Welcome to the world of contemporary kitchen design. Our modern kitchen ideas move beyond the pared-back boxy styles of old to explore the exciting range of materials and finishes now available for cabinetry, floors and walls.
Give a modern kitchen extra wow by adding a statement stone-topped island as the centerpiece of the scheme. Create a plush look with bespoke island countertop ideas with a generously deep overhang instead of a standard thickness top. A modern twist on the classic waterfall edge, it stops short of the floor, leaving space for extra units underneath while still looking super-luxe.
White is often the go-to color when it comes to modern kitchens, but if not designed carefully, white kitchen ideas can sometimes end up feeling quite harsh and clinical looking. Bringing in warmer wood tones, whether on cabinetry or timber flooring, can be a good compromise that will add warmth and character while still feeling fresh and modern.
Putting a warmer color on base cabinets (instead of top units) is a great way of grounding a kitchen scheme, while using a paler color above will add height and make a kitchen feel more lofty, which can be a useful trick when space is tight.
Black and white kitchen ideas are the perfect color combination for a modern kitchen, either with a single run of units in dramatic black with a contrast white island - or vice versa. Alternatively, consider black base units with a run of top units in white to add height to a small kitchen set-up.
Give a dark wood kitchen a modern edge by adding equally-dark countertops and backsplashes in rich, sultry tones. Matching countertop material to backsplash ideas is an easy way of giving even the simplest of kitchens a high-end look. Whether stone, composite, marble or metallic, opt for an extra-tall backsplash on a single wall with a longline shelf above instead of a run of units. A dark color makes a high-contrast backdrop for a display area that will make kitchen pieces pop.
From tiles and countertops to door fronts and appliances, kitchens are full of hard surfaces, which can sometimes feel a little harsh and unforgiving. Introducing a contrast element, such as a luxe metallic or rustic timber is a fabulous way of adding both a visual and tactile element to a kitchen which can help to soften the mood.
Add warmth with a metallic backsplash in a burnished bronze finish providing contrast against dark ebony wood kitchen units. Continuing the same finish onto a statement island adds extra sparkle and really ups the wow factor.
Finishing details are key and can be an easy way of giving a plain-colored kitchen a luxe, modern touch. This classic olive green painted kitchen by RW Armstrong feels warm and grounded, but is given an extra dash of glamor by the addition of brass accents on lighting, handles, faucet and window blind fabric.
Combine rustic and modern with an all wood kitchen cabinet ideas that puts the focus firmly on the natural beauty of the timber. Made using upcycled oak from old French barns and railway sleepers, despite its vintage heritage this kitchen maintains a contemporary style with its clean lines, handle-free doors and drawers and lack of frills or unnecessary extra details.
Keeping appliances behind closed doors has long been a way of concealing those less-than-lovely items, such as dishwashers, refrigerators and washing machines in integrated cabinets. Breakfast stations are the latest modern kitchen concept that sees tea, coffee and toast-making essentials tucked tidily away into one zone.
Using contrast materials for the main kitchen and an island unit adds another dimension and helps to create a change of pace. Too much of one material can look boring or feel too oppressive, so mixing it up will prevent that and add plenty of visual interest.
Adding a flash of bold color is a wonderful way of perking up a plain kitchen or giving a neutral space a more playful edge. Be as brave or as reserved as you wish, introducing colour little by little, starting with ceramics and kitchenware or experimenting with a bold floor runner or upholstered kitchen stool.
Consider your needs for all scenarios, from dinner with friends to lazy Sunday mornings and family multi-tasking throughout the week. The right kitchen extension ideas can offer all sorts of clever ways to stretch your space.
Vibrant kitchen backsplash ideas, and colorful tiles in general, have become increasingly popular over the past few years. They are a great way of incorporating color into a kitchen if you prefer keep core paint colors more neutral.
A well-designed lighting scheme will take your kitchen from day to night, providing different light levels in different areas to suit all tasks. You will need bright light where you cook and prep, and softer ambient light over seating areas.
The smooth surfaces of the contemporary kitchen are easy to care for and a cinch to keep clean. Composite surfaces are super tough and naturally anti-bacterial, which is a bonus, and they are available in a wide range of colors as well as natural stone finishes.
A kitchen bar area is a wonderful addition for entertainers. Line it with a luxe material for some old school glamor and add a wine fridge and chiller drawers for ice, beer and soft drinks to make it an all-round party station.
If you have the floor space, why not opt for a full-on open plan kitchen, creating a three-in-one space with a kitchen, dining room and a lounge. This is the ultimate set-up for entertaining, after all, and works well for larger families.
Also there's no reason you can't have color alongside these industrial flourishes. The above kitchen is a great example of how playful pops of color work well through the use of mismatched yet coordinated kitchen tile ideas, with an industrial style light fitting and tap.
Modern kitchen design is all about a clean, pure aesthetic, so choice of cabinetry and finish will play a big part in this. Frameless cabinets, slab door fronts and handle-free profiles all keep the look fluid and streamlined, aided by glossy surfaces or low-sheen finishes, understated colours, natural materials and minimalist features.
'As a colour we associate primarily with nature, this grounding shade has an incredible way of reconnecting us with our surroundings, creating moments of calm and positivity,' says Tom Howley, Design Director at the eponymous kitchen company.
Ben Burbidge, Managing Director of Kitchen Makers, agrees that we'll continue to a surge in popularity of green finishes: 'A positive and versatile colour it can be used in deep, rich saturated tones to deliver a luxury look, especially when combined with marble worktops and brass detailing. At the other end of the scale softer, more powdery tones are particularly efficient in delivering the aspirational country kitchen look.'
When paired with authentic raw materials, painted furniture creates a durable kitchen environment that is classic in nature, yet contemporary in finish. The grains in the wood are still visible too, giving an element of texture. Above all, it's cost-effective, providing a great way to renovate your kitchen without the expense of replacing whole units.
The British Standard design team are seeing an increase in cabinets being painted in bright, playful hues. As seen here, Jacqueline Mercer aka @tinyandthehouse, transformed her hand-painted British Standard kitchen by repainting the originally inky blue cabinets in a cheerful yellow.
Storage is, and will continue to be, a big part of the kitchen space, with a specific focus around hidden storage solutions. Essential for a streamlined finish, storage systems will maximise space without negatively impacting the look and style of your kitchen.
'With pantries continuing to top kitchen wish lists, people are adding open shelving to slimline doors or a curtain to even the smallest of spaces to create mini ancillary spaces,' Adrian at British Standard explains.
Case in point: The stylish and practical NX510 kitchen from next125 features tall wood veneer doors which open with a tap, then slides effortlessly to disappear to the sides of the cabinet with a gentle push.
The team of expert designers at Davonport explain: 'With restrictions on socialising over the past two years, our homes have evolved from being our sanctuary to our main social and entertaining hub. As a result, the demand for a home bar or drinks cabinet within the kitchen has increased and is not looking to abate any time soon.'
The idea that 'old is the new' is driven by a sense of nostalgia and comfort. The design team at British Standard by Plain English say customers are seeking to create spaces full of intrigue and charm. How? By blending older, more characterful pieces into their new kitchens. 'These homely spaces go beyond function and are a backdrop to treasured personal objects, ceramics, glassware and artwork,' they explain.
'Instantly softening, a sink skirt is also a great way to inject colour and pattern into your kitchen or pantry,' says Karla Patterson, Designer at British Standard. 'Affordable and stylish, it's also a clever way to conceal any unsightly storage and undersink spaces.'
Isabel Fernandez, Director of Quorn Stone, explains: 'For centuries, estates and country homes have used flagstone flooring, thanks to their hardwearing characteristics and classic appearance that have stood the test of time. Now more than ever, people are wanting to create this timeless look in their kitchens by choosing large format flagstones.'
In modern kitchen design, rounded shapes exude luxury and sophistication. A beautiful design element, these softer forms are more ergonomic and feel more natural to use. Aesthetically too, every view is taken care of, rather than creating abrupt stops.
'Rounded corners will be particularly popular in kitchen islands. The majority of worktop features, especially for breakfast bars, use contrasting materials like wood and quartz composite, with different level thickness. A curved seating area is more sociable (think of a round table vs. a long narrow table),' Emma Cowburn, Kitchen Designer at Harvey Jones, explains. 2b1af7f3a8