What door and color should I use when remodeling a kitchen in a contemporary style?

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Answered by: George Taylor, An Expert in the Kitchen Remodel Category
Keep it Simple

When remodeling a kitchen in a contemporary style, contemporary

equals uncomplicated. Minimize the number of lines in the door

style, tile, lighting and flooring. Most cabinets companies offer a

"Shaker" door style that shows a flat frame around a flat panel.

Some companies have a wider frame(stile and rail) that gives a more

contemporary look to a Shaker door.

There are many other door styles that lend themselves to a contemporary

look. The more different lines there are in the door, the more traditional

the kitchen begins to look. Rounded stiles and rails should be avoided

as these begin to look provincial. Flat panel, or slab doors are just one

piece of flat wood and are very contemporary. Many cabinet companies

manufacture these doors with disclaimers that the doors can be unstable

with changes in humidity and may have to be adjusted frequently. For slab

door styles, many companies offer a melamine or rigid thermofoil door that

is a high-density fiber-board covered in a plastic compound. Many times,

they carry an uncoonditional lifetime guarantee.

The good news is that there are fewer choices of contemporary door styles

which can cut down on the time spent in the decision making process

involved in remodeling a kitchen.

Dark is Hot

Many contemporary kitchen remodeling projects are being done with dark

colors using American Cherry wood. These finishes usually go by coffee

names such as java or espresso. Cherry is used because it accepts stain

evenly and has a beautiful patina. There are many other darker colors that

are suitable for contemporary style kitchen design. A dark cinnamon color

sizzles next to black or stainless appliances.

Sometimes It is easier to choose color by looking for places we've seen

color combinations before. For example, the two most popular colors of

sports cars are red and black and there is always plenty of chrome or

brushed trim.

Many people worry that the dark colors will make the kitchen look small

and confined. Use natural or added lighting to light the space. A darker

kitchen can always be made lighter, but a lighter kitchen can't always be made


Amish and Danish

An alternative to the "espresso" look is a lighter, more wood-toned color. The door

style stays simple while the color is more brown toned and shows very little red.

Danish furniture has that look with clean, mostly straight lines. The absence or

presence of red in color choice is crucial. Some browns are red-browns and others

are yellow-browns. Red-browns go with other red-browns and yellow-browns go

with yellow-browns, but neither goes well with the other; a distinction that is frequently


Metal Pops

When choosing door hardware, appliances, plumbing and lighting, consider that many

kitchens are done with stainless appliances while all other metal is a different color.

Oil rubbed bronze, chrome or black finishes are all popular. Polished chrome is fine for

a contemporary look and chrome metal products are much less expensive than other finishes.

Chrome also pops really well against a simple door style and surrounding dark color.

Always use samples and put them next to each other. Take them home and look at them

in the light of the space by day and by night. Always place the samples as they will be after

installation of the products they show. In other words, place the sample cabinet door upright,

and the flooring tile parallel to the floor. Color and texture can change a lot based on its viewing

angle. Remember, if small samples look good together, the finished product will look great!

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