By Tiana | 05 March 2024 | 0 Comments

The Contemporary Kitchen: Combining Slab Doors with Open Shelving

Contemporary kitchen designs are defined by clean lines, minimalist details, and neutral color palettes. The sleek and clean aesthetic is ideal for individuals looking for a versatile, timeless kitchen design that still complements their personal tastes. Not only are contemporary-style kitchens open, welcoming, and feel like home, but they also typically feature ergonomic layouts and use durable materials that complement the functionality of the space.

When designing your own contemporary kitchen, the cabinet doors you choose will ensure your kitchen maintains the timeless appeal you know and love about this design choice. Two of the most popular options for contemporary kitchen cabinet doors include edge-banded slab doors and open shelving.

We're here to walk you through how you can mix and match both cabinet door styles to achieve a visually appealing contemporary kitchen design.

Understanding Contemporary Kitchen Design

Before we discuss combining open shelving and cabinets, it's important to understand the unique characteristics of contemporary kitchen designs. These styles are often confused with modern or minimalist designs, but there are a few key differences:

- Open Floor Plan

Think of a contemporary kitchen as the perfect space to host friends, have dinner parties, and spend time with your family. The open floor plan encourages social interactions and helps you achieve a homey feel.

- Open Shelving

Open shelving or floating shelves help to add to the openness of the space. You can use open shelves to showcase your favorite dishes and decorative items while maintaining a sleek, put-together look.

- Neutral Colors

White, brown, beige, black, and grey are the ideal color choices for a contemporary kitchen design. A neutral color palette will help you achieve an open, airy look that's inviting and stylish.

- Simply Hardware

All the knobs, handles, and door pulls are simple in design and feature a sleek finish that complements the neutral colors in the space. Some contemporary designs skip the hardware altogether, opting for a push-to-pull feature.

- Minimalist Cabinets

The best contemporary kitchen cabinet doors are flat slab cabinets that lack ornamental detailing. This helps achieve a clean, uncluttered look.

- Polished Floors and Countertops

The floors and countertops must complement the simple structure of the open shelving and slab door cabinets. Great options include stainless steel, quartz, polished concrete, and hardwood. These different materials add texture to the space without being too overwhelming.

Exploring Slab Doors

Edge-banded slab doors feature a flat, smooth surface. Unlike other cabinet door designs, they don't have any raised or recessed paneling or decorative detailing. This type of kitchen cabinet door comes in a variety of wood types as well as paint-grade MDF.

They are called "edge banded" because they have a small piece of material that aligns with the cabinet door's core material. This thin piece of material is applied to the edge of the door for additional support, durability, and functionality.

Many individuals like slab door designs as their contemporary kitchen cabinets because they feature a handleless design with a minimalist appeal. When looking for edge-banded slab doors for your kitchen design, you'll want to consider:

  • Wood Type or Material
  • Different Finishes
  • Cabinet Hardware Options
  • Color Choices
  • The Quality of the Product

While most contemporary designs are characterized by minimalist details and simple design choices, they will still vary by color and style. Some individuals lean more towards the modern look, while others still have a traditional flair.

Understanding Open Shelving

Open shelving in kitchens adds to the airiness of a contemporary kitchen design. These shelves are a cost-effective solution that provides additional storage to your kitchen while giving you the creative freedom to make your kitchen feel like a home. Many of the benefits of open shelving in kitchens include:

- Decorative Opportunities

Whether it's a family heirloom, a set of dishes, or a few of your favorite plants - with open shelving, you can put your favorite items on display and make your kitchen feel like a home.

- Aesthetic Appeal and Customization

Open shelving is ideal for contemporary, modern, and farmhouse home designs. Once you find an option that complements your kitchen aesthetic, you can customize them however you want.

- Adds Texture to Your Space

Contemporary designs often have a simple aesthetic. With open shelving, you can add dimension and depth to your space while ensuring that minimalist design choices are the focal point.

When looking for open shelving for your kitchen, you'll want to consider your kitchen layout and the purpose of the open shelves. To maintain the clean, put-together look - you'll also want to avoid cluttering the shelves or going overboard on the decorations.

Combining Slab Doors with Open Shelving

When combining open shelving and cabinets, you have an opportunity to create a sleek, contemporary kitchen design that aligns with your aesthetic and stylistic choices. Both styles complement one another, adding depth and dimension to your kitchen and staying true to the minimalist roots. When pairing open shelving with slab doors, you'll want to consider the placement and overall functionality of the space.

Here are three examples of ways you to combine open shelving and cabinets:

contemporary kitchen design with open shelving

This modern kitchen design sticks to a true white and gold color palette. The details are minimal and complementary and don't feel too cluttered or overwhelming. This contemporary design uses open shelving to showcase cups and dishware, adding a subtle dimension to the space that stays true to the minimalist aesthetic.

Contemporary kitchen with stylish furniture and decorative vases

This contemporary design uses natural materials and darker neutrals to elevate the space. When pairing slab door cabinets with open shelving, they keep the displayed decorative items minimal and sleek. This allows for the true beauty of the natural wood and dark hardwood floors to take center stage and be the main focal point. Opting for open shelving instead of sticking to all slab doors also helps the space feel open, airy, and inviting.

contemporary kitchen design with slab cabinet doors

Sleek, playful, and modern. This contemporary kitchen design uses playful textures to add dimension and personality. They use the open shelves to display decor and flowers - adding a unique touch to the space. Combining open shelving and cabinets provides more dimension to the kitchen while giving the homeowner creative freedom to combine different textures and design details.

Making the Most of Your Contemporary Kitchen

The contemporary kitchen cabinet doors and shelves are only one piece of the puzzle. If you want to commit to this kitchen design concept, you'll also want to consider lighting fixtures, decor, wall colors, flooring, and more. Each design detail works together to help you achieve a put-together contemporary design with a timeless appeal.

All of the kitchen we mentioned above adds a personal flair to the kitchen design, making the space their own while still staying true to the contemporary aesthetic.

Shop Slab Doors Kitchen Cabinet from Unionlands Cabinetry

At Unionlands Cabinetry, all our contemporary kitchen cabinets are custom-made to order. We have over nine different wood types, 12 different paint colors, and nine different edge-banded slab doors to pick from. 

Explore our selection of custom cabinets today to get started. 

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