Are slab kitchens still on trend? Give the ultra-modern design a fresh look with these 5 stylish twists

Simple doesn't have to mean boring - these style tips will bring a pared-back kitchen scheme to life

Modern kitchen range and fitted units with shelves and exposed painted brick wall and roof beams
(Image credit: Husk)

We love a shaker design as much as the next person. However, there’s no denying that slab kitchens have a special place in our hearts. After all, the one-piece construction and smooth surface offer the perfect blank canvas, making it a must-have choice if you want a layout where you can add your own stamp. 

But are slab kitchens still on trend? Our experts say yes. Thanks to the detail-free design, slab kitchens are easy to bring up to date with the right styling. They’re also incredibly versatile, and can easily adapt to various interior trends without much effort.

So, whether you want a scheme with a modern kitchen idea or a minimal aesthetic, our interior gurus have all the answers on how to style this cupboard door for an on trend kitchen

What is a slab kitchen?

A slab kitchen features cupboard doors with a flat surface, without any recesses or raised details. This gives them a simple look that’s easy to style in various ways. Their fuss-free design also makes them a great contender if you want certain colours, textures, or fixtures to be the highlight of your scheme.

With the kitchen becoming the hub of the home, slab kitchens offer a welcome way to create a foundation that suits any aesthetic or occasion.

Are slab kitchens still on trend?

'A slab kitchen cabinet door is popular due to its flexibility and will complement many different kitchens,' reports Ruth Lavender, design expert at Benchmarx. 'For those looking to achieve a barely-there aesthetic, a true handleless option is the ideal choice. It creates a discreet design that allows the cabinets to blend into one another – creating a wall of sleek storage that doesn’t infringe on the space.'

With a minimal, fuss-free look, slab will be the perfect antidote for a small kitchen idea. Simple doesn't have to mean boring either - slab offers versatility to create an understated look or add the wow factor through statement handles and finishes. 

1. Add mood boosting colours

Plank Hardware blue kitchen with gold bobbin handles.

(Image credit: Plank Hardware)

As we aim to escape anxious thoughts and stress, many of us want to create cheerful spaces in our homes that we can retreat to after a long day. Known as dopamine decor, this trend focuses on using happy hues, like yellow, pink, and blue, which are known to lift spirits and create a relaxing atmosphere.

This design style works particularly well on a slab scheme because they have a fuss-free design that ensures that whatever shade you choose will stand out. 

'Options such as Blush Pink and Denim are excellent because they evoke feelings of happiness but are soft enough to live with,' says Ruth.

To keep the kitchen layout balanced, choose neutral tones for surrounding features, like work surfaces, splashbacks, and floors. This will also add timeless tones to a design so it looks good for longer.

2. Choose two hues

Husk two tone slab kitchen with island

(Image credit: Husk)

Try as we might, there’s no way we’ll ever get tired of two-tone kitchen ideas. And it seems we’re not alone. Jen Nash, head of design at Magnet, agrees and thinks a two-tone scheme is a trendy way of elevating a slab kitchen.

'Thanks to their stripped-back style, slab kitchens are the ideal canvas for creating a two-tone design,' says Jen. 'Try mixing shades across the same spectrum for a sophisticated take on this trend or contrast two colours for a bolder look.'

So, if you’re feeling daring or can’t choose between two hues, why not give this idea a go?

3. Go for gloss kitchens

White kitchen with gloss cabinets, wooden dining table and chairs and black and white floor tiles

(Image credit: Future PLC/Beth Davis)

We never quite got over gloss kitchens going out of style, and now we don’t have to. Back in favour with interior experts and design gurus alike, glossy textures are an excellent way to give your slab units a glamorous look.

Now more than ever, we want our kitchens to become a space for entertaining, and reflective finishes are the best way to recreate the feel of a snazzy restaurant or bar with little effort. Plus, they’ll reflect light to create a bright, airy atmosphere - great for north-facing kitchens or cooking areas with little natural light.

'Ultragloss slab options create a striking and luxurious look,' says Ruth. 'A reflective finish also pairs perfectly with the modest look of slab doors, making it an excellent modern kitchen idea.'

The shiny surface is also easy to wipe down with a damp cloth, making it a low-maintenance option for those with busy schedules. Hallelujah.  

4. Feature fashionable fixtures

Husk pink utility room with red half moon handles

(Image credit: Husk)

If you think you can’t make slab cabinets look chic without forking out on loads of cash - think again. Simply switching out your handles for different shapes, colours, and textures will refresh the look and bring it up to date. Plus, it will give you a chance to get to grips with new trends without a full remodel. 

'Adding decorative handles to your cabinetry is an easy and cost-efficient way of adding fashionable touches to a slab kitchen,' agrees Jen. 'It will also allow you to add your personality to a design for a custom look.'

Gunmetal and nickel shades are all the rage this year, so they’re our first picks for this idea. Whether you choose knobs or handles, make sure you focus on where to position them for a precise and professional look. 

5. Consider fuss-free features

Modern kitchen range and fitted units with shelves and exposed painted brick wall and roof beams

(Image credit: Future PLC/James Merrell)

Mindfulness and self-care have become big movements over the past few years, and these principles are making their way into interiors as well. To embrace this ethos within your slab kitchen, try styling your scheme with features with a similar, stripped-back aesthetic for a zen vibe.

'Integrating features, such as handleless cabinets, matte paint finishes, and integrated appliances, will elevate the minimalist style across your slab kitchen,' says Jen. 

As well as creating a cohesive look with little effort, this reduces visual distractions for a spacious atmosphere, making it one of our favourite ideas for a compact space.

If these options are out of budget, there are other ways to replicate a serene look. The best way is to cut down on the clutter in your space. Open shelving isn't out of the question - just ensure it's well-curated and that your internal kitchen storage is working hard. 


What kitchen cabinets are in style for 2024?

Colourful kitchen cabinets – especially in warm, earthy palettes are in style for 2024. As well as creating a classy and calming ambience within our homes, these shades will add depth and sensory appeal.

'The terracotta warmth of Magnet’s new Nutmeg or Balmoral, with its vegetal green and beige undertones, are perfect examples of how we can embrace these warm, natural palettes,' says Jen.

Sustainable and eco-friendly designs are also emerging as key cabinet trends this year. Natural materials, like oak and walnut, are obvious ways to embrace this movement and will create a characterful design that will look good and last for years to come. 

So, now you know how to style a slab kitchen, which idea will you use to elevate your space?

Alisha Solanki

Alisha Solanki is a freelance writer obsessed with all things interiors. Having graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in English and Creative Writing from Coventry University in 2016, she started her career in the editorial team at Howdens, where she fell in love with writing about interiors. Having recently bought her first new-build home, Alisha is currently furnishing it with a mix of modern and Indian-inspired pieces that reflect her rich heritage.