28 modern kitchen ideas

Modern kitchen ideas – contemporary designs for cooking and entertaining

Welcome to the world of contemporary kitchen design. Our modern kitchen ideas move beyond the pared-back boxy styles of old to explore the exciting range of materials and finishes now available for cabinetry, floors and walls.

Newer kitchen ideas focus on creating mood and recognize the time we spend in the space – so versatility, comfort, lighting and entertainment have become super important. 

The old cliché of ‘hub of the home’ is truer than ever – all life happens here, so even dedicated work stations are finding their way into modern kitchen layouts. Appliances are quieter, while new technology is super-connected so dinner can almost take care of itself. 

And because we don’t want to spend all day looking at the nuts and bolts of our kitchen, modern solutions hide it all away behind tall cupboard doors, using clever storage systems to make the most of the full height of space. 

When it comes to designing a modern kitchen, think about what you need from your space. The latest trends in kitchen design include to easy-clean surfaces, more storage – go ahead and prioritize that walk-in pantry – and hydroponics that will bring the herb and salad garden indoors.

From the most advanced of appliances, to modern kitchen lighting and cutting edge cabinetry, we bring you the best contemporary kitchen ideas for design inspiration.


Combine rustic and modern with an all wood kitchen cabinet ideas that puts the focus firmly on the natural beauty of the timber. Made using upcycled oak from old French barns and railway sleepers, despite its vintage heritage this kitchen maintains a contemporary style with its clean lines, handle-free doors and drawers and lack of frills or unnecessary extra details.


Clean lines, clear surfaces and a calm aesthetic are key when it comes to modern kitchen design, so keeping clutter out of sight is a must. 

Keeping appliances behind closed doors has long been a way of concealing those less-than-lovely items, such as dishwashers, refrigerators and washing machines in integrated cabinets. Breakfast stations are the latest modern kitchen concept that sees tea, coffee and toast-making essentials tucked tidily away into one zone. 

A clever way of keeping must have items organised and in one place, pocket doors or bi folds neatly tuck out of the way for easy access when in use and then close and conceal the contents when breakfast is over.

‘In the flurry of action in the mornings before work and school, it makes complete sense to have your favourite breakfast items organised and in one place to get the day off to an ordered, easy start,’ says Tom Howley, director of Tom Howley.


In an open-plan kitchen space or a large kitchen-diner, an island is the perfect way of creating a central focal point that visually connects the different areas. And a generously-sized space calls for an island with equally generous proportions so that it doesn’t appear lost in such a vast space.

Using contrast materials for the main kitchen and an island unit adds another dimension and helps to create a change of pace. Too much of one material can look boring or feel too oppressive, so mixing it up will prevent that and add plenty of visual interest.

'A bank of built-in tall units on one side of this kitchen feature cupboard fronts made from liquid metal in a specialist shagreen finish that provides a stunning backdrop to the island,’ says Ledbury Studio founder, Charlie Smallbone. ‘The island is  another talking point thanks to the verdigris copper panels edged in black-stained oak on one side and the black-stained oak cupboard doors surrounded by aged brass on the other.’

(Ledbury Studio)

Adding a flash of bold color is a wonderful way of perking up a plain kitchen or giving a neutral space a more playful edge. Be as brave or as reserved as you wish, introducing colour little by little, starting with ceramics and kitchenware or experimenting with a bold floor runner or upholstered kitchen stool.

Opting for a freestanding kitchen ideas, such as an island in a standout shade is another easy way of introducing a livelier shade without it overpowering the room completely. Painting just the back panel of an island in a bold shade makes instant impact for just an afternoon’s work - and can easily be re-painted should you grow tired of the color.


The kitchen extension is by far the most popular home improvement project, and it’s no surprise. If we want to entertain in style and comfort, space is key. 

Consider your needs for all scenarios, from dinner with friends to lazy Sunday mornings and family multi-tasking throughout the week. The right kitchen extension ideas can offer all sorts of clever ways to stretch your space.


Vibrant kitchen backsplash ideas, and colorful tiles in general, have become increasingly popular over the past few years. They are a great way of incorporating color into a kitchen if you prefer keep core paint colors more neutral.

(Tom Howley)

If you're lucky enough to have original features like wooden beams, exposed brick or fireplaces, there's every reason to incorporate them when designing a modern kitchen.

The mix of old and new adds interest to the room and gives your home its own unique twist, a great option for adding character and texture for your kitchen ceiling ideas.

(Tom Howley)

The pantry and utility have long hit the top of the wish list for a country kitchen, and it’s turned out to be a contemporary kitchen dream too. 

It’s a practical set up for a sleek kitchen designed for entertaining, as it keeps the service areas out of sight. But, when you have pantry ideas this good, you might not be so keen to hide them away.

(Holloways of Ludlow)

A well-designed lighting scheme will take your kitchen from day to night, providing different light levels in different areas to suit all tasks. You will need bright light where you cook and prep, and softer ambient light over seating areas. 

Consider how the light fittings look lit and unlit – whether you prefer a statement piece, like in this modern luxe L-shaped kitchen, or something more discreet that is happy to blend during the day, coming into its own after hours.

(Fritz Fryer)

Be playful in the design and detailing – it’s more restful for the eye. Flat-fronted doors don’t have to be uniform. Mix and match kitchen cabinet ideas with different colors and tones, and break the gridlock with unusual insets.

(McCarron & Co)

A central kitchen table puts guests at the heart of your kitchen design. It’s a long-established layout that goes back to the farmhouse table, but you do need sufficient space. 

Plan for good clearance all round, and make sure there are clear pathways to any built-in appliances. 

(Jack Trench)

Where space allows, include a couple of different seating areas. Bar stool seating is fine for breakfast or pre-dinner drinks with guests, but it’s good to have a standard height table for meals and homework. 

Built-in banquette seating can be space-efficient, allowing more people able to pile in at convivial gatherings – in this case, it shares a beautiful backdrop from the relaxed living space beyond.


The open plan layout isn’t for all cooks, and not all homes have the space. 

There are advantages to having a separate kitchen: you can cook in peace and make as much mess as you please, plus the double galley kitchen layout is still one of the most efficient – all the more so if you take storage the full height of the room.


The smooth surfaces of the contemporary kitchen are easy to care for and a cinch to keep clean. Composite surfaces are super tough and naturally anti-bacterial, which is a bonus, and they are available in a wide range of colors as well as natural stone finishes. 

Silestone and Dekton both report a trend for slimline 20mm worksurfaces. ‘Looking ahead to the future of kitchen design, we’re expecting to see more earthy hues, with the introduction of dark brown or black surfaces in a textured finish,’ says Laura Davie, marketing manager for Cosentino UK. 

The new Khalo by Dekton is inspired by Patagonia Granite – one of the world’s most sought-after stones due to its unique pattern and tones.


More than ever we are looking to connect with nature, with more glass for garden views and calming shades of green kitchen cabinetry the growing trends. 

Planting indoors is also possible where there is light – even if it is just a sunny windowsill. Planters filled with herbs provide a cook with the freshest flavours at his or her fingertips, while hydroponics promise to be the future for indoor leaves.


Dark shades and natural stone create a grown up kitchen with a luxe feel. The sheen of polished stone tends to reflect light so there will still be a natural play of light across the surface. 

It looks smart by day and recedes by night, only coming to prominence when you choose to light it.


If the idea of island cooking appeals, choose a hob with built in down-draft extraction that tackles steam and cooking odours at source, before they can waft into the kitchen. 

The latest smart technology automatically responds to the volume of steam, and this induction hob from Bosch also features flexible cooking zones and a PerfectCook sensor that precisely controls the temperature of liquids inside the pan for perfect results.


Whether it’s your get up and go or last course in entertaining, coffee has become a kitchen essential. ‘Coffee is now the most popular drink in the UK,’ says Neil Pooley, category manager for kitchens at Miele, ‘and a built-in coffee machine can be a stylish addition to a bank of integrated appliances.’ 

Look for professional features such as programmable profiles and a full range of hot drink capabilities. 

If you love this white kitchen's minimalist, clutter-free aesthetic then incorporating the right kitchen storage ideas is crucial.


If the kitchen has become a home study area or is doubling up as an office, whisper quiet appliances are a must. 

‘Check decibel levels before you buy to ensure you won’t need to talk over the noise of the extractor, and hide the washing machine and dishwasher out of sight in a utility area,’ suggests Daniel Bowler, Director of Eggersmann UK.

This kitchen by Eggersmann makes use of sleek, handleless cabinetry for a streamline design.


The joy of a bespoke kitchen is that your design will make the most of the space and truly reflect your lifestyle. 

A kitchen bar area is a wonderful addition for entertainers. Line it with a luxe material for some old school glamor and add a wine fridge and chiller drawers for ice, beer and soft drinks to make it an all-round party station.


Longevity is an important trend across home and fashion, and investing in quality cuts down on waste. 

Perrin & Rowe has looked to the industrial past for its Armstrong Mixer tap. It employs the same production skills used to build locomotives for the Great Western Railway, and is available as a single lever or bridge mixer in a choice of eight finishes, optional pulldown rinse and the choice of a knurled grip handle for an industrial look. 

(Perrin & Rowe)

Breakfast bars are a brilliant use of space, offering seating without the need for a clunky dining room table. 

Many kitchens are now designed so their islands incorporate a breakfast bar, either with an overhanging lip or with space for stools to be added.


If you want to inject a bit of color into your kitchen without going for anything too bold, why not make a statement with a standout island?

A trend that's cropping up more and more is having the kitchen island a different color to the rest of the room - which is perfect if you want it to be the social hub of the space.

This one uses a black island to contrast with the white cabinets and walls - but the modern kitchen island ideas and possibilities are endless.

(Future/Jonathan Gooch)

If you've got a stainless steel kitchen surface then mix things up with some wooden bar stools and use a different type of wood for the table, like in this contemporary kitchen.

Mixing and matching materials will give texture to the space and bring it to life. 

(Future/Darren Chung)

If you have the floor space, why not opt for a full-on open plan kitchen, creating a three-in-one space with a kitchen, dining room and a lounge. This is the ultimate set-up for entertaining, after all, and works well for larger families.

(Tom Howley)

A kitchen is likely to be the room in the house that you're spending most of your time in, so there's every reason to go all out with the decoration.

When it comes to kitchen color ideas, why not go for an unconventional scheme such as blue and pink, or something even brighter like a turquoise? 

Don't forget to play with tiles, as well as kitchen wall decor ideas such as wallpaper and paint mural options, to really make the room pop.

(Future/Simon Bevan)

Whether it's with an impressive skylight or floor to ceiling double doors, there are so many ways to bring a little more light into your kitchen. 

And, remember, a lighter space is a brighter space – so this clever design trick will make a room look bigger to the eye, perfect when planning small kitchen ideas.

(Future/Jonathan Gooch)

An industrial edge is fast-becoming the hallmark of modern kitchen ideas, as it's a trend that's been evolving over the past few years. 

Whether it's through cabinet handles, light fittings or a portable trolley-style island, there are a number of ways to incorporate these urban touches. 

Also there's no reason you can't have color alongside these industrial flourishes. The above kitchen is a great example of how playful pops of color work well through the use of mismatched yet coordinated kitchen tile ideas, with an industrial style light fitting and tap.

(Future/Polly Wreford)

Our modern kitchen ideas encompass every aspect of decor, from cabinets and countertops to storage and backsplashes