Modern Kitchen Design 21 Ideas

by | Mar 14, 2020 | Apartment Renovations, Interior Design, Renovations

  1. Open Kitchen
  2. White Kitchens
  3. Pass Through Kitchen
  4. Kitchen Island
  5. Kitchen Peninsula
  6. Large Kitchen
  7. Modern Backsplash
  8. Unique Backsplash
  9. Kitchen Counter Seating
  10. Waterfall Countertop
  11. Panel Ready Appliances
  12. Stainless Steel Appliances
  13. Unique Finishes
  14. Modern Fixtures
  15. Cooktop
  16. Wall Oven
  17. Magnetic Paint
  18. Bells and Whistles
  19. Under Cabinet Lighting
  20. Row of Upper Cabinets
  21. Pendant lighting

 

Open Kitchen Design

Modern Kitchens are almost always going to be open kitchens. Open plan spaces make the space feel larger and allows greater connectivity between the space and the people within. An open kitchen can be a centerpiece to a home design. If you are going to build an open kitchen you want to think about how the kitchen will work within the entire open area whether the living or dining room.

Open Kitchen Design

Open Kitchen Design

 

Modern White Kitchen Design

A lot of people love white kitchens but not everyone does. Color really comes down to personal taste.

We have another blog post you can read on White Apartment Design Ideas.

White Modern Kitchen Design

White Modern Kitchen Design (Tribeca Loft Renovation)

 

Pass Through Kitchen

If you are not going to build a fully open kitchen you may consider a pass through kitchen. This is a kitchen that is partially open with a window like opening in the wall and a countertop connection the kitchen to an adjacent room. It is not fully open nor is it fully closed. But it allows convenience, counter seating, and a visual connection.

Pass Through Kitchen Wall Opening

Pass Through Kitchen

 

Kitchen Island

Kitchen islands are convenient but also look great. They are a real great addition to a kitchen. A few questions to answer before you design your kitchen island:

  • Appliances in the Island or not?
  • Sink in the island, primary or secondary?
  • Seating at the island? 
  • Is the island one height or different elevations?
  • Do you want a waterfall?
  • Should the island match the kitchen or contrast: countertops, cabinets, etc…?
  • Island Size, depth, length, and clearances around the island. 
  • Cabinets open to both sides or just one?
Kitchen Island

Kitchen Island

 

Kitchen Peninsula

An alternative to a kitchen island is a kitchen peninsula. you will have some of the same questions and concerns for a peninsula as you would for a kitchen island. You will want to start by figuring out if you will have a peninsula or island. There will be many different reasons why you would go with one or the other. If you are renovating an existing kitchen the space may dictate what works.

White Kitchen Peninsula

White Kitchen Peninsula

 

Large Kitchen

The picture below is of a kitchen in a 4,000 square foot Tribeca Loft. Large kitchens are a more high end option as the kitchen is typically the most expensive room in a home. You can read more in another post we wrote about High End Renovation Planning.

Large Kitchen

Large Kitchen

 

Modern Backsplash Ideas

The backsplash is literally meant to protect your walls from water splashing from the sink or oil splashing from a frying pan. That is why we use a more durable material at the backsplash and not just pained sheetrock. The backsplash can also be a real design feature. You want to decide should your backsplash blend in or stand out. It can be a feature or it can fade away. This is a design decision to consider. Sometimes people make the backsplash out of the exact same countertop material to match.

In the picture below we put shiny black subway tile in this kitchen. Subway tile is a very popular backsplash be aware that subway tile comes in many different finishes, colors, and textures.

Black Kitchen Backsplash

Black Kitchen Backsplash

 

Unique Backsplash

A backsplash can be used to stand out against an otherwise monotone kitchen. In this photo we have an all white kitchen with stainless steel appliances and a contrasting tile backsplash.

Unique Backsplash

Unique Backsplash

 

Kitchen Counter Seating

Kitchen islands are a great place for seating. The countertop can overhang and make a sitting area for stools. You want to consider the height of the countertop. Sometimes people make a countertop at a lower height like a table or at a hiegher hight like a bar. The countertop surface is typically about 36″ above the floor.

Kitchen Counter Seating

Kitchen Counter Seating

 

Waterfall Countertop

Modern kitchens often have an island or a peninsula. On the side of a kitchen island or peninsula you will see the side of the cabinet unless you cover it with something. Putting a slab material to match the countertop down the side is called a countertop waterfall. This can be done in many cases with a continuous or bookmatch stone so that the veining (if there is any) can be continuous.

A countertop waterfall is miter cut. This means the slabs are cut at 45 degree angles and then matched up to make a 90 degree corner. Modern Interior Details are critical for a modern kitchen.

Modern Kitchen Miter Cut Counter Detail

Modern Kitchen Miter Cut Counter Detail

 

Panel Ready Appliances

One important decision to make is whether to do panel ready appliances or to leave the appliance material exposed. Dishwashers and refrigerators can often come with an option to install a panel matching the cabinets so that they blend together. Some people love this look some people prefer to have the stainless steel appliances exposed. Either option is good for a modern apartment.

The apartment below has panel ready appliances with doors matching the kitchen. The walls were painted to match the cabinets for a more simple continuous look.

Panel Ready Kitchen Appliances

Panel Ready Kitchen Appliances with Modern European Cabinets. these cabinets are from Cesar Kitchens

 

Stainless Steel Appliances

you can cover appliances with panels to match the cabinets or you can have the exposed stainless steel. In the photo below you can see stainless a steel Sub Zero refrigerator and stainless steel Viking range. I personally love to see stainless steel but not everyone feel the same way. A lot of my clients want to have panel ready cabinets and have the entire kitchen match.

Stainless Steel Appliances

Stainless Steel Appliances

 

Unique Finishes That Stand Out

Modern kitchens are often stark. There is nothing wrong with adding a little flare or contrast. Unique finishes can be a great addition to a kitchen design.

The picture below is of a white kitchen with white cabinets, white subway tile backsplash, and a white countertop, but it is offset with a vibrant gold gooseneck faucet.

Kraus Oletto Gold Faucet Kitchen

Kraus Oletto Gold Faucet Kitchen

 

Unique Modern Fixtures

Fixtures have a great impact on the overall design of a kitchen. You want to coordinate all the fixtures and make sure they work together. The function is always of the utmost importance but so is the fixture design. Do not let selecting fixtures be an afterthought.

The picture below is of an very modern and industrial sink faucet by Kohler. This is an incredibly high end articulating faucet, great for a more Industrial Loft Design or ultra modern home.

Modern Kitchen Faucet Design

Modern Kitchen Faucet Design

 

Cooktop

You need to choose between a range or a cooktop and wall oven. If you do not know the range is a one piece unit with an oven and burners built in. A cooktop is a separate appliance that just has burners, and the oven can go in the wall. Some people prefer the two pieces of a cootop and wall oven and some prefer the range. You can install a cooktop directly above a wall oven if you prefer that look. In that case the wall oven would be directly under the cooktop in the base cabinet.

Kitchen Cooktop

Kitchen Cooktop

 

Wall Ovens

When designing a kitchen the starting point is to assess the existing conditions. The second step is to plan your appliances. You will want to figure out what type appliances you want and their size. Wall ovens are a great idea for kitchen designs because the do not require you to bend over to use them. Wall ovens are very convenient, and deciding between a wall oven or a range is an important decision.

The picture below is of a kitchen with Miele wall ovens and a separate Thermadore Cooktop.

Wall Oven

Wall Oven

 

Magnetic Paint

If you have children or even if you don’t but you like posting things to your wall then magnetic paint may be something to consider for your kitchen.

The picture below is of a kitchen in a Brooklyn apartment with a black magnetic paint wall. The owner of this apartment calls it her “Pride Wall” as she is a proud mom filling her wall with her children’s posts.

Magnetic Wall Paint Ideas

Magnetic Wall Paint Ideas

 

Bells and Whistles

There are all kinds of bells and whistles you can have in your kitchen. In this video we have a kitchen counter with a telescopic downdraft hood. The hood is push button operated and comes up from the countertop and retracts down into the cabinet below. This is convenient so that it disappears when not in use but its also pretty cool.

 

Under Cabinet Lighting

Under cabinet lighting is really important. It will help you see better for your working surfaces as task lighting and it can really add mood and design elegance.

Under Cabinet Lighting

Under Cabinet Lighting

Second Row of Upper Kitchen Cabinets

If you have a high enough ceiling 9 feet or more you can have a second row of wall cabinets. This is a really great way to get extra storage space in a kitchen. The upper cabinets are a bit less convenient so you should probably use them for the items not used every day.

Kitchen Upper Row of Cabinets

Kitchen Upper Row of Cabinets

 

Pendant Lighting 

Pendant lighting can be a good option for an island or peninsula. You may not want to have a light hanging down if that is the case go for recessed lighting or some other option. But if you like a more decorative light you can find a nice pendant that hangs down and lights up your surface and is part of the overall design.

Pendant Kitchen Lighting

Pendant Kitchen Lighting

 

Modern Kitchen Design Ideas and Tips

As an architect, I study design and construction, but these are complicated and quite involved issues. In this article, we reviewed some tips and ideas for modern kitchen designs but there are many others to consider. Every project is unique and must be assessed on its own unique characteristics. This post does not assume to cover every possible issue or condition, but provide a general overview of the topic.

 


Thank you for reading our blog post on Modern Kitchen Design Ideas.

I hope this was helpful. Please leave questions and comments below. If you would like to speak with an architect, you can contact us directly.

 

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Jorge Fontan
Jorge Fontan

This post was written by Jorge Fontan AIA a Registered Architect and owner of New York City architecture firm Fontan Architecture. Jorge Fontan has earned 3 degrees in the study of architecture including two degrees from the City University of New York and a Masters Degree in Advanced Architectural Design from Columbia University. Jorge has a background in construction and has been practicing architecture for 15 years where he has designed renovations and new developments of various building types.