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Style Guide for a Contemporary Kitchen

Clean, simple and uncluttered, this look also remains livable with touches of the traditional.

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Photo 2 of 4Use tile to create a focal point, like the glass mosiac backsplash in this kitchen. Design by Beth Haley.

Steel and White(2 of 4)

Stainless steel and white appliances make the easiest transition to a contemporary look, Cameron says, because they balance so nicely with warm wood tones. "We're steering away from black appliances now," Austin says.

The list of details a contemporary kitchen can accommodate is endless; funky touches are welcome, and you're practically unlimited in color choices. But the one thing that can wreck a contemporary look is clutter, whether visual (too many colors or textures) or physical (countertops covered in knickknacks). Stick to the 60-30-10 rule for colors: Sixty percent of the kitchen should be one dominant color, 30 percent a secondary color and 10 percent an accent color. Store gadgets in drawers or in sleek containers; relegate cooking ingredients to the pantry.

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