These Modern Kitchen Cabinets Will Have You Saying Goodbye to Open Shelves

modern kitchen cabinets

 Nordiska Kok

Ah, open shelving—one day you were nowhere to be found, and the next day, you were the essence of every Instagrammable kitchen, the topic of entire Pinterest boards filled with deftly styled vignettes of cookbooks, ceramics, and trailing plants. Almost overnight, it seemed that every home worth its re-pins was spilling over with airy displays arranged just-so. But lately, we've been craving a return to cabinets—not just for the obvious practical reasons (hello, dust...) but also for the sleek and streamlined look they offer a kitchen. (It's also a lot easier to "fake" a clean and cohesive look when all your cookware isn't on display 24/7.)

But we're not hankering for just any cabinets. A new class of ultra-modern styles has emerged, and it's hitting the spot, if you ask us. Often hardware-less and subtly Scandi-inspired, these new cabinet styles feel fresh and lend an instantly pulled-together, polished look to any kitchen. Let's face it—if they're going to displace open shelving as the new crowd favorite, they have to be compelling. Equally popular? On the opposite end of the spectrum, hardware-lovers will rejoice at seeing oversized bar-style drawer pulls take center stage—literally—proudly displayed across the face of cabinets to bring a fresh new look to the kitchen.

No matter which side you lean toward—minimalist and sleek, or decidedly hardware-happy—we're sure there are a few cabinetry ideas that will spark some inspiration. Here are our favorite modern cabinet styles that have us considering a full kitchen remodel right now.

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Subtle Sage

modern kitchen cabinets

 Liljencrantz Design

We're no strangers to the colorful cabinets trend—but to be honest, most of the dreamy deep blues and muted green cabinets we've seen have been a more traditional style, so it's refreshing to find some that are modern and modular like these. Plus, this space proves once and for all that modern cabinetry doesn't equal a "cold" kitchen—there's tons of texture, warmth, and personality in this space.

02 of 15

Back In Black

modern kitchen cabinets

 Royal Roulotte

Is there anything cooler than slick black cabinets with a seamless, hardware-less face? We didn't think so—until we saw this space, which cleverly combines a graphic, vintage-inspired tile motif with these current & contemporary cabinets.

black and white floor tile
Della Tore Cementina Black and White 8-in x 8-in Ceramic Tile $1.29
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03 of 15

Blank Slate

modern kitchen cabinets

Rikki Snyder

How to make white cabinets interesting? Add a graphic pop in the form of wide stripes to your walls and treat them as a blank canvas.

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Circle Game

modern kitchen cabinets

 Christopher Peacock

We're not ready to say goodbye to traditional millwork cabinets...but we do think they could do with an update. These whimsical oversized half-circle door pulls are just the thing to bring a classic cabinetry style into the now.

Looking to dip your toes in this trend? These smaller—but still striking!—half circle pulls will make a similarly bold impression.

half circle cabinet pulls
ModShop Half Circle 4" Drawer Pull Pair $60 $45
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Custom Mix

modern kitchen cabinets

Nordiska Kok

There's no rule that says you need to match your hardware on upper and lower cabinets. These modular grey-hued cabinets look even more stunning with a hint of brass on the lowers, but we like the idea of leaving the uppers knob-less for a more clean look. We'll be dreaming about owning this kitchen one day...but until then, we'll just stock up on some similarly minimal-chic grey ceramics to get the look.

Hawkins Shaker Dinner Plate
Hawkins New York Shaker Dinerware Salad Plates, set of 4 $80
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06 of 15

Go With The Grain

modern kitchen cabinets

 Rikki Snyder

While we could only dream of having this much storage in our kitchens, there's something about the way the wood-covered doors and cabinets blend together and disappear that feels almost like a magic trick. Contrasting white cabinets bordering the room provide just the right amount of added interest.

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Top Notch

modern kitchen cabinets

 Devon Grace Interiors

We thought we'd seen every possible arrangement of different colored top-and-bottom cabinets, but this space proves there are still a few chic design tricks to be tried. The light wood upper cabinets bring tons of additional texture to this space, and act as a sleek backdrop for this scene-stealing light fixture.

Tom Dixon pendant
Tom Dixon Mirror Ball Pendant $840 $714
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08 of 15

Pyramid Scheme

modern kitchen cabinets

 Whittney Parkinson Design

They may not be the most "modern" in the traditional sense, but we couldn't complete this list without mentioning these stunning pyramid-motif cabinets used by Whittney Parkinson. We love the unexpected X-shape they create in a more traditional space.

09 of 15

Black On Black

modern kitchen cabinets

 Reagen Taylor

Not ready to break up with your open shelving just yet? These tinted clear cabinet doors are a good solution to ease the transition (without putting your mismatched dishes front-and-center). Plus, the combination of reflective and matte surfaces is a surefire hit.

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Cutout Chic

modern kitchen cabinets

Naked Kitchens 

Who doesn't love a unique cutout detail? These hardware-less cabinets have a funky geometric accent that makes them easy to open and shows off contrasting wood beneath.

oak counter stool
Article Esse Light Oak Counter Stool $299
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Center Fold

modern kitchen cabinets

 Katherine Carter

We haven't seen hardware used quite this way before on upper cabinets. Centering a bar-style pull at the bottom of the cabinet puts a fresh twist on a more commonly seen style of millwork.

seagrass counter stool
CB2 Silas Seagrass Counter Stool $229
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12 of 15

Brass Masterclass

modern kitchen cabinets

 Julia Robbs

Sometimes you just need a little sparkle. Light-catching oversized brass bars bring dimension and glamour to this streamlined shape.

brass drawer pull
Emtec Modern Rectangular Cabinet Hardware in Satin Brass $156 $125
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13 of 15

Slide Step

modern kitchen cabinets

 Erin Williamson Design

One word: drawers. It's easy to see why more and more homeowners are replacing their cabinets with tons of drawers—they're easy to organize and keep even your most troublesome tupperware contained and tidy. This lust-worthy wood rendition is stealing our hearts...and it's made even cooler by the contrasting white cabinetry that sits opposite.

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Blue Note

modern kitchen cabinets

 Amy Bartlam

We saw *SO* many blue cabinets over the past few years, but they always seemed to lean traditional...until now. This ultra-saturated shade feels new again on a more mod-leaning cabinet style, and when paired with a warm wood island, the look is totally refreshing. We love how the unexpected floating brass counter area plays perfectly off brass-accented stools, too.

brass counter stool
BD Studio II Acrylic Counter Stool with Brass Accents $925
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Grade-A Grain

modern kitchen cabinets

Tara Kantor

Ok, we're seriously swooning over the way this unique cabinet finish shows off the wood's natural character and grain while also providing a moody wash of color. And have we mentioned that glass-front top cabinets are a great way to show off your styling chops without subjecting all your stuff to a coat of dust and cooking grease? It's a win-win.

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