12 Modern Kitchen Ideas to Give Your Space a New Lease on Life

Updated 04/19/19

While we would love to think that a quality  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  and give you some much-needed inspiration, we rounded up some of our favorite modern .

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

Modern Kitchen Ideas
Courtesy of Alexander Design

If you want your space to feel like the L.A. loft kitchen above by , 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. 

Apparatus Arrow Chandelier $3650

For Midcentury: Waterfall Island + Modern Counter Stools

Modern Kitchen Design Ideas
Courtesy of Sarah Sherman Samuel

In Mandy Moore's kitchen, designer  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. 

Emeco Alfi Low-Back Counter Stool $405

For Southern Charm: Muted Pastel Tones + Woven Accents

Modern Kitchen Decorating Ideas
Courtesy of Cortney Bishop

If you want your space to have that distinct Southern modern feel, take note from interior designer '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. 

Eames® Molded Plastic Dowel-Leg Side Chair (DSW)
Herman Miller Eames Molded Plastic Dowel-Leg Side Chair $439

For City Sleek: Floor-to-Ceiling Storage + Minimal Hardware

Modern Kitchen Decorating
Alyssa Rosenheck

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. 

Rejuvenation Large Mission Drawer Pull $49

For Scandinavian Modern: Warm Wood Tones + Bold Accent Color

Modern Kitchen Design
Courtesy of Robson Rak

To get that sleek but welcoming Scandinavian style like in this Melbourne kitchen above by architectural firm , 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.

Muuto Nerd Counter Stool $549

For Small Spaces: Seamless Cabinets + Sculptural Pendants

Modern Kitchen Design
Courtesy of Space Exploration

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.

Tom Dixon Plane Short Chandelier $1500

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