Kitchen Design Ideas for a Modern and Functional Space

Feb 27, 2023

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10 Modern and Functional Kitchen Design Ideas


Do you like the look of exposed ceiling beams, leather, and metal? Then, you probably enjoy the modern kitchen style.

If you are looking to update your kitchen, we have some ideas to help you. These 10 modern kitchen designs will help you have a functional space.

Read on to find out our 10 ideas for a modern kitchen design.


What makes a modern kitchen design?


Contemporary style and modern design styles differ, although they are commonly mistaken. The modern style embraces natural materials, earthy tones, and a monochromatic color scheme. In contrast, contemporary styles follow the trends of the time.

If you want this sleek, modern look, use exposed structural elements and natural light. You will want to do away with clutter and focus on useful items. A modern design style emphasizes straight lines rather than curves.

These are the main materials used in this aesthetic:

  • Wood
  • Wood veneer
  • Glass
  • Steel
  • Chrome
  • Leather
  • Natural fibers

This design style is about simplicity and open-concept spaces. So, when you go to create your modern kitchen design, keep these things in mind. The following 10 ideas will help you create a stylish and functional kitchen.


#1 Inspire with industrial design elements


Kitchen design with industrial design elements


One modern kitchen design idea is to expose the industrial elements in your home. The modern design style is all about the natural materials and structures in a home.

So, if you have a brick wall, you could consider exposing part of it in your kitchen. Exposed beams above kitchen bars are popular, as well.

The existing architecture in your home can add to your modern kitchen design.


#2 Leave your cabinets unfinished


Since a modern kitchen design emphasizes natural materials, leave your cabinets unfinished. This will feature the natural grains of the wood, adding contrast and natural beauty.

If you already have painted cabinets and want to return to your natural wood, you can restore them. Get some paint stripper and scraper. Apply the stripper and clean off any varnish or paint.

You may need to scrape some of the varnish off in some places. Be gentle. You don’t want to damage your cabinets. Once you remove all the paint and varnish, the cabinets will return to their natural state.

Even unfinished cabinets should have a matte sealant to protect them from grease. These cabinets will be the perfect focus in your modern kitchen design.


#3 Feature simple light fixtures


Kitchen design ideas with simple light fixtures


For a functional, modern kitchen design, you need appropriate lighting. Lighting over bars, sinks, and underneath cabinets is a great place to start.

These light features don’t need to be over-the-top but simple and useful. You want to emphasize simplicity with a modern kitchen design.

For inspiration, look at these clear pendant lights hanging over a bar.


#4 Upgrade to stainless steel appliances


Another way to make your space functional and modern is to upgrade your appliances. Stainless steel matches a modern kitchen design. The metal is smooth and reflective, emphasizing clean lines.

If you are on a budget, you can replace one piece at a time until all your appliances match.

The great thing about stainless steel is that it is a timeless look. It usually goes with whatever aesthetic, so if you change designs in a few years, it won’t look dated

New appliances are also more energy efficient and easier to use than older ones.


#5 Replace hardware


Kitchen with modern hardware


Some kitchens start out with no hardware on the cabinets. Others have ornate and sometimes gaudy pieces. To create a modern kitchen design, replace your hardware. Add sleek, metal pieces.

It is amazing how something so simple as hardware can change the look of a room. Try out these matte black cabinet pulls to upgrade your modern kitchen design.


#6 Add tuck-away bar stools


Clean and uncluttered are the principles that make a modern kitchen design. To create more functionality, try adding pieces to your room that can tuck away when they are not in use.

This helps to maximize your space, especially if you have a small kitchen. These tuck-away bar stools are the perfect example of modern design and functionality.


#7 Clear your countertops of clutter


Organized kitchen countertop


Another way to create a modern and functional kitchen design is to clear your kitchen of clutter. This can be difficult if you have a large collection of kitchen decor and utensils.

Start by getting out all your items. Next, separate them into the categories: use all the time, use sometimes, and use rarely or never. You can get rid of the “use rarely or never” items and find some out-of-sight storage for the “use sometimes.”

Store your “use all the time” items close. Consider using these items as part of your modern kitchen design. There are some stylish storage containers.

For example, this wooden bread box is a great place to store your bread, but it also looks fantastic on a countertop.


#8 Mix and match types of materials


Modern kitchen designs use a variety of materials. When you create your design space, feel free to use a mixture of wood, metal, and natural fibers to create your look.

This will help create contrast in your design. The different textures will add interest.

For example, you could add leather bar stools with metal legs. Or, you could go for stainless steel appliances with unfinished wood cabinets. The contrast of materials creates different layers for your eyes to peruse.

These different materials make your modern kitchen design interesting.


#9 Contrast a neutral palette with a pop of color


Kitchen design ideas with pop of color


Even though a modern kitchen design uses a neutral palette, doesn’t mean you can’t add color to your space. You can add a pop of color to your kitchen in a few different ways.

One wall in the room could have a bold color like a bright red or yellow. This accent wall would add a splash of color to your neutral palette.

You could also add color with smaller decor pieces like a utensil holder. This mixes functional and fun.

Another way to add color to your modern kitchen design is to add colorful, functional shelves. Or, you could even have colorful bar stools.

If you store your dishes on open shelves, use colorful dishes to add color to your modern kitchen design.


#10 Make your cabinets better for storage


If you want to keep your clutter to a minimum, you’ll need functional storage spaces. The best place to make your storage more accessible is in the cabinets.

You can tuck your trash and recycling bins under the kitchen sink with this sliding shelf.

This puts your trash closer to where you will need it while also hiding it away.

Storing spices in small nooks inside your cabinets is another way to do away with clutter. Instead of a spice rack on the countertop, try this out.

There are so many cabinet storage options you can use for your modern kitchen design.




Remember that a modern kitchen is all about simplicity and clean lines. You want the structures and materials to be the focus rather than small decor items.

Natural materials, clutter-free spaces, and functional decor create a modern kitchen design. Try out these 10 kitchen design ideas to make your space more modern and functional.

Ready to take your kitchen design ideas to the next level? Check out the Lighting Design Ultimate Guide: Tips and Tricks for Every Room.