While we would love to think that a quality kitchen remodel will last decades, the truth is that its style isn't always timeless. Whether you're dressing up a rental, giving an '80s space a makeover, or doing a full renovation, modern kitchen decor can turn your space into the kitchen of your dreams.
Sleek, clean kitchens pair best with contemporary decor. It doesn't have to be too simple, either: Touches of unique style can add personality to your space, from Scandanavian minimalism to Southern farmhouse charm. When you're gearing up for a kitchen revamp, take a cue from these interior design experts to find your inspiration.
Read on to explore modern kitchen decor ideas to freshen up your space.
Keep Clean Lines
A staple of modern design is its use of clean, simple architectural lines. Naked Kitchens mastered the art of using lines for a sleek look in this space. By painting the cabinetry's hardware the same color as each door, tones blend together to keep the space as bold and tonal as possible.
Open Up Your Space
To get that fresh, open-concept feeling, blend the space between kitchen and dining areas. In this kitchen by designer Julian Porcino, the rooms effortlessly flow together for a cohesive look that makes the area feel large. Oversized pendant lights and custom wood beams add a unique natural style, while keeping the design simple with darker accents and white Scandinavian-inspired chairs.
Going dark on the bottom half of the room creates a contrast between lower cabinetry and bright walls. In this space by Naked Kitchens, the designers chose a bold color to coat the kitchen island and main cabinets, then paired it with white wall and ceiling paint. Globe pendant lights exaggerate the room's height, and draws the eye up to these stunning skylights.
Decorating in odd numbers is a classic designer trick—like these three globe lights that hang perfectly above the island.
While the rest of this space by Julia Robbs is modern and sleek, the kitchen island is perfectly natural. This stone looks like it came straight from the earth—but with a polished finish. Neutral tones in the countertops complement warm wood shelving and gold hardware, while white walls complete the airy look.
Use Bold Lines
The use of lines to draw the eyes around a room is a classic designer trick, but it's especially prevalent in this space by LA Designer Affair. Rather than the large beams used in farmhouse looks, this modern kitchen uses thin wood slats that lengthen the ceiling and continue down the wall. Matched to the same color as the wood, a unique chandelier serves as a focal point between the dining area and kitchen.
Go for Gold
We're all about matching hardware across different accents in a room, but JK Interior Living takes the gold medal (literally) with this dreamy kitchen. Not only did the designer pick the same finish for plumbing, cabinet handles, and chair legs, but they took it a step further with golden outlines to frame each cabinet door. Paired with simple white textures and marbled backsplash, this kitchen is the chic design of our dreams.
Choose a Statement Color
When you're working with bold colors, it's helpful to start with the one you plan to focus on above the rest. In this kitchen by Charlie Coull Designs, matte black paint ties the room together. By matching cabinetry to light fixtures and window frames, the dark color draws the eye around the room while highlighting the kitchen's brighter areas.
Keep It Classic
For a clean vibe with an elegant touch, take inspiration from designer Reena Sotropa. In this classy space, simple white cabinets create a smooth backdrop for bright finishes and unique accents—because when you're a fan of vintage pieces, your style will shine in even the most modern of spaces.
Contemporary kitchens are a modern design lover's dream, and this space by Tyler Karu is a great example. Natural textures complement sleek lines, while the shiplap walls add an element of depth. Café pendant lights bring a stylish look to the space with a brushed metal finish.
Add a personal touch to a monochrome kitchen with chalkboard paint. This space by House 9 is as clean and simple as it gets, but the addition of handwritten messages and drawings gives it a personality that no paint color can achieve. Give everyone in your household a place to get creative (plus, think of all the recipe notes you could jot down with a wall like this).
Upgrade Your Backsplash
This space by Reena Sotropa is bursting with personality. Modern cabinetry and appliances are contrasted by a beautifully-unique backsplash, complete with floral patterns and matching hardware. We can't get enough of this playful-but-contemporary design.
When choosing paint colors for your cabinetry, look to your backsplash: You might find that the perfect shade is already present.
Blend Modern With Traditional
If you're excited about the modern look but don't want to change up your traditional furniture, this kitchen by Maite Granda is an inspiration for the in-between. Neutral tones in the tile floors blend with warm wallpaper and furniture textures, while smaller accents of blue appear in different corners of the room. A white island with modern-retro barstools and waterfall countertops adds a sleek look with wood tones underneath.
Embrace Scandinavian Design
Scandinavian style is all about minimalist decorations with neutral tones. Katie Hodges Design mastered the look in this kitchen with white walls and natural wood accents. By mixing wood grain textures, the dining table stands out from hardwood floors and barstools while maintaining the overall use of color. To achieve the Scandinavian modern look in your kitchen, start with white walls and natural floors—then choose one or two neutral accent colors (and keep bright colors to your décor). Woven textures, black metal hardware, and plenty of natural light are key to this style.
Opt for Open Shelving
Sleek cabinetry may be a staple of modern design, but open shelving—when it's done right—can blend the look perfectly. In this space by designer Katherine Carter, natural wood shelves showcase white dinnerware to match the subway tile backsplash. Since the space is mostly white, the use of different textures from dark grout to smooth bowls and countertops breaks up the uniform color.
Play With Patterns
Who says a modern kitchen can't have maximalist aspects? This design by House of Hanes proves that the two can work together for a beautiful result. Neutral-colored chevron backsplash complements a traditional woven rug, while the rest of the space is perfectly prim-and-proper with contemporary cabinet hardware.
Make a Statement With Lighting
While much of modern design lies in its clean lines, the choice of lighting makes an impact. In this kitchen by Gold A La Mode, a statement chandelier hovers above the room to create a warm, welcoming glow. By choosing white globes, the designer adds a flair of elegance in the lighting with gold accents to match the room's hardware.
Warm With Wood
Dreaming of a farmhouse vibe, but keep coming back to modern design? Get the best of both worlds by incorporating warm wood tones as Ashley Webb Interiors did in this space. Marbled backsplash and countertops tie the room together, and the use of different textures creates visual interest while maintaining a fresh, clean feeling.
Find Accent Furniture
If your space is mostly themed in a modern monochrome design, accent furniture and décor can tie the room together without sacrificing the simple aesthetic. Chelius House of Design used woven barstools with blue accents to match a bold rug and softer accents in the island vase. Minimal warm tones create depth in the kitchen while blending whites throughout the space.
Make It Elegant
For the maximalists that want to go modern, consider an elegant blend between the two. M. Wilcox Design found the intersection between these two styles in this kitchen, complete with classic design finishes and patterned backsplash. To keep the look modern without adding too many visual elements, pick an individual color to weave throughout the room.