Thanks to Australia’s love for open-plan homes, cooking and entertaining, the kitchen has become the new heart of the home. Modern kitchen designs need to accommodate our changing needs of the space. It needs to be a functional kitchen space, it needs to be aesthetically pleasing, it needs to encourage conversation and cater to guests. Modern kitchen design is all about transforming your contemporary kitchen ideas into reality.
According the Houzz 2018 Kitchen Trends Study, of the 60 per cent of homeowners who renovated the layout of their kitchen this year, the top new kitchen styles were contemporary kitchen design (29 per cent) and modern kitchen design (26 per cent). The top updated elements of a modern kitchen design were benchtops at 94 per cent, cabinets at 90 per cent and taps and other plumbing fixtures at 88 per cent of renovators. Of those who updated their benchtops, engineered quartz was most popular and the most dominant colour was white. Of those who renovated their kitchens, the Houzz report identified that 59 per cent changed the layout to make it more open to the indoors, and 40 per cent made it more open to the outdoors.
What are the trending styles of modern kitchen design?
“A contemporary kitchen design is beautifully considered with clean lines, lots of storage, functionally and appliances that seamlessly integrate into the design. But it also must still show a sense of personality and fun with thoughtful colour and finish choices,” says interior designer Jasmine McClelland’s of Jasmine McClelland Design. “Modern kitchen colour palettes often start with a neutral base of timbers, black and white, then incorporate blocks of colour, accents or highlights to make a point of difference. There has been a shift towards darker, moodier tones with accents of gold or copper fixtures.”
“Patterned tiles are really emerging at the moment and tiles are a very practical product that add a lot of colour and texture to contemporary kitchen ideas,” says Jasmine. “LED strip lighting around cabinets has been trending and it adds a glorious effect to the cabinets, making the cabinets a focal point and adding some warmth with the lighting. You need functional task lighting but to add a lovely depth, particularly at night, use pendant and wall-sconce lighting.”
Cherie Barber, the owner of Renovating for Profit, says using a mix of wall cabinets and open shelving is a sure-fire way to ensure your contemporary kitchen idea is functional.
“Mix up benchtop surfaces and widths, like thinner benchtops for the main kitchen surfaces and then a thick, solid stone for the island bench,” says Cherie. “And make a feature of cabinet handles.”
Interior designer Bronnie Masefau says that a contemporary kitchen design is all about achieving a sleek finish with personality, such as combining lovely appliances with innovative storage, funky islands, and cool handles on your cabinets.
“Incorporating creative storage solutions that will accommodate the way you move around your kitchen and the way you entertain is what will give your modern kitchen design the best result,” says Bronnie. “The kitchen sink no longer has to be under the window. It could be on the end of the Island or off to one side.”
“Handles are also no longer an ‘after thought’ but can be the springboard for the entire design. Conversation is no longer about whether you’d like a ‘D’ handle or a ‘bar’,” Says Bronnie. “It’s about texture, colour, inlay, varying sizes, knobs, leather and the list goes on. If you’re after inspiration, start with your handles!”
Avoid these things if you want a modern kitchen design
“Avoid neglecting the practical aspects. It can be easy to get caught up in how your kitchen will look but at the end of the day you have to love using it every day. Functionality, heights, placement of particular appliances are all incredibly important foundations to the perfect modern kitchen,” says interior designer Jasmine.
“Although marble can be beautiful, it damages and stains very easily. White can create a sense of space and freshness but it also lacks the emotive reaction of other colours. It is really important to think about how to add warmth and feeling into a space even if you are afraid of colour.”
15 modern and contemporary kitchen design ideas
1. Modern country kitchen
Dark timber floors, a green-hued grey wall and kitchen cabinets that put an angular twist on the usually soft country-style timber work make this modern country kitchen desirable. The blonde timber works as both a light accent colour and a source of texture, while the open shelving and island are practical.
2. Contemporary country kitchen
Although only subtle in its country theme, this contemporary country-style kitchen balances dark timber kitchen cabinets with blonde timber benchtops and classic chrome tapware. Integrate your appliances for a sleek take on country styling.
3. Modern Hamptons kitchen
Bright, white, luxurious and airy, this design has all the making of a perfect modern Hamptons kitchen concept. The all-white palette is balanced beautifully with raw timber floor boards and upholstered seating which add texture and depth. Think classic beach-side glamour.
4. All-white modern kitchen design idea
Sleek, chic and undeniably contemporary, this all-white modern kitchen is low-maintenance, neutral and incredibly practical thanks to the integrated appliances and abundant storage options.
5. Kitchen with statement lighting
Not many people think to put a chandelier in a kitchen but this French take on an open kitchen really works. Applainces are integrated into the cabinets on the right, while a standalone cupboard adds interest to an otherwise empty space. Perfect for Parisian dinner parties.
6. Kitchen with statement splashback
A splashback doesn’t always need to be made of tiles. A waterproof vinyl or wallpaper can be used to make a statement. For something more robust, look for patterns printed on glass. A splashback that makes a style statement.
7. Kitchen with contemporary cabinets
Ample storage options and clever design are essential for a successful contemporary kitchen, and this kitchen has executed that balance well. Blonde timber cabinets line the walls while windows above the graphic black benchtops lets in plenty of natural light. The overall effect is one that feels inspired by Scandinavian homes and minimalism.
8. Modern kitchen colours
Rich colours and bold hues are making a comeback in the kitchen. Here, a strong shade of teal adds a small yet bold splash of colour to a simple space that prioritises texture.
9. A contemporary take on timber in the kitchen
A contemporary kitchen design doesn’t have to be all sleek engineered stone and laminate. Here, a timber veneer feels fresh and luxurious with a concrete splashback and white benchtops.
10. U shaped modern kitchen
This u shaped kitchen is modern and contemporary yet very sleek and simple. Recreate this look by pairing timber veneer cabinets with white benchtops and chrome handles.
11. Statement lighting for a contemporary kitchen
This small kitchen packs a punch of style with checkered flooring, an all-white colour palettes and timber accents. What really steals the show is this shabby-chic rustic pendant light hanging over the kitchen table.
12. Simple yet modern kitchen design idea
Plain, simple and straightforward, this kitchen keeps things minimal with lots of storage, built-in cabinets and a timber benchtop that makes the space feel less sterile.
13. Modern country cottage kitchen
This kitchen feels very English thanks to the adjoining garden from the kitchen, abundance of natural light and country-style cabinets. Keep it modern by adding design features in metallics, such as the pendant lights here.
14. Small, chic and contemporary kitchen
A luxurious and contemporary kitchen doesn’t need to be big. This small kitchen proves that style can be as simple as matching a textured pendant light to the grey-toned timber benchtops and exposed beams. White-washed brick adds texture while the chrome and white cabinets feel sleek.
15. Eye-catching splashbacks
No modern kitchen design idea is complete without a bold kitchen idea. Here, dark green has been used as an accent colour, while the pale green glass splashback is carried to the ceiling. The timber benchtops and floor make it feel more considered than kitsch.