Modern Kitchen Design Ideas That Will Inspire You

With minimalist furniture, neutral color palettes, and metallic accents, modern kitchen ideas are worth considering if you crave understated elegance that never goes out of style. These spaces combine elements of contemporary design with other styles, including traditional and industrial styles, to create a look that is current, elegant but not sterile. Curious about modern kitchen looks? We’re here to get you started with everything you need to know.

What are the latest kitchen trends?
A continuing trend is open spaces. Kitchens are the heart of a home: a place where conversation and food come together to create unforgettable moments. “Open-space plans that fully integrate the kitchen into the adjacent communal living areas have become popular in recent years as they tend to encourage gatherings and multiple dynamics at once,” says Simon Hamui, interior designer for the Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch.

According to Hamui, open-space plans with clear and natural-looking surfaces are very popular. “A kitchen island with seating area, preferably on two levels, to encourage different types of gatherings, from social cooking to a quick bite,” he says.

How do you modernize a kitchen cheaply?
Hamui believes that painting cabinets a solid, matte color can make a big impact when renovating a kitchen. “Another immediate and easy change is to swap out the hardware, following the pre-drilled existing holes,” he says. “Plus, adding an interesting stone countertop can completely transform the look of a kitchen with minimal on-site effort.” These upgrades can also work in a small kitchen.

“The best way to modernize your kitchen affordably is with your color palette,” says Alex Yacavone, head of the Kohler Design Studio. “By refreshing the colors of your walls and cabinets, you can easily transform a room. Modern doesn’t always mean neutral either – we’re seeing some beautiful and modern kitchens that have embraced color through the use of a monochromatic color scheme.”

What style is modern for the kitchen?
While warm, neutral color schemes, naturally inspired materials and seamlessly integrated floor plans are the order of the day, there are other defining characteristics of a modern kitchen. Pops of color ensure these modern kitchen designs still feel warm and inviting, as do large windows that let in the sun, an architectural light fixture, or a striking piece of art or decor.

Each of these 37 kitchens from designers and the AD archives is a lesson in restraint. Just a few decorative accessories (and no clutter) on shelves and countertops will allow the smart mix of materials—and tonight’s dinner—to shine. Read on to see modern kitchen design ideas that combine style and function, creating a space that is modern yet inviting.