The contemporary kitchen needs to be functional and enjoyable – it is a room that is so often the heart of the home, where families come together and where day-to-day life is played out. The room should have personality, be welcoming and comfortable for all, whether it is being used for preparing food, enjoying meals together, for homework or for socialising with friends.

There are 5 key aspects to the design of the contemporary kitchen that need to be considered at the planning stages

Layout – the shape of the kitchen, where it is U-shaped, L-shaped, Galley or Open-plan, may well be determined by the size and shape of the space. However, it’s overall layout should be influenced by who is using it and how. The working triangle should be applied, with the hob, sink and fridge in close proximity, but in the contemporary kitchen it is important to extend this triangle, so that it takes on a more circular appearance – is there a space for dining, is there a spot for children to perch to do homework, how accessible is the wine cooler from the dining area when you are hosting a dinner party?

Materials & finishes – there are lots of opportunities to add personality and character to the kitchen with your choice of materials – a textured finish on worktops, for example, can be an effective way of creating a rustic, tactile look that will add warmth to the space, while a gloss finish is great for bouncing light around the room, perfect in compact spaces. Remember though that durability is important, particularly for kitchen worktops. A material such as quartz or porcelain is the ideal choice here, as these are hard wearing, available in a choice of finishes and will last the test of time. Available in a tile and slab format, quartz and porcelain from CRL Stone can be chosen for walls and floors as well as worktops, for a co-ordinated, contemporary finish.

CRL Quartz Messina kitchen island
CRL Quartz Messina
CRL Quartz Calacatta

Storage – an untidy kitchen is not a comfortable space, whether it is large and open-plan, or compact and enclosed. Clever storage solutions are therefore an important part of the kitchen’s design and should be planned in from the early stages for maximum effect.

Lighting – to get the most out of the contemporary kitchen it should include three types of lighting; task, atmospheric and natural. Task lighting is needed for food preparation, atmospheric lighting creates the right ambience and sets the mood, changing the room from a functional space to one that is set just right for entertaining and relaxing with family and friends. Natural lighting is also very important and it is worth considering where to position doors and windows to make the best of this at the planning stage; if you have a lovely rear garden for example, then make the most of it with full-length glass that will flood the room with light.

Colour – inject personality and character into the kitchen with colour, but choose wisely so as not to be overbearing and to avoid clashing. Crisp white is a contemporary look that is very on-trend, practical and won’t date, with grey having very similar attributes. Larger kitchens will be able to accommodate darker shades, while lighter hues will make small spaces appear much bigger. Quartz and porcelain surfaces from CRL Stone are available in a wide palette of colours, so there is an option for every situation.

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