Contemporary Kitchen Ideas

White round pendant globes over island
Contemporary design is clean, sleek, and minimalist -- but far from plain and simple. Find inspiration and ideas to design a contemporary kitchen that makes a stunning statement.

Wall of Kitchen Cabinets

A clean, streamlined look is popular in contemporary kitchens. To achieve this effect, design surfaces to be continuous and nearly seamless. In this kitchen, the flush doors of crisp white cabinets virtually disappear into the wall, incorporating plenty of storage (and even the refrigerator) into an uninterrupted span. One perpendicular wall covered with sheets of walnut veneer adds a touch of warmth and interest. The sprawling island mimics the wall design with a slab of white marble spread across the walnut veneer base.

Straight into Modern Style

Clean lines, crisp edges, and striking neutral tones give this kitchen its definitively modern look. To get this sharp, stylish look, choose cabinets with square corners, appliances with angular edges, and accents, such as pendant lights and barstools, with straight lines.

Clean & Uncluttered

An open and uncluttered layout is the essence of a modern kitchen. Take some ideas from this crisp, clean space. Open shelves extend below upper cabinets to keep everyday dishes tidy and on hand. The island features a functional chopping block blended right into the smooth, honed marble countertop. Light-reflecting glass tiles keep all the backsplash areas uniform and sleek.

More than Stainless Steel

Materials play a big role in establishing the style of a modern kitchen. Sleek and clean-lined doesn't have to mean stark and boring, though. A variety of materials, all in a cool, contemporary color palette, make this modern kitchen attractive and interesting. Here, trademark dark mahogany cabinets and stainless-steel appliances blend with lush veined granite countertops, a bright white painted island, and shimmering glass tile walls for a kitchen that's modern and gorgeous.

Open Kitchen Shelves

Floating shelves used in place of wall cabinets add a graphic design element to a contemporary kitchen, while still providing functional storage space. The spirited red shelves in this kitchen offer the perfect place to store and display dishes and the open design keeps the busy area around the cooktop looking clean and airy.

Colorful Kitchen Cabinets

Modern design welcomes bold, and even whimsical, design statements, including bright colors. In the kitchen, look to the backsplash, light fixtures, and countertop accessories for ways to make a splash with color and pattern. The designer/homeowner of this kitchen fearlessly displayed his love for color by outfitting his modern kitchen with tangerine cabinets.

Warm Up a Modern Kitchen

Use warm colors to bring a classy touch to a modern kitchen. While flat-panel cabinetry and stainless-steel appliances set a contemporary tone in this kitchen, the chocolate-brown wood finish adds richness. Pale yellow walls, plus golden suede barstools, offer a splash of sophisticated sunshine against the dark background.

Make an Impact with Glass

Glass -- and lots of it -- is popular in clean-lined, contemporary homes, such as high-rise condominiums. Even if your kitchen is not lined with windows or your home's architecture is more traditional, incorporate glass in other ways to enhance the bright, open, modern look. To extend the appearance of the transom windows in this remodeled 1920s kitchen, the upper cabinets were fitted with glass doors and shelves. Their open-from-the-bottom design adds another element of contemporary design.

Create a modern kitchen with clean lines and minimalist decor. The look isn't cold, it's simple and beautiful.

Design with Contemporary Style In Mind

See how to create a beautiful and modern kitchen with these tips.

Frosted-Glass Cabinet Doors

While glass-front cabinets are a popular component of modern kitchens, keeping your cabinet contents neat and tidy might not be for you. Frosted- or sandblasted-glass panels are sleek, contemporary options that disguise the inside of cabinets.

Scandinavian Contemporary Influence

Take notes from Scandinavian-inspired design to create a contemporary kitchen that is simplistic yet sophisticated. Clean lines and no-fuss accents are key components to this minimalist approach, while color and texture add visual interest. In this kitchen, simple slab-style cabinetry with sleek hardware sets the stage, while the consistency unifies the mix of wood, lime green, and black finishes.

Personality-Packed Kitchen

Have fun with contemporary design. Whimsical accents and one-of-a-kind features transform this modern kitchen from a blank slate to a personality-filled hub for cooking and gathering. The sun-soaked yellow walls are reflected at the kitchen island by a bright yellow tabletop. A piece of resin embedded with twigs and leaves creates a custom backsplash that doubles as a unique piece of art. Chalkboard paint frames the refrigerator into an oversize family message center.

Cool Black & White

A crisp, black-and-white color scheme is the perfect complement to a sophisticated, contemporary kitchen. This sleek example balances a wall of espresso-stained cherry cabinets and a dark island with a bright white workstation. Dark countertops contrast the white wall and ceiling. And stainless-steel toe-kicks are a clever nod to the silver appliances rounding out the streamlined kitchen.

Light & Bright Contemporary Kitchen

While dark colors often dominate modern design schemes, you can go light and bright in a contemporary kitchen, too. Bright pear-wood cabinets and creamy golden granite countertops set atop color-infused slate floors demonstrate the light contemporary look in this clean-lined kitchen.

Contemporary with an Earthy Feel

Look for nature-inspired elements to take the edge off sharp, modern design without eliminating the crisp, clean look. In this kitchen, organic influences soften the kitchen's rigid structure. Cabinets and a peninsula table crafted from warm woods balance the crisp stone countertops and island. Backsplash tiles look like pretty bamboo.

Linear Impact

While materials and colors play a big role in giving a kitchen a modern look, a concept as simple as linear design can have a striking effect, too. In this contemporary kitchen, horizontal lines add a commanding graphic effect. Wide drawers and a substantial rectangular range hood complement the prominent wood grains in the cabinets and countertop. Overhead, wood beams form a stunning grid.

Classic Touch in a Modern Kitchen

Updating an old kitchen into a new contemporary work space doesn't have to mean giving up every classic detail. In this kitchen redo, brick from a wall that was removed was reclaimed to frame a new appliance wall. The warm red bricks set against shiny stainless steel bring a hint of nostalgia to the crisp new room.

Simply Modern

With modern design, seemingly simple details can make all the difference in achieving a clean, minimalist look. Along this bank of cabinetry, push-button mechanisms eliminate the clutter of multiple door handles. Instead of a detailed tile backsplash, large panels of glass create a seamless surface that reflects the room's openness.

Dramatic Kitchen Surfaces

Since ornate details and decorative touches aren't a big part of contemporary design, use materials to make a design impact. In this kitchen, luminous onyx is an unusual choice for the kitchen island but makes a stunning statement installed as both the countertop and side panels of the large island. The backsplash of large porcelain tiles colored and textured with a stone effect spans the entire stove wall from counter to ceiling, adding another dramatic effect.

Kitchen Details

A modern kitchen features clean lines and minimal details to give it a sleek, sophisticated look. But you can still infuse character and interest with elements such as light fixtures and backsplashes. In this contemporary kitchen with sophisticated wood cabinets and sleek stainless-steel appliances, a set of stunning pendant lights adds a glamorous touch overhead and an intricate tile backsplash becomes a piece of wall art.

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