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The Modern Custom Kitchen: Five Ways to Achieve that Spartan, Streamlined Look

by Susanne Clemenz

Floor to Ceiling Options for a Modern Custom Kitchen

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Major elements of modern kitchen design are often cool-toned and monochromatic. For contrast, use bamboo floors or colored pendant lights over modern kitchen islands. More imagination-sparking ideas:

  1. Flooring: Consider high-gloss white, gray, or black ceramic tile; cement with subtle tones or texture and with any degree of sheen; a neutral-toned mosaic tile pattern with a reversed-tone border or an undulating tile ribbon; terrazzo; slate; reclaimed planks; any design with thin wood dividing strips.
  2. Cabinets: Stainless steel; unadorned black, white, or single-color Euro-style cabinets; stained wood in Shaker or slab designs; custom cabinets with semi-transparent single-pane glass doors with frames of stainless steel or natural wood.
  3. Countertops: Stainless steel; cement with or without color, tones, and sheen; natural wood; granite; terrazzo; solid surface synthetics. Don't overlook modern laminates in subtle stripes, dots, textures, solid colors, and even metallic effects.
  4. Backsplashes: Glossy or flat ceramic tiles; endless choices of glass, stone, and other new backsplash products; textural stainless steel; painted beadboard; and countertop materials that wrap up the backsplash.
  5. Appliances: Besides stainless steel and neutral whites and blacks, some luxury modern kitchen appliances have doors that match cabinets or are available in custom colors.
  6. Lighting: There are endless choices online or in showrooms. Use a touch of whimsy or color, or opt for the commercial look.

You can do a modern kitchen remodeling at nearly any budget level. Take your ideas to a kitchen designer for helpful input and resources.

About the Author

Suzanne Clemenz designed her passive solar home and interacted with the contractors every day of the 6-month project. She started drawing floor plans and making models in the early '70s after purchasing several building lots. Recently she expanded and

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