends in San Diego. Therefore we can remodel your kitchen to fit the current style with the goal of adding more comfort and greater work space for cooking and entertaining.

Above all, our skillful team will ensure your kitchen remodel project is complete within a timely manner. So contact us today for a free no-obligation kitchen remodeling consultation and price quote.

Contact Info:

Company: HK Construction
Location:, Poway, CA.
Service Area: All San Diego County
Contact: Marc Gieselmann
Phone: 858-748-6580
Email: info@hkremodel.com

Kitchen Styles from HK Construction, Member of NARI and BBB