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Interior Design

10 Modern Kitchen Ideas for a Stylish Refresh

Creating a modern and stylish kitchen takes a balanced approach that considers functionality and flair. It’s a task that, while not always easy, can add value to your home and provide more enjoyment for your family.

There isn’t one true definition of modern. However, some interior designers argue that clean lines, sleek surfaces, and neutral colors best express the look. We’ve seen some magnificent modern kitchens that follow this example perfectly and others that stray but still hold fast to modernism while incorporating layered textures, bold hues, and rich wood tones.

So, what modern means to you may differ entirely from what it screams to your neighbor. But, generally, the look incorporates design elements that emerged in the early 20th century and continue to inspire creativity. Modern style often includes a monochromatic color palette, minimalism, and natural light. It sometimes embraces an open floor plan and the use of metals like chrome and steel.

While modern design typically refers to a narrow aesthetic born of a specific historical movement, contemporary style, in contrast, refers to anything of the current movement. As you think about what modern design elements you want to bring into your kitchen, consider first the look you want to achieve and then your long-term goals for a perfectly functional space.

Here are 10 modern kitchen ideas for you to consider for a stylish refresh.

1. Opt for an All-White Color Scheme

A modern kitchen with glossy white lacquered cabinetry that blends seamlessly into an all-white backsplash can make a massive impact. If you can leave windows uncovered in an all-white kitchen, do so to make the space appear even brighter as natural light floods in.

2. Go Dark

Moody modern kitchens with dark cabinets, countertops, and walls feel dramatic and luxurious. Think black-on-black with pops of steel and wood as accents for added texture, or choose dark green, blue, or other jewel tones mixed with touches of silver or gold.

3. Choose a Black and White Palette

Black and white often has a modern feel, but you can pull this look off in an impressive way with two-toned cabinetry, sleek marble countertops and matching backsplashes, painted pendant lights, and matte black metal or shiny black glass appliances.

4. Mix Wood Tones and Metals

Multiple wood tones throughout a kitchen, such as shades of beechwood or oak, can give it a modern look. Equally, mixing metals can work to modernize your space if you’re intentional, such as when using black metal throughout with touches of brass, but keep in mind that mixing more than two metals may look mismatched rather than stylish.


5. Introduce a New Style

Recent events have prohibited many homeowners from completely modernizing their kitchens. Still, even farmhouse chic and cottage-style spaces can get a modern update when a homeowner carefully introduces mid-century modern or industrial elements into the mix. Look to lighting, cabinet and drawer hardware, and barstools for a quick and cheap modern update.

6. Remove Upper Cabinets

Skipping upper cabinets gives a kitchen a modern and minimalist look with an open and airy feel. Many homeowners embracing this trend use sleek wooden shelves in place of cabinets to neatly display utilitarian things, such as teak bowls, instead of hiding them.

7. Plant a Tree

If you have the space to add a unique architectural element to your kitchen, consider planting a tree in a custom modern planter. A floor-to-ceiling olive tree makes a striking statement in a minimalist kitchen, bringing a touch of nature into a setting that might otherwise appear too clean.

8. Hang Dramatic Modern Lighting

Kitchens can receive a modern lift with a dramatic and bold pendant light, perhaps a vintage or period piece. Go glam with gold or keep it cool with chrome, but ensure that your light is one of just a few focal points in the space to avoid creating an antique shop vibe.

9. Embrace Simplicity

A crisp modern kitchen finds appeal in the simplicity of its cabinetry, countertops, lighting, and appliances. In a simple or minimalist modern kitchen, focus on the utilitarian aspect of the space and treat it as a blank canvas for creating culinary works of art.

10. An All-Wood Makeover

Modern doesn’t have to be all about metals. An entirely wood kitchen, from flooring and wall paneling to cabinetry and countertops, can be stunning if well thought out. This design move, while risky, can prove timeless and memorable for homeowners who do their due diligence researching various kinds of wood and complementary finishes.

Ready to buy a new home and design a modern kitchen? Or update your current space and then sell? Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate can help you through the process.