Contemporary Interior Design Background Information
Contemporary design style is a bit more complicated to characterize than other design genres because contemporary is continuously evolving, while some other popular design themes—particularly those based around particular time periods—are rather set in place. Contemporary design is said to incorporate materials and elements that are considered common, popular, or tasteful at the time of the design. That said, it’s common for contemporary designs to make use of shapes, fabrics, accents, and embellishments from other design genres, or historical time periods, so nothing is off limits if it can add nicely to the space in question. This can lead to some fun and interesting spaces, and depending on the particular project, the finished result may hint at having an eclectic element, although a contemporary interior design will naturally have a bit more cohesion than an eclectic space. There is a trend for many of the more adventurous interior designs in 2017 to explore an eclectic direction. It could be a little heavy handed to suggest that contemporary design is a safer or more conservative version of eclectic design. A more measured way to look at these design approaches would be to say that contemporary design is composed mostly of a modern design language while incorporating other elements, while in eclectic design the language itself is the merging of seemingly unrelated or semi-related elements. The takeaway is that contemporary and eclectic design are two of the most common themes in 2017 for newly designed spaces, and the result is a lot of very interesting, fresh, and non-cliche designs.
Contemporary yet Classic Remodel
This project was originally proposed to me as a rental update from the contractor. Upon meeting the client, I found out that this was not your typical rental. It was the house the owner grew up in and he wanted a much nicer remodel than the usual rental since it was staying in the family. During the initial consultation, I was excited to learn the client wanted to proceed with a contemporary design style in the trendy gray color scheme throughout the whole house.
Designing the Kitchen
For the kitchen, we selected white cabinets and gray accents for the remaining material selections. A small galley kitchen works well with using white cabinets to keep it light and airy. In this kitchen we removed a small partition to open it up even more. In small kitchens, cabinet layout is important. Many people tell me to add pull out trays but I prefer to just use drawers instead especially for pots and pans. I explain it is the same price for drawers and one less step to simply open a drawer than opening doors then a pull out tray. The other two organizational items that are a must have for the kitchen is spice pull-outs either in the base or wall cabinets and trash pull-outs. When possible, I love to add an appliance garage to keep items clear from the countertop. Although we did not use this technique in this kitchen, I love to cover the dishwasher with a door matching the cabinets. This allows for a continuity instead of a break in the run of cabinets. Another element is where to put the microwave when not using a wall oven or have any tall cabinets to house a built-in version. In this kitchen, we increased the depth on the cabinet to the right of the hood and simply set a countertop microwave inside of an opening. The client wanted to have the flexibility of removing it if so desired. I have been designing one in the base cabinets of islands for a while. Some people like the microwave drawers and others still prefer to use the side opening of the doors. This allows families to have their children began to cook for themselves.
When using white cabinets, it is appealing to use a darker color countertop in a high contrast for a more dramatic look. Glass tiles for the backsplash provide a reflective surface to allow light to bounce around the room. We kept the glass color close in tone to the countertop but a few shades lighter to create a subtle contrast between the countertop and backsplash. The stainless steel appliances provide another element to allow shiny surfaces to move the light around the room. They are also perceived as a higher end choice in kitchens. Since the partition was removed, we used an island hood to allow for the largest opening possible. We incorporated a stainless steel farmhouse sink for an added touch of luxury. The farmhouse sinks are definitely back in style at this time in various materials such as stainless steel, copper, porcelain, and natural stone. Since the kitchen was open to the living room, the hardwood floor desired for the living spaces was brought into the kitchen as well. Hardwood floors are stunning in kitchens when juxtaposed with painted cabinets to create warmth and added depth.
Designing the Bathroom
We continued the gray tones in the bathroom. Since there was only one bathroom, using a tub remained in the plans. This is the age old question for most bathroom remodels. The majority of my clients want to remove the tub and replace with a shower. It is advisable to keep one tub in the house in case a family with a young child or even an adult gets injured and needs a place to soak. Most of the time the master bathroom is chosen to create a large stunning shower.
Carrera marble remains to be preferred choice in kitchens and bathrooms. It is a timeless look used for centuries throughout the world but most notably in Italy in the baths and kitchens. It allows the space to remain light and airy while the gray markings provide some excitement. You have probably seen many countertops in bathrooms and kitchens with the Carrera Marble as the popular choice. Even the alternative quartz countertops have mimicked the color and markings in their versions. We chose the porcelain version of tiles for low maintenance while keeping the marble look intact. A large format porcelain tile with a concrete feel was chosen for the floors similar in tone to the wood floors used for the rest of the house. This provides a continuity that runs through the home. The paint color is a pale green to provide a lightness yet serene feel for the bathroom. The clean lines and soft color choices for this home are indicative of many of my clients desire to create livable spaces providing a sense of tranquility.