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15 Gorgeous Modern Kitchens That Still Feel Warm, Inviting, and Timeless

Spoiler: Sleek white isn’t your only option.

<p>David Tsay for Raili CA Design</p>

David Tsay for Raili CA Design

Your first instinct when you hear "modern kitchen" may be a space that’s sparse with lots of clean lines—and you’d be partially right. But the key to creating a kitchen that doesn’t feel one-note is nailing that mix, which means monochromatic palettes and simple materials aren’t your only options.

Below, we have 15 modern kitchen ideas that will help you bring the edge—and break the mold. From moody cook zones that still feel airy to slab-front cabinetry and rooms with geometric lines, these stunning designer projects will challenge everything you think you know about creating a modern kitchen.

Related: How to Design a Kitchen You'll Never Regret

Play With Graphic Angles

<p><a href="http://davidtsay.com/" data-component="link" data-source="inlineLink" data-type="externalLink" data-ordinal="1" rel="nofollow">David Tsay</a> for <a href="https://www.railicadesign.com/" data-component="link" data-source="inlineLink" data-type="externalLink" data-ordinal="2">Raili CA Design</a></p>

If there’s one thing that conveys a modern feel, it’s graphic, angular designs. Rather than resign to the square or rectangular shape of your space, look for opportunities to create geometric shelves or hidden nooks that add a modern feel. In this kitchen by designer Raili Clasen—as seen in her book, Surf Style at Home—light oak cabinetry and green details are balanced by a triangular shelf, housing a mixture of ceramics and cookbooks. 

Related: 5 Kitchen Storage Spots You're Probably Forgetting

Choose a Standout Stone

<p><a href="https://www.suziappel.com.au/" data-component="link" data-source="inlineLink" data-type="externalLink" data-ordinal="1" rel="nofollow">Suzi Appel Photography</a> for <a href="https://www.nazdesign.com.au/" data-component="link" data-source="inlineLink" data-type="externalLink" data-ordinal="2" rel="nofollow">Naz Design </a></p>

Modern kitchens are known for their bold finishes, and nothing makes a bigger statement than a luxe, veiny stone. In this kitchen by Naz Design, a rich gray marble holds court on the stove backsplash and on a unique rounded island, while the rest of the room’s finishes (like fluted details and slab-front cabinetry) allow the stone pick to stand out.

Swap Black for Blue

<p><a href="https://alexjamesphotography.com/" data-component="link" data-source="inlineLink" data-type="externalLink" data-ordinal="1" rel="nofollow">Alexander James</a> for <a href="https://www.studiopeake.com/" data-component="link" data-source="inlineLink" data-type="externalLink" data-ordinal="2" rel="nofollow">Studio Peake</a></p>

While black cabinetry may scream “modern design,” it definitely conveys a specific look and may be too bold a shade for some kitchens or homeowners. The good news? Any color can work in a modern kitchen, as long as you pair it with the right cabinetry profile. Here, the team at Studio Peake opted for an airy cornflower blue (plus plenty of pops of orange) on slab front cabinetry, whose simple profile and no-frills attitude convey a modern ethos.

Related: 21 Gorgeous Blue Kitchens That'll Have You Dreaming of Your Next Renovation

Opt for Glass-Front Cabinets

<p><a href="https://www.stofferphotographyinteriors.com/" data-component="link" data-source="inlineLink" data-type="externalLink" data-ordinal="1" rel="nofollow">Stoffer Photography Interiors</a> for <a href="https://amystormandco.com/" data-component="link" data-source="inlineLink" data-type="externalLink" data-ordinal="2">Amy Storm & Company</a></p>

Creating a timeless kitchen is all about striking a balance, between light and dark, moody and airy, functional and beautiful. In modern kitchen design, bringing in lots of light where you can is important. To brighten things up, take a page out of designer Amy Storm’s playbook and swap wood fronts for glass-front cabinetry. Not only will they reflect any natural or artificial light throughout the space, but they’ll allow you to put your favorite pieces on display.

Mix and Match Your Furniture

<p><a href="https://www.megantaylor.co.uk/" data-component="link" data-source="inlineLink" data-type="externalLink" data-ordinal="1" rel="nofollow">Megan Taylor</a> for <a href="https://cuplastudio.co.uk/" data-component="link" data-source="inlineLink" data-type="externalLink" data-ordinal="2" rel="nofollow">Cúpla Studio</a></p>

Nothing is more modern than a mix-and-match feel that perfectly represents your unique vibe. When designing your kitchen, look for ways to incorporate a bit of playful personality through your choice of furniture or fixtures. In this kitchen by Cúpla Studio, a funky assortment of dining chairs and a custom stone pedestal table bring a modern twist to the rest of the streamlined space.

Amp Up Your Lighting

<p><a href="http://davidtsay.com/" data-component="link" data-source="inlineLink" data-type="externalLink" data-ordinal="1" rel="nofollow">David Tsay</a> for <a href="https://www.railicadesign.com/" data-component="link" data-source="inlineLink" data-type="externalLink" data-ordinal="2">Raili CA Design</a></p>

A good rule of thumb for modern interiors? Anything in multiples pretty much automatically looks more modern and impactful. Case in point? This stunning modern kitchen from designer Raili Clasen’s aforementioned book, Surf Style at Home. Instead of just a pair of pendant lights over the island, the pro hung a collection of lights in the same style but a variety of different sizes and heights for a dynamic, eye-catching look.

Related: 4 Types of Lighting and How to Use Them in Your Home

Work In Unexpected Materials

<p><a href="http://alicegao.com/" data-component="link" data-source="inlineLink" data-type="externalLink" data-ordinal="1">Alice Gao</a> for <a href="https://www.stewart-schafer.com/" data-component="link" data-source="inlineLink" data-type="externalLink" data-ordinal="2">Stewart-Schafer</a></p>

When it comes to designing a modern kitchen, don’t limit yourself to just traditional finishes like wood or marble. Instead, look for opportunities to incorporate unexpected textures, like plaster or concrete. In the airy yet modern space by the team at Stewart-Schafer, wood and concrete textures mix on the island for a fresh take on a classic kitchen mainstay.

Choose a Funky Floor Tile

<p><a href="https://alexjamesphotography.com/" data-component="link" data-source="inlineLink" data-type="externalLink" data-ordinal="1" rel="nofollow">Alexander James</a> for <a href="https://www.studiopeake.com/" data-component="link" data-source="inlineLink" data-type="externalLink" data-ordinal="2" rel="nofollow">Studio Peake</a></p>

As you design your modern kitchen, you probably put the majority of your attention towards your cabinetry and countertop choices—but if you’re overlooking your floors, you’re doing yourself a disservice. Instead of relying on the existing flooring, explore the possibility of adding personality through tile. In this funky space by Studio Peake, a mix of geometric ceramic tiles reinforces the room’s cool color scheme.

Integrate Your Appliances

<p><a href="https://christophertestani.com/" data-component="link" data-source="inlineLink" data-type="externalLink" data-ordinal="1" rel="nofollow">Christopher Testani</a> for Real Simple</p>

Christopher Testani for Real Simple

Modern kitchen design is all about clean lines—something that most modern appliances don’t really allow for. After all, a floor-to-ceiling wall of cabinetry looks much more streamlined when it’s not visually interrupted by a massive refrigerator.

The solution? Choosing integrated appliances. In the 2023 Real Simple Home, the team behind Yellow Brick Home covered the fridge and corresponding wine color in the same cabinet fronts used throughout the rest of the space for a streamlined look.

Related: Shop Every Single Room in the 2023 Real Simple Home

Skip Upper Cabinets

<p><a href="https://www.karynmillet.com/" data-component="link" data-source="inlineLink" data-type="externalLink" data-ordinal="1" rel="nofollow">Karyn Millet</a> for <a href="https://www.railicadesign.com/" data-component="link" data-source="inlineLink" data-type="externalLink" data-ordinal="2">Raili CA Design</a></p>

For an airy feel, trade traditional upper cabinetry for floating shelves—or nothing at all. While it can seem scary to forgo all that extra storage, smart space planning will ensure you have a spot for everything throughout the rest of the room. In this modern and beachy space, designer Raili Clasen skipped uppers in place of vertical planking, lending a subtle texture and visual interest to the room. 

Divide With Style

<p><a href="https://www.megantaylor.co.uk/" data-component="link" data-source="inlineLink" data-type="externalLink" data-ordinal="1" rel="nofollow">Megan Taylor</a> for <a href="https://cuplastudio.co.uk/" data-component="link" data-source="inlineLink" data-type="externalLink" data-ordinal="2" rel="nofollow">Cúpla Studio</a></p>

In an open floor plan, nailing the flow between rooms isn’t always easy. Luckily, the team at Cúpla Studio has landed on a totally fresh way to make that transition work—and blend seamlessly with a nearby modern kitchen. To bridge the gap between this moody cook space and the nearby dining zone, they covered the cased opening in sheets of brass for a bold transition that owns its moment.

Choose Colored Appliances

<p><a href="https://charlottelea.com/" data-component="link" data-source="inlineLink" data-type="externalLink" data-ordinal="1" rel="nofollow">Charlotte Lea Photography</a> for <a href="https://www.emilylamarque.com/" data-component="link" data-source="inlineLink" data-type="externalLink" data-ordinal="2" rel="nofollow">Emily LaMarque Design</a></p>

When we say “colored appliances” one of the first things that probably comes to mind is the eyesores typical of ‘80s design. Well, we have good news: Those unsightly gadgets are staying in the past.

These days, there are near endless options for personalizing your larger kitchen appliances, including some sleek exteriors that look right at home in a modern space. Here, designer Emily LaMarque chose white and gold finishes to blend with the rest of the approachable modern kitchen.

Get Chunky

<p><a href="https://www.marcoriccastudio.com/" data-component="link" data-source="inlineLink" data-type="externalLink" data-ordinal="1">Marco Ricca</a> for <a href="https://www.stewart-schafer.com/" data-component="link" data-source="inlineLink" data-type="externalLink" data-ordinal="2">Stewart-Schafer</a></p>

If there’s one area where you can go big in a modern kitchen, it’s a standout stone. Picking a particularly eye-catching slab is great, but you can take things one step further by installing it in a really prominent way. In this kitchen by the team at Stewart-Schafer, a thick marble shelf adds an additional layer to the island for a tiered look that is super fresh.

Related: 12 Kitchen Countertop Ideas That'll Make You Want to Remodel

Double Up Your Islands

<p><a href="https://www.stofferphotographyinteriors.com/" data-component="link" data-source="inlineLink" data-type="externalLink" data-ordinal="1" rel="nofollow">Stoffer Photography Interiors</a> for <a href="https://amystormandco.com/" data-component="link" data-source="inlineLink" data-type="externalLink" data-ordinal="2">Amy Storm & Company</a></p>

What’s better than one kitchen island? Two, of course! This workhorse kitchen from designer Amy Storm reads as totally modern, thanks in large part to the addition of two expansive islands that work for dinner prep or entertaining. Doubling up in islands is the latest luxury kitchen trend and a great way to help your space skew more modern. 

Keep Your Palette Tight

<p><a href="https://gabesullivan.com/" data-component="link" data-source="inlineLink" data-type="externalLink" data-ordinal="1" rel="nofollow">Gab Sullivan</a> for <a href="https://www.railicadesign.com/" data-component="link" data-source="inlineLink" data-type="externalLink" data-ordinal="2">Raili CA Design</a></p>

Pro tip: You can pretty much make any color fit a modern design scheme as long as you keep your palette tight. The key to keeping your kitchen from feeling boring? By working in lots of different textures. Take this space from designer Raili Clasen as an example: In it, she teams a multitude of blacks, all in a variety of different textures (wood, leather, and ceramic tile, just to name a few), maintaining a tight palette that’s anything but boring.

Related: 21 Stunning Modern Bathroom Ideas

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