black and white IKEA kitchen

10 Modern Kitchen Design Ideas

Originally contributed by • last updated 4/1/2021

Daniela Gisin-Krumsick

What makes a kitchen modern? It's all in the interpretation. Modern can mean mid-century modern, ultra-contemporary, or simply updated. If you are interested in modern kitchen design ideas, we've gathered some of the most inspiring presentations in all sizes and configurations.


Enviable Luxury Modern Kitchen Designs

National Kitchen and Bath Association/Lana Zepponi Meyers Kitchens Unlimited
National Kitchen and Bath Association

If you're looking for one of the most beautiful modern kitchen designs, look no further than to this space designed by Lana Zepponi Meyers, AKBD, Kitchens Unlimited in Tennessee. It won first-place in the contemporary kitchens category at the National Kitchen and Bath Show annual competition that recognizes excellence in design and execution.

This bright and airy kitchen won for its fresh blend of rich woods, sleek hardware, and marble surfaces combining modern with a bit of traditional to create a warm and welcoming space. Open wood shelves and wood ceiling beams add a down-to-earth rustic touch in an otherwise elegant contemporary envelope.


Update To A Modern Farmhouse Kitchen

Sidekix Media

Rustic warmth, weathered wood, and eclectic charm probably come to mind when you think of a farmhouse kitchen. You can have all that and more with a modern twist. Update a farmhouse-inspired space with modern colors and materials while keeping the warmth and comfort.

This bright and modern kitchen design incorporates a contemporary stainless steel farmhouse sink with an apron, simple Shaker-style cabinets with streamlined hardware, all while retaining the softness of a hardwood floor.


Copy This Modern Small Kitchen Idea

André François McKenzie

Modern kitchen design ideas come in all sizes. This tiny kitchen is swimming in modern style for a few reasons. In addition to one entire wall of windows to bring in nature, the space is bright and airy thanks to the use of the white marble slab backsplash, white lower cabinetry, white countertops, and white ceilings.

To create lift to an otherwise small space, the flush wood touch-to-open cabinets (minus hardware) are placed near to the ceiling, leaving a wide swath of backsplash to give the illusion of height.


Make The Most Of A Modern White Kitchen

Cleyder Duque

Modern kitchen design is characterized by the use of translucent glass finishes. The milky finish on the glass white cabinets and quartz countertops in this kitchen makes the space anything but bland.

The stacked white ovens pop from the bit of black wall incorporated into the design. Under-cabinet lighting further illuminates the shiny white finishes in the cabinet and the island areas.


Freshen Up A Mid-Century Modern Kitchen

Jens Behrmann

Can you believe that this ultra-contemporary kitchen lives in a mid-century modern ranch-style home? What was once a dark and enclosed kitchen is now open and updated with modern amenities, without rearranging much of the floor plan.

Traditional and choppy banks of cabinets were taken down to make way for a larger window over the sink, plus sleek and flush paneled cabinetry and hardware make it the most modern kitchen design on the block.

A backsplash of glass tiles and pale, cool green paint as a backdrop to walnut cabinets further freshen up the space.


A Twist On Modern Kitchen Cabinets


Modern kitchen design can also be considered minimalistic. A minimalistic kitchen is one that favors function above all else, and is crafted with a streamlined aesthetic that eliminates anything decorative or ornamental that interrupts the visual landscape of the space, such as cabinet hardware.

Cabinets in a modern kitchen will be touch-to-open, which means there's no hardware on the doors, and a light touch of the finger will activate a hidden mechanism that opens the doors. 


Install A Modern Kitchen Sink Design


Undermount kitchen sinks have a clean, crisp edge that drop-in sinks do not typically have. The visual of having an undermount sink is one way to add a streamlined and modern kitchen design element to your space.

Keep the sleek appearance by pairing an undermount kitchen sink with a slim high-arc pulldown or touchless faucet in contemporary finishes, such as chrome, matte black, brushed bronze, or two-tone designs.


Have Fun With Modern Kitchen Backsplash Ideas


Backsplashes have come into their own as a design statement. In a modern kitchen design, a backsplash will typically go in either of two very distinct directions.

One direction, like the backsplash you see above, will be a slab of the same or similar material used for the countertop. The second direction is one that is more decorative, using tile to create intricate geometric patterns across the wall, not just above the cooktop.

In a modern kitchen, it will be rare to find a tile backsplash designed to depict florals or another type of image--that's reserved for traditional kitchen designs.


Design A Clean And Modern Kitchen Island


The modern kitchen island is void of fanciful carvings and instead makes good use of spacious workspace and shelving.

This unusual contemporary kitchen island is long and sleek, yet has a thick and chunky surface made of Caesarstone's Whitelight quartz countertop material. The iron base is open, airy, and gives way to plenty of storage, without the use of cabinet doors and paneling.


Simplify And Modernize Kitchen Flooring

Jason Briscoe

What makes a kitchen floor…modern? Pure modernists would say that the mid-century modern material, linoleum, would be considered modern. But we see it more as a style than material. Refresh your kitchen floor with rectified large format tile.

Rectified means there's barely a grout line between uber-large sizes of unembellished floor tiles. For example, the modern galley kitchen above has a plain tile floor that looks anything but blah.

To make a modern kitchen floor, install solid color rectified tile slabs that measure either 24" by 48" or 18" by 36" to create a monolith-style look underfoot.