contemporary designs

are variously called modern, minimalist and geometric. Characteristics include horizontal lines, asymmetry and a lack of molding and other ornamentation. Materials often are man-made rather than natural: stainless steel, laminate, glass, concrete, chrome and lacquer. Contemporary encompasses styles from the 1940s to the present, with Europe — especially Scandinavia, Italy and Germany leading the way. Expect to see: frameless cabinets with oversized hardware. Cabinet materials are stainless steel, white or bold-colored laminate or subtly grained woods such as birch, ash or maple. Glass inserts are linear, frosted, ribbed or texured.

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