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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 3 of 4To transition into a contemporary kitchen, use stainless-steel appliances to balance warm wood tones. Design by Ammie Kim.

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You can achieve a contemporary look in your kitchen with small additions or major changes. Cameron offers her ideas for super contemporary updates to ordinary kitchens:

Breathe life into old surfaces with tile. "A small area of gorgeous, handmade tile creates a strong design impact," Cameron says. "Unusual sizes, such as 1" x 9", can make a stunning focal point, and I also love penny tiles, which are round mosaic tiles the size of a penny. We recently did a kitchen with a black penny tile backsplash over a white marble countertop. It was stunning." She suggests using tile for the area above your cooktop or the wall over your kitchen desk, if you have one.

Don't forget paint. A bold paint choice can transform a surface from boring and clichéd to contemporary and fresh. "You can bring life to an old island by painting it a high-gloss red or a deep gray color," Austin says.

Let there be light. "Adding modern lighting to a kitchen across your island or peninsula is stylish and smart," Cameron says. She suggests pendant lighting for a sharp look.

Rejuvenate plain cabinets with a contemporary material. "Take the center panels out of your recessed cabinet doors and replace them with pieces of remnant 3form," Cameron says. 3form is an eco-friendly translucent composite resin material available in a variety of stunning colors and designs; you can order remnants from the company's website.

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