39 Modern Kitchen Design Ideas (2018 Photos – Carefully Chosen )

50 mindblowing modern kitchen ideas. This is your ultimate guide to a modern and contemporary kitchen design that includes the latest photos by top designers, a collection of my favorites plus a huge list to tips.
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Bright modern Kitchen

Welcome to one of our most popular kitchen design ideas gallery.

This is where we feature both contemporary and modern kitchen ideas – my hand-selected favorites as well as an extensive set of tips and images to achieve this style.

Please note, while “modern” in design is a very specific type of design, the fact of the matter is many people looking for modern are actually looking for contemporary kitchen designs.  Therefore, this page features both modern and contemporary kitchens.

Modern Kitchen Style Statistics

Modern kitchen styles chart

10.62 per cent of kitchens are reported to be in the modern design style.  Given the popularity of modern kitchen design that’s not very many given traditional (31.41%), contemporary (25.18%) and transitional (16.42%), make up quite a bit more.

The Trend

What’s interesting about the trend based on online searches (we use software to determine this) is that “modern” is far more popular than “contemporary”.  Yet, in the chart above, you’ll notice that “contemporary” is more popular.

Why the difference?

The reason for the difference is that in the chart and stats above, those numbers are self-reported mostly by industry experts (interior designers), whereas the trend numbers based on all online searches are done by lay people.  Lay people tend to use “modern” when they really mean “contemporary”.

 

Great Modern Kitchen Photos

Here’s my favorite section which includes 14 hand-picked modern and contemporary kitchen designs that I think are the best.

Brown and White Contemporary

Large U-shaped modern kitchen with square island that accommodates 5 stools. Notices the smooth front cabinets which is a hallmark of modern kitchen design. I love the dark brown and white color scheme. The chrome chandelier adds a modern touch as well.

Large U-shaped modern kitchen with square island that accommodates 5 stools. Notices the smooth front cabinets which is a hallmark of modern kitchen design. I love the dark brown and white color scheme. The chrome chandelier adds a modern touch as well.

Stark White with U-Shaped Island

Stark white modern kitchen with large u-shaped island

Austere stark white modern kitchen with light woof flooring. This is a fascinating design with a large u-shaped island (or two islands joined by a breakfast bar plank). Architect: Thellend Fortin.

Rock base island in open contemporary kitchen

Now this is unique. Check out that huge rugged rock island base surface with light wood top surface. It’s amazing. It sits in front of a small single line contemporary kitchen with light wood cabinets and black backsplash. Designed by: SAOTA

Contemporary Cathedral

Minimalist all white modern kitchen with smooth surface cabinetry. The cathedral ceiling nicely opens up the room. While there are no windows along the wall, the two skylights and large windows on the end wall emit plenty of natural light.

Minimalist all-white modern kitchen with smooth surface cabinetry. The cathedral ceiling nicely opens up the room. While there are no windows along the wall, the two skylights and large windows on the end wall emit plenty of natural light.

Natural Wood with Dark Gray (plus 2 islands)

This natural wood and dark gray kitchen oozes modern style but without the sterile effect some give off. The two-island luxury kitchen offers loads of cabinet space (floor-to-ceiling) and surface workspace from the two islands.

This natural wood and dark gray kitchen oozes modern style but without the sterile effect some give off. The two-island luxury kitchen offers loads of cabinet space (floor-to-ceiling) and surface workspace from the two islands.

No Cabinets

Modern kitchen no cabinets

Check this chef’s kitchen out with pretty much no cabinets. It’s amazing. I love the rack wall for storage… talk about easy and fast access to all the kitchen utensils you’d need. The island is like one huge workbench. Overall, this is a super cool modern kitchen. Architects: W4 Arquitetura Criativa | Photography: Cristiano Bauce.


Sleek Gray

Stylish gray and white modern kitchen with a tray ceiling. The white island and partial white ceiling lighten up the space while gray is the dominant color. The space is almost entirely straight lines and edges except for the slightly arched window.

Stylish gray and white modern kitchen with a tray ceiling. The white island and partial white ceiling lighten up the space while gray is the dominant color. The space is almost entirely straight lines and edges except for the slightly arched window.

Long Single Wall with Island

Long single wall chef's kitchen with super long island

Look closely at this contemporary kitchen and notice how long this thing is. It’s amazing. I like the one long aisle because it’s easy to work the line when cooking. It’s a well-laid out kitchen. Designed by: David Coleman Architecture.

Modern Industrial

Modern open concept kitchen that is mostly natural wood in color and material with black countertops. Upper cabinets are open-shelf and glass-faced. There's a large wine storage cabinet on the end of the island which happens to be on wheels which works really well in the large open space.

Modern open concept kitchen that is mostly natural wood in color and material with black countertops. Upper cabinets are open-shelf and glass-faced. There’s a large wine storage cabinet on the end of the island which happens to be on wheels which works really well in the large open space.

Modern White

Modern white kitchen with island

This modern white kitchen is in an urban detached narrow home that was fully remodeled. The kitchen is at the rear of the main living floor and is very large. As you can see, there are many cabinets that extend from the floor to the ceiling. The island has a sink and waterfall surface. Architects: Urbanscape Architects


L-Shape with Wood, White and Subway Tile

Long L-shaped modern kitchen with engineered quartz countertops and waterfall island. Huge double gas range takes up part of the long arm of the kitchen. Flat-faced wood cabinetry offset nicely with the smooth white engineered quartz countertops.

Long L-shaped modern kitchen with engineered quartz countertops and waterfall island. Huge double gas range takes up part of the long arm of the kitchen. Flat-faced wood cabinetry offset nicely with the smooth white engineered quartz countertops.

Small Black and White Modern Kitchen with White Brick Wall

Modern black and white kitchen. I think the little bit of black is just perfect in this kitchen to give it visual appeal. the white painted brick wall also offsets the smooth surfaces of the white cabinets beautifully. Notice the ceiling is black as well, which works given the extra height this room offers. the black range, oven and hood look awesome as well.

Modern black and white kitchen. I think the little bit of black is just perfect in this kitchen to give it visual appeal. the white painted brick wall also offsets the smooth surfaces of the white cabinets beautifully. Notice the ceiling is black as well, which works given the extra height this room offers. the black range, oven and hood look awesome as well.

Brown and White with Breakfast Nook

Spacious single wall with island modern kitchen done in medium brown and white. The non-hardware cabinetry give it a modern flare along with the engineered quartz countertops, waterfall island and chrome pendant lights. Check out that awesome dining nook with bench off to the side.

Spacious single wall with island modern kitchen done in medium brown and white. The non-hardware cabinetry give it a modern flare along with the engineered quartz countertops, waterfall island and chrome pendant lights. Check out that awesome dining nook with bench off to the side.

Contemporary Black and Light Wood

Light wood and black make up the color scheme in this modern kitchen. It's a single wall with long island layout. It's a very simple aesthetic and fairly bright which is a result of the windows, white backsplash and white ceiling.

Light wood and black make up the color scheme in this modern kitchen. It’s a single wall with long island layout. It’s a very simple aesthetic and fairly bright which is a result of the windows, white backsplash and white ceiling.

White with Marble Backsplash


Contempory white kitchen with marble backsplash

Here’s a nice close-up photo of a contemporary design with some modern elements. What stands out here is the marble backsplash which looks fabulous. The variety of modern cabinets looks good too. Overall it’s a simple design but it’s very effective in its simplicity. Designed by: LLI Design

Light Wood and White (and Bright)

Render design of what I think is a very cool modern kitchen design that while very white and bright, is warm and inviting with the natural light wood elements via cupboard doors and island base. Check out the suspended wine glass shelf above the island... very smart (although I'd probably bump my head on that).

Render design of what I think is a very cool modern kitchen design that while very white and bright, is warm and inviting with the natural light wood elements via cupboard doors and island base. Check out the suspended wine class shelf above the island… very smart (although I’d probably bump my head on that).

Massive L-Shaped Island

A spacious kitchen in a modern home featuring a large beige L-shaped island with sink and breakfast bar. There are two faucets, one conventional with hot and cold levers and one is "boiling water on demand" together with the sink next to a smaller waste disposal unit. In the background surrounded by beautiful wood-faced cupboards, is a bank of ovens (microwave, pizza and two large ovens). A wall mounted TV screen is on the wall opposite the dining area.

A spacious kitchen in a modern home featuring a large beige L-shaped island with sink and breakfast bar. There are two faucets, one conventional with hot and cold levers and one is “boiling water on demand” together with the sink next to a smaller waste disposal unit. In the background surrounded by beautiful wood-faced cupboards, is a bank of ovens (microwave, pizza and two large ovens). A wall mounted TV screen is on the wall opposite the dining area.

White Minimalist

Large all white kitchen with smooth-faced cupboards and white tile floor. Frankly, I don't like this kitchen design at all, but it's a good example of modern design.

Large all white kitchen with smooth-faced cupboards and white tile floor. Frankly, I don’t like this kitchen design at all, but it’s a good example of modern design.

Modern Glam

Stunning white and black modern kitchen with medium dark wood flooring. Actually, this kitchen has hints of country with modern; it works very well. The long island has a waterfall surface and can accommodate 4 to 6 stools. While fairly narrow, it's deep enough for both breakfast bar and workspace - check out the wood butcher block addition to the work-side of the island. One of my favorite design elements here are the four fabulous black and white pendant lights.

Stunning white and black modern kitchen with medium dark wood flooring. Actually, this kitchen has hints of country with modern; it works very well. The long island has a waterfall surface and can accommodate 4 to 6 stools. While fairly narrow, it’s deep enough for both breakfast bar and workspace – check out the wood butcher block addition to the work-side of the island. One of my favorite design elements here are the four fabulous black and white pendant lights.

Ultra Luxury Modern


Huge, long modern kitchen with a mirror as a backsplash which makes the already large space look bigger. It's a minimalist design with the appliances placed so as to almost be invisible.

Huge, long modern kitchen with a mirror as a backsplash which makes the already large space look bigger. It’s a minimalist design with the appliances placed so as to almost be invisible.

Minimalist Modern Narrow Kitchen

Minimalist modern kitchen with natural wood and whte cabinets in narrow house

Who says the island must be rectangle? Check out that island with a slight angle to it narrowing on one end. It gives this otherwise minimalist kitchen an added appeal. I also like how the island is entirely natural wood which is contrasted with the bright white cabinets and ceiling. Also, take note of that massive window – that’s a great kitchen window. Designed by: Paul Bernier Architecte

When you’re upgrading your kitchen, a modern design is something you may wish to consider. However, your concept of a modern kitchen design is often much different than a designer’s. While you may think modern designs contain furniture, appliances, and colors which are popular now, they use ideas from the past.

Modern Design Definition

In interior design terms, modern designs involve a certain time period, the 1920s to the 1950s to be exact, which never changes. Some people include Mid-century modern kitchens.  These designs contain clean lines, natural materials, and a minimalistic style. If this is the type of design that you want, then there are several modern kitchen design ideas you may find appealing.

However, most people when looking for modern, are really looking for contemporary kitchen designs, which is what this article technically is about.  We debated for months whether to stick to the strict definition or open it to contemporary as well.  Purists will not like our decision and I totally understand that, but at the end of the day, we chose to offer up what people want which is modern and contemporary designs.

Flooring

In a study of over 1.78 million kitchens, researchers found that almost 11% of them were modern designs, yet this style falls in line with most other styles by having hardwood as by far the most common flooring material.  Despite all the composite products out there for home improvement, good ole natural wood is still favored for petty much every style.

Cabinet Materials and Styles

The cabinet finishes in kitchens with a modern design aesthetic are often acrylic with high gloss or flat panel wood cabinets.  In fact, approximately 66% of modern kitchens have flat panel cabinetry design.  Since this design involves having clean lines, flat-panel cabinetry is usually found in these kitchens.

For contemporary design, wood is the most common, usually a flat-faced design.  Ornate is sometimes implemented but that typically falls under another kitchen style such.

As for modern kitchen countertops, engineered quartz is the most common material with granite a somewhat distant second.

Any Kitchen Size

Modern kitchens suit any size kitchen, from small one-wall kitchens to large ones.  In fact, some modern efficiencies make modern features a great style for small kitchen spaces.   The use of a center island or a counter defining the kitchen area from the dining or living area is also common since open floor plan kitchens are very popular.

The islands or counters can also provide space for eating in the kitchen, which is something many homeowners want. Along with working well for any kitchen size, modern designs also suit different kitchen layouts.

Whether it is an L-shape kitchen or a single-wall kitchen, the clean lines and minimalistic style can be applied to most kitchens layouts.

If you like kitchens with an uncluttered, clean aesthetic, then you may find that a modern design is right for your home.

Modern Kitchen Lighting

Without a doubt, the two most used modern and contemporary kitchen lighting options are a combination of recessed and pendant.  Recessed provides the the room-wide illumination while the pendants illuminate either the peninsula or island surface.

However, not just any pendant light will do.  It must be a modern or contemporary design.  Check out the many photos in this extensive article to get an idea of examples.

Modern Kitchen Appliances

When it comes to modern/contemporary kitchen appliances, there are 3 considerations.  They are:

  1. Current cooking technologies:  Examples of current cooking technologies that are popular include sous vide, air frying, steam oven, brewing, custom coffee preparation and water purification.
  2. Modern design:  Modern appliance design can be black or stainless steel.  In some cases something that pops like red or blue work as well.  Some have stark bare faces while others no so much.  The variety is broad.  At the end of the day, modern appliances are used in all kitchen designs.
  3. Smart technology:  Today’s appliances come with apps and hook into the internet so that you can control them remotely and/or by voice.  We are at the early stages of this technology, but it’s already amazing and will advance very, very quickly.

Check out our in-depth modern kitchen appliances guide here.

Modern Backsplash

Subway tiles work, but so too do regular white tiles and even colored tile.  Mosaic isn’t a good choice for modern.  You typically want a more stark, uni-color design that coincides with the simpler modern design overall.  However, for the contemporary kitchen, the options are seemingly endless – grays, earth tones and even brigher colors work given a contemporary kitchen is merely one that is a current design.

Stools

Most contemporary kitchens have stool seating either at the island or peninsula.  It’s a hallmark feature of today’s kitchens.  You can go modern rustic, strict modern and everything in between.  You definitely want the stools to be a stand-out feature as well as comfortable.

Sink and Faucet

Sink and faucet innovation is incredible with respect to design and features.

Design:  There are many different types of kitchen sinks and faucets that meed the contemporary design element.

Features: In addition to providing water and catching water, they extend, operate via a sensor, offer instant hot water and more.  The innovation is amazing.

18 Modern Kitchen Tips

1. Mix modern with craftsman

This kitchen is uniquely modern with a craftsman twist which makes it interesting.  The wood trim gives it a craftsman vibe, but the high gloss cabinetry and simple design give it an overall modern look.

Modern kitchen with craftsman elements (interesting)

2. Use many materials in straight lines

There’s a lot going on here. Stainless steel, wood and acrylic finishes make up this kitchen design.  The under cabinet lighting, which is not subtle gives an extra sheen not seen in most kitchens.

Modern kitchen design with black, wood and stainless steel. Full stainless steel island and black flat panel cabinets.

3. Mix acrylic high gloss with natural wood

The dark high gloss acrylic cabinets juxtaposes very nicely with the light natural wood countertops.  You’ll see wood often used in modern designs to temper the coolness of acrylics and metals.

Modern kitchen example with black flat panel cabinets and warm wood countertops.

4. Be bold with red and embrace the steel

This screams modern. It’s a bold red with acrylic cabinetry mixed with plenty of stainless steel.  Straight lines throughout.  I’ll say this; the red tempers the stainless steel better than one would think without actually seeing it.

Modern kitchen design with red high gloss cabinets and stainless steel countertops.

5. Gray, White and Chrome for Small Kitchen Spaces

I love this look. That warm gray is popular for kitchens; it definitely has a warming effect, which you wouldn’t expect gray to do, but the grain does the job.  The high gloss white cabinets and modern chrome stools tip this kitchen into modern style nichely.

Small modern kitchen design with chrome stools and grainy gray cabinets.

6. Modern isn’t always “sleek straight lines”

Sleek, straight lines describes modern, but modern isn’t always straight lines. Check this kitchen out with curves throughout combined with red, high gloss cabinetry and stainless steel.

Modern kitchen with curved counter design and stainless steel appliances.

7. Pour on the concrete

Perhaps modern industrial best describes this concrete kitchen. It looks very cool with the concrete wall and island in an overall minimalist design.

Modern kitchen with concrete island and concrete wall and concrete countertops.

8. Skip the cabinet hardware

This design has flat-faced dark gray cabinets with no cabinet hardware. It gives off that “sleek” look.  The consistent use rectangles provide the subtle texture this otherwise austere kitchen needs.

Dark and light gray modern kitchen with flat panel cabinetry.

9. Toss in Geometric Shapes All Over the Place

Eye-catching geometric shapes is a modern design hallmark.  Below is a terrific example of a kitchen filled with interesting rectangles and 3D cubes making up the design.  It’s a very effective technique for a modern vibe despite the very un-modern color scheme.

Modern kitchen with geometric shapes including 3 dimensional rectangles and cubes.

10. The Modern Kitchen Cave

Many apartment kitchens are tucked away in te corner and are tiny.  Many have no windows making it cave-like. That’s okay. You can embrace the darkness with a dark modern look like the example below.

Dark small gallery modern kitchen desing.

11. Thick, open design

Take a look at the island. It’s a think, continuous open shape that gives off both solidness and openness at the same time.  It’s fabulous (although the lost storage space is unfortunate).  You’ll also notice the combination of 90 degree angles and spheres which make for an interesting look.

Modern kitchen with dark straight lines counter balanced with spherical shapes.

12. Crisp White Throughout

One way to achieve that uber modern design is to gowth high gloss, all white cabinets.  Add white ceiling, walls and flooring and you have one cold, but staunchly modern design.  The only texture in the design below is the checkered stool backs.  Amazingly, those stools stand out in this kitchen whereas they wouldn’t in so many other designs with far more texture.

All white high gloss modern kitchen design.

13. Use Lots of Glass

Glass-faced flat cabinets are a strong modern feature which is seen throughout the example below.  It’s tempered with white stone which I think is a terrific combination.

Modern kitchen with glass-faced cabinets and dark wood cabinets.

14. Modern backsplash = modern kitchen?

This is not entirely a modern design, but I included it to show you how the backsplash choice can tilt a kitchen toward a particular design.  The glass tile here gives it a very contemporary look.  Imagine the backsplash a terra cotta or Mediterranean tile.  This would be a very different kitchen.

Interesting kitchen with blue glass tile backsplash.

15. Flat panel cabinetry and applianes

Flat panel appliances aren’t as popular as you’d think for good reason.  Stainless steel appliances add variety in a kitchen. Specifically they cool down the extensive use of wood.  You can see that here. I personally think stainless steel refrigerator would improve this kitchen yet not compromise the modern flat-panel cabinetry.

Another notable feature is how the cabinets extend to the ceiling. That exaggerates the minimalistic effect of the flat panel cabinetry.

Modern kitchen with dark flat panel cabinets and modern white and chrome bar stools.

16. Combine high gloss white with jet black

The black and white look is classic.  It needs careful implementation, but when done well, it’s fabulous. The example below is mostly white, but tempered with a jet black ceiling, backsplash and floor.  You don’t often see a black ceiling; usually the black is woven in other ways, but in this case I think it works.

White and black kitchen design. High gloss white cabinets; black ceiling, backsplash and floor.

17. Modern mixed with traditional

I know it’s crazy to suggest a kitchen is both modern and traditional but that’s the sense I get when analyzing the example below.  The space doesn’t scream modern, yet the cabinetry and island are definitely modern.  I think it’s those pendant lights, uninteresting ceiling, the failure of cabinets rising to the ceiling and wood floor that compromise the overall modern design.  Nevertheless, one can understand how tempering modern to some degree is desirable.

Tempered modern kitchen design; modern cabinets and island with warm wood flooring and traditional pendant lighting.

18. White, black and… Glass?

I think this example is clever in how the warmly lit glass-faced cabinets provide the warmth to counter-balance the cool black and white cabinets and flooring.  Speaking for floor, check out that black and white floor.  It’s definitely effective.

Black, white and glass modern kitchen.







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