While we would love to think that a quality kitchen remodel will last decades, the truth is that its style isn't always timeless. Maybe you moved into a rental that has a less-than-stellar kitchen, maybe you want to give your '80s space a cosmetic makeover, or maybe you're gearing up for a full gut renovation. Whatever your plan is for your dream kitchen, it always starts with one necessary component: a clear vision.
As my stepdad would always say: If you don't know where you are going, how are you going to get there? This applies to many life challenges, but it's also very relevant when it comes to designing spaces. The end vision is the single most important thing to ensure that your space will be coherent and stand the test of time. To help guide you through a kitchen revamp and give you some much-needed inspiration, we rounded up some of our favorite modern kitchen ideas.
Are you looking to give your space a Scandinavian feel or an industrial edge? Are you partial to a well-executed midcentury space or do you prefer a little Southern charm? No matter what your style is or what your needs are, we rounded up 12 modern kitchen ideas to get you started.
For Industrial Modern: Suspended Shelves + Statement Lighting
If you want your space to feel like the L.A. loft kitchen above by Alexander Design, try keeping your materials as raw and unrefined as possible. Think polished concrete, cement, or painted brick. Then remove your upper cabinets and replace them with suspended open shelving. Finally add a dramatic touch by superimposing statement lighting, like these Arrow pendants from Apparatus.
For Midcentury: Waterfall Island + Modern Counter Stools
In Mandy Moore's kitchen, designer Sarah Sherman Samuel opted for muddy green cabinet colors paired with brass accents, simple globe pendants, and a beautiful waterfall Carrara marble island. To give the new open kitchen a warm and welcoming midcentury feel, she added a series of light tan modern counter stools by Emeco. The result: a beautiful space that blends outside and in.
For Southern Charm: Muted Pastel Tones + Woven Accents
If you want your space to have that distinct Southern modern feel, take note from interior designer Cortney Bishop's kitchens. Keep the wood tones light and matte, and decorate with muted neutrals like an almost-gray blue and light sea-foam green. Then, finish up the space with textural woven accents like a rattan pendant or a jute rug.
For City Sleek: Floor-to-Ceiling Storage + Minimal Hardware
Want your kitchen to feel super city sleek? Forgo counter space in favor of floor-to-ceiling storage, like in this Chicago penthouse. Then, make up all your prep counter space on a large kitchen island. Keep your wood tones in high contrast—almost bleached oak floors combined with dark charcoal paneled cabinets, for instance. Lastly, opt for minimal hardware in a brass or black powder-coated metal finish.
For Scandinavian Modern: Warm Wood Tones + Bold Accent Color
To get that sleek but welcoming Scandinavian style like in this Melbourne kitchen above by architectural firm Robson Rak, try starting with light wood tones and neutrals. Keep the cabinets seamless and the finishes minimal. Add simple overhead lighting. Finally, bring the outside in with fresh greenery and green-toned counter stools, like these ones from Scandinavian brand Muuto.
For Small Spaces: Seamless Cabinets + Sculptural Pendants
Small spaces are tricky to decorate. If you have a tiny kitchen, try keeping the finishes as simple as possible by using seamless cabinets and a waterfall island. Painting the lower cabinets in a bold color will also help define the space and give it additional architectural detailing. Lastly, focus your attention on smaller accents, like these brass pendants by Tom Dixon, to give your space visual interest.