Modern kitchens are often described as "simple," "clean," "minimal" and "sleek." If you want your kitchen to fit this description, everything from cabinet styles to countertop colors must work together to create a modern design.
Modern design ideas started in the early 1900s, featuring flat smooth surfaces, geometric shapes and minimal ornamentation. Today, modern kitchens possess a sleek, simple appearance by cutting out many extraneous elements typical of traditional kitchens, such as storage accessories, decorative carvings, mouldings and even windows. Instead, more emphasis is placed on the materials, shapes and function of the kitchen. The result? A more open and spacious kitchen!
If you want an ultra-modern kitchen design, you've come to the right place. This guide will take you through tips and ideas for modern kitchen layouts, designs, storage options, accessories and more. Whether you're looking to completely redesign your kitchen or simply want to add a few modern elements, this guide has the answers you need.
The layout of your kitchen is how you arrange the various countertops and appliances, and it is one of your kitchen's most important aspects. While eye-catching colors and beautiful cabinet designs may make your kitchen look great, the layout is what determines how efficient and easy-to-use your kitchen will be.
When designing a modern kitchen, there isn't one predetermined layout you have to follow. Everyone's available kitchen space is different, and there is no single correct way to organize a kitchen. A small modern kitchen design can be as effective as a large modern kitchen. Your kitchen's layout is the perfect opportunity for you to flex your creative skills and make your space your own.
However, there are a few general layout choices that set modern kitchens apart. Modern layouts are best in open and functional spaces, giving you plenty of room to work. Modern kitchens also often include clear lines and angular shapes.
Many modern kitchens have embraced the open kitchen floor plan, which means there are little to no barriers between the main kitchen area and other living spaces. Most new homes being built will incorporate an open kitchen, but if you aren't buying a new house, you can still remodel your existing space into an open kitchen.
Open kitchens are ideal mainly for their efficient use of space. Because at least one wall is removed from the kitchen area, the entire space feels larger. Often, homeowners with open kitchens will install a kitchen island, which gives them even more space and flexibility. Aside from better use of space, open kitchens also allow more airflow, fit better with the overall house design, act as a gathering area and provide plenty of natural light.
After you've decided on your kitchen's layout, the next important factor in remodeling your kitchen is determining the kitchen's design. While there isn't always one standard layout for modern kitchens, there are several typical design choices that characterize modern kitchens.
The most important aspects of kitchen design to consider when modernizing your kitchen are coloring, flooring, lighting and the materials used in the kitchen.
A typical modern kitchen will be mostly made up of neutral colors. White, black, gray and beige are the preferred colors for a majority of modern kitchens. All of these colors lend to the sleek and simple design of the kitchen.
However, just because most of the kitchen is a neutral color doesn't mean your cooking space has to lack personality. Adding a few dashes of an accent color here and there across the kitchen can bring the entire space to life, as long as the accent color is used in moderation.
Like the rest of the kitchen, modern kitchen floors have a similarly neutral color scheme. Floors are typically designed so the tiles or boards look like they blend together, further adding to the open feeling of the kitchen.
The most common flooring in a contemporary kitchen is a lighter wood, like maple or oak. Other flooring options include porcelain tile or vinyl flooring, perfect for those who want the look of wood without actually having to deal with maintaining a wooden floor.
Modern lighting is probably the easiest choice you'll make because the options are abundant. As you decide on your lighting options, keep the same qualities in mind as the rest of the kitchen — modern lighting should be sleek, minimal and simple.
If your kitchen has windows, use them to let in as much natural lighting as possible. Natural light can make a kitchen feel warm, bright and welcoming. However, you don't need to work with only natural light. If you have a kitchen island, hanging lights above it is a popular tactic in many modern kitchens. Similarly, recessed lighting in the ceiling is another option often used in contemporary kitchens.
With thousands of options to choose from, you have the opportunity to make some bold lighting choices, bringing your unique taste and style to your modern kitchen.
While traditional kitchens tend to use wood and other natural materials for every part of the kitchen, modern kitchens often use a mix between human-made and natural materials. Laminates and plastics are common in modern kitchens, but so are granite, wood and stone.
For example, traditional kitchen cabinets tend to be made of one wood type, like oak, maple or cherry, but modern kitchen cabinets can combine materials like wood, laminates, thermofoils, concrete, glass and metal to achieve a more unique feel.
Storage space is crucial in a modern kitchen. Because of the clean and simple aesthetic that defines modern kitchens, most homeowners try to avoid kitchen clutter. Clean countertops and sleek cabinets are defining features of modern kitchens, and the only way to achieve that is through plenty of storage space.
Cabinets, drawers and shelves are the three main areas used for storage in modern kitchens.
Cabinetry is a major elementof modern kitchen designs. Simplicity is the goal for modern kitchen cabinets — cabinet styles, colors and designs are all intended to be as sleek and simple as possible.
Most modern cabinet and drawer doors are made of materials such as glass, metals, laminates and wood. People often think of white, gray or black as the only modern cabinet color options, but colors in softer tones, high gloss and two-tone options are becoming more prevalent in today's kitchens. Similarly, the modern cabinet style usually includes clean and sleek lines with a minimal amount of decorations, accents and other design flairs to clutter the kitchen.
The most important aspects to consider when trying to fit your cabinets and drawers into a modern kitchen are their styling and their hardware.
For slab and shaker slab cabinet door and drawer front designs, veneers, laminates, solid wood and white rigid thermofoil options are the most prevalent.
Wood veneer slab doors add warmth and depth to a modern kitchen and often come with a vertical grain pattern. Because veneers are made with real wood from real trees, each individual cabinet door,drawer front or end panel will be unique and have a different look from the next.
Laminates and thermofoils come in matte or high gloss finishes with dozens of color options. Adding colors like blues, reds or greens to the natural colors of wood veneer Cabinet Doors is becoming more popular and can bring some diversity to your kitchen.
Similarly, clear or frosted glass is a popular look for modern kitchen cabinets. Replacing old cabinet doors with glass cabinet doors is a simple and cost-effective way to update your kitchen.
It may not set any new trends, but white is still the most popular color for a kitchen. White kitchens can be used for any style of home, and there's a multitude of cabinet surfacing options for white kitchens, like paint, thermofoil, glossy lacquer, melamine or veneer. Simply updating your kitchen with new cabinet doors and drawer fronts can turn your old dark and drab kitchen into the focal point of your house!
Sleek and modern cabinet hardware is essential in a modern kitchen. The right cabinet hardware matched with slab or shaker cabinet doors and drawer fronts brings the entire look together.
Cabinet knobs and pulls for modern designs feature longer, thinner designs and fewer details than typical cabinet hardware. "Bar Pull" style handles are especially popular in modern kitchens. These handles are longer and normally cover the length of the cabinet door or drawer front, and they're very popular in polished chrome, polished nickel or black finishes. Modern cabinet hardware comes in varying widths and lengths to suit all of your needs.
Sometimes, a cabinet isn't what you need. If you want to really change up the look of your kitchen, taking several — or all — of your wall cabinets down and replacing them with floating shelves could be a bold and exciting move.
Floating shelves lend well to the sleek, open feel of many modern kitchens. With no cabinet doors blocking off your supplies from the rest of the kitchen, the entire space truly feels open and connected. However, because everything on your shelves is always visible, you have to be careful to maintain neat and organized shelves to fit the clean, non-cluttered aesthetic of modern kitchens.
Adding a few wooden, glass or metal floating shelves to your kitchen will dramatically change its look. If you don't mind people seeing your kitchen wares, this simple, clean look could be for you.
Kitchen accessories play a large role in the modern kitchen. By choosing accessories that use modern colors, designs and materials, you will provide the final touch that gives the entire kitchen a simple, sleek, modern feel.
If you imagine a modern kitchen, you probably see stainless steel appliances. Stainless steel is by far the most preferred material for contemporary appliances, and the silver color lends well to a typical kitchen's color scheme.
Increasingly, homeowners are incorporating smart appliances into the kitchen, allowing them to control their appliances from their phones and save on water or energy. While smart appliances are by no means a requirement for a contemporary kitchen design, they could be a good idea to consider if you're purchasing new appliances.
Often, people designing modern kitchens will look to appliances for functionality and visual appeal. Therefore, geometric and minimalistic designs for appliances are most often sought after. These simpler designs are easier to clean and use and increase the aesthetic appeal of the kitchen.
Not all modern kitchens need to have furniture, but with the increasing popularity of open kitchens, many incorporate it. Like the kitchen, contemporary kitchen furniture uses well-defined lines and is characterized by simplicity.
Tables, chairs and stools won't usually have any patterns, though they might have textures. The colors are typically neutral colors that correspond with the rest of the kitchen, though there's no hard and fast rule for coloring. Furniture for modern kitchens usually uses natural or natural-looking materials, like wooden stools or granite tabletops.
Countertops in a modern kitchen should look smooth with clean and clear edges. Granite is one of the most popular materials for countertops in modern kitchens because it looks luxurious and has recently fallen in price. However, if you're looking for the most affordable countertop option, it's probably not granite.
More affordable options include solid surface material, ceramic tile and laminate. Solid surface material requires professional installation, but you can install laminates and ceramic tile yourself.
For a more luxurious look, you can choose quartz, marble or even lava stone countertops.
The most common sink in most modern kitchens is an integrated sink. An integrated sink is made of the same material as the countertop and is often one piece with the rest of the counter. Integrated sinks give the entire kitchen a sleeker, more united feel.
Sinks in modern kitchens are also becoming larger, and if there is enough counter space, some kitchens incorporate double sinks. Overall, the larger the sink, the more functionality you can get out of it, so modern kitchen owners will typically opt for oversized sinks if space allows.
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