7 Characteristics of a Modern Kitchen Design

7 Characteristics of a Modern Kitchen Design

Over the years, the modern look has become one of the most popular designs for homes and kitchens everywhere. Many aspects go into creating a cohesive contemporary design for kitchens, but there’s also room within the modern idea to make your kitchen unique and your own. If you’re remodeling your kitchen or designing one for a new home and are looking for contemporary inspiration, we’ve got you covered. Read on for the seven characteristics of a modern kitchen design you should know.

Minimalist Philosophy

The overarching philosophy of modern kitchen designs is that less is more. Modern kitchens are typically clean and straightforward instead of decorative and ornate. How much you want to incorporate that into your design is up to you; some go ultra-modern and make everything as minimal as possible, while others soften it up a bit here and there with accents.

If you want a contemporary look, swap out the floral patterns and decorative ornamentations for flush cabinets painted bold colors, vibrant countertops, stainless steel appliances, and brushed nickel or chrome finishes in a minimalist kitchen. Modern minimalism probably isn’t what you want for your kitchen if you love decorative pieces.

Crisp and Sleek Lines

The thing to remember when designing a minimalist, modern kitchen is geometry. No, not the math class, but the shapes and lines. In a contemporary kitchen, you’re always incorporating triangles, rectangles, and angles into your design to deliver crisp and sharp lines.

Horizontal lines are critical in any modern kitchen for floors, tiles, backsplashes, etc. The sleek lines elongate and expand your kitchen to create a more spacious and comfortable feel.

Bold and Stark Colors

You might have a perception that modern kitchens have to be monochromatic to sharpen the lines. Sure, if you want an ultra-modern look, a white-and-black color palette will give you crisp lines to work with, but that’s not a law for modern kitchens. There’s plenty of room to add colors within a modern look to soften the cold feel of only black-and-white. The only rule to follow is to avoid pastels, as they tend to clash with modern designs.

Dramatic Accents

There are plenty of opportunities within your kitchen for color outside of the cabinets. A recent trend for modern kitchens is to go with white cabinets and drawers and use vibrant colors as dramatic accents. The backsplash is a great spot to put a bold color to catch the eye, but you don’t want anything too decorative that seems out of place. Most colors can fit within a modern design; you just want to be sure to keep them simple and not too patterned.

Prominent Island

One of the biggest trends in kitchen design in the past decade has been the popularity of the large kitchen island over the traditional kitchen table. Large, multi-functional islands can fit almost any design, and they’re especially prominent with modern looks.

A large kitchen island is gorgeous to look at and convenient for families, as it adds extra cooking and meal prep space for parents and seating and counter space for kids. A kitchen island lets you cook dinner while your kids do their homework without anyone bumping into each other.

The island also adds more storage space and offers an opportunity to get creative with your design. Concrete, wood, and stainless steel are all unique kitchen island looks that fit a contemporary design.

Layered Lighting

If you’re going to have a large kitchen island that allows multiple people in your household to occupy the kitchen for different uses, you’ll want some layered lighting. It’s functionally better to have multiple light sources for various activities in your kitchen, and it provides a more comfortable alternative to a stark, overhead light.

Recessed lighting is a popular choice for many, as it has a striking look. You can also place these lights underneath cabinets for meal prepping. Some designers choose oversized, industrial lights to give the kitchen more character.

Simple Cabinetry With Clean Lines

The cabinetry is the focal point of many kitchens and where the modern design truly comes out. The most common contemporary designs are simple cabinets with inset doors for clean lines. Full cabinetry is a popular choice, as it offers more storage space and gives the kitchen a bigger feel.

Ideally, your modern kitchen has cabinetry with clear lines and minimal distractions to make the finishes stand out more. Inset doors give the cabinets a frameless, smooth look that evokes a modern feel. You rarely see ornamentations in modern kitchens, so many designers choose mid-century modern cabinet pulls that are stainless steel or brushed nickel—you’ll find plenty of these at Illuminate Vintage.

Natural Materials

Sometimes, we think of modern design as more industrial, but it also allows designers to highlight natural materials. A modern design is a great place to incorporate natural materials, as the lack of ornamentation elsewhere makes them stand out and shine even more.

Delicate wood grains like maple, birch, and ash go well with modern cabinets and help warmly soften your kitchen design. Wooden flooring also pairs well in modern kitchens, as long as it’s consistent with an open-floor layout. Even exposed brick as a kitchen backsplash can become your favorite part of your kitchen.

Prominent Technology

Designers have to contort to hide or obscure prominent technology in other kitchen layouts, as it clashes with traditional design elements. In a contemporary design, you don’t have to worry about that. Technology and appliances can come front-and-center since many carry a clean and simple design that fits a minimalist kitchen.

Industrial Appliances and Accents

Industrial and modern can go hand in hand, which is why most contemporary kitchen designs prominently feature stainless steel appliances. It’s also common to see industrial accents and fixtures like sinks use brushed nickel or chrome for a more cohesive look with the rest of the kitchen.

Now that you know the key characteristics of a modern kitchen design, how will you incorporate them into your kitchen design? Will you go with an ultra-modern, minimalist design with monochromatic colors or choose something softer with more rounded edges and colorful accents? What’s great about modern kitchen designs is that there’s plenty of room to flex your creative and artistic muscles! Make sure to browse the Illuminate Vintage shop for your lighting, fixtures, and hardware needs for your kitchen and home design!

7 Characteristics of a Modern Kitchen Design