Modern kitchen ideas for chic and sleek style

Bring your cooking and entertaining space up to date with contemporary good looks
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  • Give the heart of your home a refresh with up to date trends and styles. Modern kitchen ideas will help to bring contemporary vibes to your space, while adding efficiency and personality. After all, since we spend a lot of our time in our kitchens, if anywhere deserves a facelift, it’s here.

    While contemporary kitchen ideas are of course perfect in modern homes, even traditional and rustic houses can benefit from the latest trends and innovations. The only issue will be trying to pick your favourite…

    Modern kitchen ideas

    From the trending colours (deep, rich tones) to popular materials (natural and earthy) and significant features (no handles, high-gloss cabinets), read on for easy ways to give your space a stylish upgrade.

    1. Choose sleek storage

    Kitchen with dark island and metal bar stools

    Image credit: Future PLC/James French

    Minimalism and keeping things clutter-free is one of the most simple ways to work modern kitchen ideas into your home. Busy cabinetry and appliance-laden surfaces tend to look rather old-fashioned. Instead, use a streamlined cabinet design, utilising handless cupboards for an ultra-modern look.

    Sleek cabinetry can also create the illusion of more space, making it perfect for small kitchen ideas, too. Conceal fridge-freezers and dishwashers behind for cohesion.

    2. Look for unique materials

    Open plan kitchen with wood island and bouquet of flowers

    Image credit: Future PLC/Anna Stathaki

    One of the most popular ways to look at modern kitchen ideas is to use it to express individuality. These days we’re not as constrained with brands, suppliers and materials. Use your kitchen to display unique materials for a thoroughly contemporary feel.

    Think about unusual materials you could work in. For example, instead of a stone island choose a metallic finish. Copper makes a great facade as its patina will age and change over time and doesn’t overwhelm against the rest of the kitchen.

    3. Be bold with colour

    Kitchen with pink cabinetry and marble splashback

    Image credit: Future PLC/James French

    There are no rules for what colour you should be painting your kitchen anymore. That said, you can achieve a truly modern kitchen by choosing a colour which you love and using it liberally. Stand out from the mass of greys, whites and blues by having some fun with your palette.

    Colour doesn’t have to go everywhere – limiting it to cabinetry means you’re less likely to grow tired of your choice, as you can change smaller pieces or tiles for a refresh.

    4. Think masculine

    Dark kitchen with peninsula and leather bar stools

    Image credit: Future PLC/Chris Snook

    Choose typically masculine colours for a sleek, contemporary feel. Soft blacks, charcoal greys and warm browns add a sophisticated tone.

    Stop the look from feeling too harsh by choosing softer finishes, like mottled paints, aged leathers and textured materials.

    5. Break up your cabinetry

    Kitchen with dark cabinets and fluted glass

    Image credit: Future PLC/James French

    While floor-to-ceiling cabinetry offers plenty of much-needed storage, it can sometimes feel a bit bland. Break up the cabinets with an array of reeded glass frontages. As well as adding interest, this works in softening the overall look.

    A quirky alternative is to use a sheet of chicken wire in place of the textured glass.

    6. Layer materials

    Green kitchen with velvet bench under window

    Image credit: Future PLC/Brent Darby

    Seating nooks in kitchens are the perfect place to add individual personality and a bit of ‘wow’. Steer away from traditional and into more modern kitchen ideas by upholstering the bench or seats in luxe fabrics.

    Mix and match sumptuous materials for an elegant and interesting look. Keep the fabrics all within the same colour palette to keep the style feeling contemporary.

    7. Add a breakfast bar

    Grey kitchen with breakfast bar on island and exposed brick wall

    Image credit: Future PLC/David Giles

    As open-plan kitchens are one of the more modern kitchen ideas, and we veer away from formal dining spaces, make sure you include a breakfast bar.

    You can achieve this by using a nook, peninsula or window seat. However, adding onto an island is the most convivial and contemporary of breakfast bar ideas. Break up the linear, slimline surface with a chunky breakfast bar to add contrast and create a delineated dining area.

    8. Add texture to your walls

    Kitchen with green island and pink shelving unit in front of exposed brick wall

    Image credit: Future PLC/James French

    While many think of modern kitchen wall ideas equalling only sleek, seam-free surfaces, texture can add a serious amount of contemporary cool.

    Brick feature walls have a hint of industrial chic about them, and you don’t even need an existing brick wall to make them happen. Instead, look to brick slips – lightweight brick ’tiles’, around 20mm thick.

    9. Have fun with your splashback

    Kitchen with grey island and hexagonal tile splashback

    Image credit: Future PLC/Davide Lovatti

    Splashbacks aren’t simply a practical element to a kitchen – they’re an opportunity to add interest and style.

    Stay away form traditional glass or basic tiled walls. Instead choose a look which adds impact. Perhaps an unusual shape, colour or material. Selecting one material in several varying, but similar, shades, creates a cohesive but stylish finish.

    10.  Show things off with open shelving

    A white modern kitchen with a round ceiling light and black extractor fan

    Image credit: GoodHome/B&Q

    If you’ve ever needed convincing to expose what’s in your cabinets, now is the time to bare utensils and crockery alike with Pinterest searches such as ‘statement shelving’ on the increase (up 30 per cent).

    From open shelving to glazed doors with integrated lighting, experiment with stacking bowls and plates, as well as neat arrangements of ornaments and books for good measure, like in the white kitchen idea shown above.

    11. Go bold as brass

    A close up shot of a black kitchen wall with wooden cupboards and a bronze tap

    Image credit: GoodHome/B&Q

    Dark kitchens and brass accents go hand-in-hand so it’s no surprise that Pinterest has seen an increase in searches for brass accessories, such as lighting, taps and handles. Searches for ‘brass taps’ have increased by 30% whilst ‘bronze taps’ searches have gone up by 40 per cent.

    You can off-set stormy shades with industrial kitchen lighting ideas or use taps and handles to give fixtures some depth.

    12. Celebrate the concrete jungle

    A close up of a grey kitchen wall with black and grey chopping boards and a plant pot

    Image credit: Habitat

    The raw earthiness of concrete is still a huge trend, and the look is perfect for anyone searching for modern kitchen ideas. You can get professionals to create a polished concrete kitchen for you, or opt for concrete-effect tiles.

    13.  Work with wall-hung appliances

    A modern grey kitchen with a double island and wooden beam with bar stools

    Image credit: Wickes

    There’s something that feels a little luxurious and forward-thinking about not having to put your back out every time you want to put something in or take something out of the oven. Opt for wall-hung appliances for a sleek and modern look that’s also perfectly practical.

    14. Indulge in a little merlot magic

    A dark modern kitchen with shades of purple and exposed hanging bulbs

    Image credit: GoodHome/B&Q

    According to Pinterest insights, searches for ‘burgundy paint’ have risen by 75 per cent in the last year, with ‘plum paint’ searches up by 35 per cent. Wine-inspired kitchens are a warm, bold choice for this year and beyond, especially for non-wallflowers looking to make a statement.

    Popular looks include pairing charcoal kitchen cabinets with deep, plummy tones or adding extra dramatic flair by giving your whole kitchen a bold refresh with cabernet-inspired cabinet paint.

    A deep carbon design packs extra punch when partnered with plum-toned walls. If you’re looking for budget kitchen ideas to give your space a quick refresh, simply pick a shade of cabernet and paint your existing cabinets.

    15. Lighten up with all-white everything

    A white kitchen with dark wood flooring

    Image credit: Howdens

    There’s nothing that says modern kitchen ideas more than a glossy, light, bright, all-white space. Pair with copper metallics, handle-free cabinetry and wall-hung appliances for an ultra-modern finish.

    16. Back to the Stone Age

    A light grey modern kitchen with black extractor

    Image credit: GoodHome/B&Q

    It might be a new decade, but a kitchen inspired by natural materials will never date. Pinterest insights show an increase in searches on the platform for ‘stone accessories’ (up 40 per cent) and ‘natural kitchens’ (up 35 per cent).

    17. Channel on-trend Art Deco with statement geometric lighting

    A large navy blue island in a kitchen with soft lighting

    Image credit: Wickes

    Mix a modern-finish kitchen (think no handles, deep inky colours) with a so-now geometric light fixture for a contemporary look that gives a nod to the past. Art Deco-inspired influences are sweeping the nation. Get the look with pendant spheres and a brass frame fitting.

    18. Get a high-gloss finish

    A light grey kitchen with handleless cabinets and a blue wall

    Image credit: Howdens

    Want an ultra-modern finish? Go for high-gloss kitchen cabinets. Not only does it look super-sleek and rather cool, but it can also make a smaller kitchen look bigger than it is.

    19. Install under-cupboard LED lighting

    A large grey kitchen with dark flooring and spotlights

    Image credit: Wickes

    Create the ultimate ambience by adding under-cupboard lighting, as shown in the grey kitchen idea above. It offers a lovely soft light for socialising and preparing meals that don’t require spotlights. Pair with high-gloss cabinets and handle-free doors for that uber-modern finish.

    20. Enjoy a bit of clay time

    A modern kitchen with a terracotta coloured dining table and a large window

    Image credit: Loaf

    Modern kitchen ideas don’t always have to mean no country elements allowed. Team contemporary features, like Crittall-style windows, with country-chic beams and furniture for a cool modern rustic look, like the country kitchen idea above.

    The clay, rust and earth tones are completely on-trend yet timeless and work well with the natural materials, too. Use paint to create the look on the wall, or invest in rust-toned furniture. Earthy tones are also the perfect complement to a whole host of cream kitchen ideas.

    What’s trending in kitchens 2022?

    For this year, kitchen trends are all about expressing your personality and individualism. Brave colour choices, textured materials and wallpaper are all increasing in popularity. One material that’s currently seeing a surge is the chic microcement.

    ‘In the last year we’ve seen a huge rise in its popularity as people are starting to recognise it as great alternative to tiles,’ says Sally Hotchin, director of Relentless Microcement. ‘We’ve been selling microcement in the UK for five years and until 2020 it was fairly niche. A major benefit of a microcement kitchen surface is the ability to have a continuous surface with no joins, making it hygienic and easy to clean. Microcement can be applied seamlessly across worktops, sinks, drainage grooves and even end panels.’

    What colour kitchens are in for 2022?

    Although no colour is seriously out of trend right now, there are a few stand-outs in the trends. ‘Wellness, sustainability and interiors with a distinct sense of personality have been prominent trends throughout 2021,’ says Tom Howley, Design Director at Tom Howley Kitchens. ‘Whilst we continue to move in this direction with our interior schemes, people are also becoming increasingly brave with colour, opting for adventurous earthy tones and brilliantly bold hues. Look towards serene pinks, nourishing greens, versatile yellows and tranquil blues that promise to resonate with homeowners and interior designers alike. It’s these statement colours that are set to dominate with their ability to transform our homes.’


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