What is Modern Kitchen Design? (2024)

The kitchen is one of the busiest, and sometimes most chaotic, rooms in the home.

Modern kitchen design acts as a calm backdrop to busy kitchen commotion. A modern kitchen design typically consists of open spaces, minimalist features, and simple colour palettes, offering a clutter-free space to relax and entertain.

The term “modern” encompasses everything that’s sleek and streamlined. If that appeals to you—keep reading! In this article, we’re going to explore all the defining characteristics of a modern kitchen design!

Table of Contents

1. What is Modern Kitchen Design?

2. Characteristics of Modern Kitchen Design

  • Modern Kitchen Layout
  • Modern Kitchen Cabinet Doors
  • Modern Kitchen Cabinet Hardware
  • Modern Kitchen Accessories
  • Modern Kitchen Furniture

3. Creating a Modern Kitchen Design at Deslaurier

4. What's Next?

What is Modern Kitchen Design? (1)
What is Modern Kitchen Design?

Modern kitchen design is loosely categorized as a kitchen design style in between transitional and contemporary. This is a very simple definition. In reality, it’s much more complex than that!

What is Modern Kitchen Design? (2)

Believe it or not, modern design first originated in World War I. It was originally characterized by flat surfaces, geometric forms, and little to no ornamentation.

Now, modern kitchen design has become a part of a larger trend emphasizing clean lines, open spaces, and minimalistic design elements, featuring highly functional post-industrial materials.

Driven by simplicity, modern kitchen design maximizes functionality by utilizing space and organized cabinetry.

Modern vs. Contemporary Kitchen Design

While the terms “modern” and “contemporary” are often used interchangeably, there is a real distinction between modern kitchen style vs. contemporary kitchen style.

Modern design refers to an actual historical design movement (specifically the early to mid-20th century), and it follows a strict interpretation of elements.

Contemporary designs followed. The word contemporary literally means “current trends, in the now”.

So, while both contemporary and modern kitchens feature sleek and minimalist layouts and share the characteristics of functionality, they differ in their fluidity.

In a nutshell, modern design style follows stricter guidelines whereas contemporary design style is more fluid and tolerates “rule-breaking”. That means contemporary designs are more dynamic and they can change year after year to follow the newest trend.

For a more detailed comparison, take a look at a Comparison of Popular Kitchen Design Styles.

Characteristics of Modern Kitchen Design

Simply put, a modern kitchen design incorporates:

  1. Horizontal Lines
  2. Frameless of Full Overlay Cabinetry
  3. Monochromatic Colour Palettes
  4. Minimalistic Details and Ornamentation
  5. Simple Hardware
  6. Industrial Accent Pieces

When putting modern kitchen design into practice, it’s easiest to break the kitchen design into components: space & lighting, layout, cabinet doors, hardware, tile work, accessories, and furniture.

What is Modern Kitchen Design? (3)

Modern Kitchen Space & Lighting

A modern kitchen design maximizes space and lighting. By the way, lighting is also a worthwhile builder kitchen upgrade to consider as good lighting can make a subpar kitchen look superior.

Typically, modern kitchens are open-concept places with tall ceilings, long countertops, and cleverly designed storage solutions that mitigate any signs of clutter.

Further, modern kitchen design typically features reflective materials that look their best when exposed to natural lighting.

Check out the glossy surface of these modern Acrylux cabinet doors in Deslaurier’s Modica style:

What is Modern Kitchen Design? (4)

Modern Kitchen Layout

Modern kitchen designs have open floor plans stretching the entire length of the kitchen layout. They sometimes have distinct zone divisions which are subtly defined by changes in colour or materials.

This minimalistic approach to layout is what achieves a simple and elegant look.

This modern kitchen is effortlessly open, giving easy access to the dining room and a sitting area:

What is Modern Kitchen Design? (5)

Modern Kitchen Cabinet Doors

Modern kitchen doors are typically flat panels achieving a horizontal line. Such simplicity is meant to increase the appearance of open space and enhance the uncluttered look of the room.

Check out a list of the The 5Best Cabinet Materials for Modern Design.

Deslaurier’s Urban Slab door style is a great example of a plain-yet-powerful modern aesthetic. See it below in this Deslaurier kitchen design:

What is Modern Kitchen Design? (6)

Modern Kitchen Cabinet Hardware

Modern kitchen cabinets are often magnified by cabinet hardware that extends the majority or full length of the drawer and doors. Take a look at how these extra long drawer pulls give off modern vibes from left to right:

What is Modern Kitchen Design? (7)

Modern Kitchen Flooring, Tile, & Countertops

Flooring, tile work, and countertops in a modern kitchen design tend to either coordinate with the broader aesthetic of the rest of the kitchen or provide a contrasting accent statement.

We love this eye-catching cobalt blue tile backsplash that brightens all the modern components of this kitchen design:

What is Modern Kitchen Design? (8)

Slate and granite are a common material used for tile floors and backsplashes. Geometric patterns can also be incorporated into the tilework of a modern designed kitchen.

Take a look at The Best Countertops for Your Kitchen and the Top 5 Kitchen Floors for New-Builds and Remodels for more information on assembling a modern kitchen.

What is Modern Kitchen Design? (9)
Modern Kitchen Accessories

Kitchen accessories and other design elements should build upon the modern kitchen design theme.

To create a modern appeal, cabinet doors can be replaced with frosted glass, sleek laminate, or wood veneer.

Mixers, blenders, coffee makers, and other cooking appliances should align and blend in with the stylistic elements of the rest of the kitchen. Further, cookware, utensils, and flatware, should also align with the sleek and minimalistic design.

Check out our Best-Selling Kitchen Cabinetry Accessories to discover the most modern and functional additions out there.

Modern Kitchen Furniture

Last, but not least, kitchen furniture greatly contributes to the overall look of modern design. Tables, stools, chairs, and benches are available in an array and angular designs that flow well with the clean lines featured in modern kitchens.

These metal and faux leather bar stools are the perfect accompaniment to this ultra-modern space:

What is Modern Kitchen Design? (10)

Natural and industrial materials, such as wood, plastic, and metal, enhance the look of modern style, and are often featured in bold colours that create some visual interest in an otherwise simple kitchen design.

Creating a Modern Kitchen Design at Deslaurier

You now have a very general idea of modern kitchen design, but how do you make this vision a reality?

At Deslaurier Custom Cabinets, we specialize in crafting quality and function for a beautiful life. This includes creating kitchens that embody modern kitchen design.

Below are some Deslaurier products and materials that our designers regularly utilize to build showstopping modern spaces:

  • Thermofoil
  • Textured Melamine
  • EURO Textured Melamine
  • Acrylux
  • PET
  • Polyester
  • Metal and Glass Doors

You can see these modern elements on display in our showcase.

What’s Next?

Feeling inspired? It may be time to go after that modern kitchen design that you’ve always dreamed of.

Our talented designers would be thrilled to help you design the perfect modern kitchen to suit your space and offer the ideal functionality for your lifestyle.

Beyond custom kitchens, our designers at Deslaurier are skilled in creating all kinds of custom cabinetry. With a specialization in kitchen cabinetry, we also offer custom cabinetry services for the bathroom, laundry room, closet, basem*nt, mudroom, living room, and bedroom. There’s not a room in the house that can’t be customized with high-quality cabinetry and an expert eye for design.

Visit us at our Jupiter, FL location or request a consultation to get started working with our design team today.

What is Modern Kitchen Design? (11)

Related Links:

  • How to Make Oak Cabinets Look Modern
  • What is Farmhouse Kitchen Design?
  • The Deslaurier Design Process

What is Modern Kitchen Design? (2024)


What is Modern Kitchen Design? ›

Modern design started around World War I and generally featured flat surfaces, geometric forms, and little or no ornamentation or adornments. Modern kitchen cabinets, for example, are often defined by a sleek, angular and simple design, featuring little or no hardware, flush doors and flat surfaces.

How would you describe a modern kitchen? ›

Modern kitchen design acts as a calm backdrop to busy kitchen commotion. A modern kitchen design typically consists of open spaces, minimalist features, and simple colour palettes, offering a clutter-free space to relax and entertain. The term “modern” encompasses everything that's sleek and streamlined.

What is the difference between a modern kitchen and a normal kitchen? ›

A modern kitchen is fairly similar to the contemporary kitchen, but with more panache. Its hallmark features include a sophisticated feel and a streamlined look. Cabinets are usually not fancy, and feature a flush front panel look, sleek hardware and a simple cabinet style. There's nothing fussy about these spaces.

What is the difference between modern and contemporary kitchens? ›

Contemporary kitchens get a clean and coherent design. A contemporary kitchen can be modern, but it can also integrate features from other kitchen design styles. Contemporary kitchen design borrows streamlined surfaces from a modern kitchen design, and it is often cosier and more livable.

What is the interior design of a modern kitchen? ›

The modern kitchen interior design combines sleek sophistication and expansive polished countertops with a glamorous appeal of color to highlight high-quality and luxurious materials and works of art.

What is traditional vs modern kitchen design? ›

Appliances are state of the art and unique lighting adds a high-tech feel. In comparison to darker, woodier colours in traditional kitchens, modern kitchens are lighter in colour showing off whites, greys, metallic colours (silver, gold, bronze) and even colour combinations of a light, neutral shade and bright colours.

How do you make a modern kitchen look traditional? ›

You can still explore classic kitchen colours and soft furnishings within your contemporary design, such as traditional patterns like plaid or gingham curtains and upholstery. You can also look into open shelving, which is aesthetically pleasing, displaying a range of unique pottery artefacts and classic cookbooks.

What are the disadvantages of a modern kitchen? ›

Cons of Modern Style Kitchens
  • They Can Be Expensive. It can be expensive to install and maintain. ...
  • They Can Be Difficult to Clean. Another disadvantage of owning a modern kitchenette is that it can be difficult to clean. ...
  • They Can Be Uninviting. ...
  • They Can Be Unsafe. ...
  • They Require More Maintenance. ...
  • They're not always practical.
Feb 1, 2022

What is out of style in kitchens? ›

Insider asked four interior designers to share which kitchen trends went out of style in 2023. They say modern-farmhouse looks, open floor plans, and industrial designs are becoming outdated. The designers also say DIY-painted cabinetry typically makes kitchens seem unprofessional.

What is the best size for a modern kitchen? ›

As a rough guideline, a small kitchen might be around 70-80 square feet, a medium-sized kitchen might be 100-150 square feet, and a large kitchen might be 200 square feet or more. However, these are just approximate figures and can vary depending on the specific needs and preferences of the homeowner.

What style cabinets are modern? ›

Modern cabinetry is the least detailed of all the styles. Doors are usually flat panels with a full overlay and little to no molding or trim, which creates an unfussy, clean look. Naturally stained wood with very little grain, such as maple, is very common for this style of cabinetry.

What cabinets are modern? ›

Modern kitchen cabinets feature flat slab doors that avoid excessive details. No crown molding, raised panels or decorative carvings are seen, emphasizing flat, sleek surfaces instead. The simplicity of a modern kitchen design allows for a more spacious and airy feel in your kitchen.

What is the current style of kitchen cabinets? ›

Flat-Panel (Slab) Kitchen Cabinets

Flat-panel doors, also called slab doors, are solid with no framing. This minimalistic style works well in modern or contemporary kitchens. Slab doors are usually crafted from a single piece of high-quality plywood and then painted or covered with a wood veneer.

What is the current interior design style called? ›

A contemporary interior style is the interior design aesthetic which is presently popular at any given time. The current look is best described as luxury modern. Furniture lines are clean and uncomplicated but finishes are integral, innovative and luxurious, creating a nonchalant and stylish dialogue.

What is a modern classic kitchen? ›

Classic kitchens are designed to be timeless, simple and fresh, rather than dark, complicated, and traditional. Sticking to a light colour scheme with occasional dark accents will make your life much easier when it comes to creating a modern classic kitchen design.

Can you put a modern kitchen in a traditional house? ›

Contemporary kitchen lighting design complements the more traditional features of your house and adds a modern touch without overpowering the overall aesthetic. In answer to the question, "Can you have a modern kitchen in an older house?"—the resounding answer is yes.

What is the best description of a kitchen? ›

A kitchen is a room or part of a room used for cooking and food preparation in a dwelling or in a commercial establishment.

What is the description of a perfect kitchen? ›

The key to cracking the kitchen triangle equation is balance. You don't want the area to be too small and crowded, but you also don't want the space to feel overwhelming either. The ideal kitchen triangle usually falls somewhere between 10 and 25 feet.

How would you describe a kitchen in creative writing? ›

The kitchens were the hues of light upon cloud, of the kinds of creams and greys that soothed. And so the blues of dishes and the rich browns well cared for woods became as welcome musical notes upon a score.

What is a modern kitchen called? ›

Modern, or Contemporary, Kitchens

Cabinetry in the contemporary kitchen is sleek and unadorned, which means it does not rely on face-frame molding and paneling common in the traditional kitchen, or often included in transitional kitchen design. Contemporary kitchen cabinets are frameless, or European, in style.


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