31 Modern Kitchen Ideas Approved By Experts

It's the heart of the home, after all.

Modern kitchen ideas

by Alice Hall |
Updated on

It's true that the kitchen is the heart of the home. From wine-fuelled gossips with girlfriends over bowls of crisps, rainy days baking with your kids and lazy weekend brunches, the kitchen sees it all - and it's where some of our best memories are made.

If you need further proof, let's look at the numbers. A Howdens 2022 study found that British people spend a total of nearly two and a half years of their adult life in the kitchen over their lifetime. The poll of 2,000 adults revealed that, on average, people in the UK take 300 steps a day in the kitchen – with four in ten saying most of this time is spent running between the fridge, the oven, and the microwave.

It goes to show how important it is to ensure it's a space that makes you happy. And a look at Google search data shows many are thinking about how best to give their kitchen interiors a modern upgrade: search for 'modern cottage kitchen' is up by +120% and search for 'kitchen design 2024' is up by +250%.

Earlier this year, a report by Houzz detailed some of the top kitchen trends we can expect to see in 2024. It found that contemporary is the top style choice for renovated kitchens in 2023 (27%), followed by modern (26%) and then traditional, country and Scandinavian (11, 6 and 5 percent.) They also found sustainability, classic colours and pantries to be key trends shaping kitchens in 2024.

Simon Bodsworth, managing director at Daval Furniture, says kitchen interiors are 'going to the next level' in 2024, with 'custom comfort' becoming a buzzword for interiors which are 'ergonomic and tailormade' by design. 'The interiors market is going to be defined by more artisanal qualities this year as UK homeowners are keen to enhance their surroundings with highly personal design elements to create home environments which are flexible enough to work, rest and socialise in,' he says

But it can be hard to know where to start with a modern kitchen and there isn't a one size fits all approach. We've asked the experts for their top tips and inspiration, so you can create a space that works for you.

1. Go Western

modern kitchen ideas

Saddle up, because the Western chic trend is here for our kitchens in 2024. The current Pinterest Predicts trend report also highlighted Western Gothic as an interior trend to watch for 2024.

To achieve this trend, Richard Eaton, design director at Denby, explains we should incorporate 'warm earthy tones into our colour scheme,' whether that's through paint, textiles, or decorative accents. 'Opt for furniture with clean lines and rustic finishes, like weathered oak dining tables or leather-upholstered chairs, to anchor the space in understated elegance,' he says. When it comes to accessories, he recommends choosing 'elegant silhouettes inspired by traditional ranch architecture, delicate floral patterns reminiscent of wildflower meadows,' adding that you can subtly nod to cowboy culture through 'vintage-inspired tableware or cowhide rugs.'

2. Experiment with paint

modern kitchen ideas
Home kitchen. Sink, stove, work surface, hob, oven, plate drying rack. Kitchen with sink and shelves for storing dishes, mirror and pink mug. Domestic Life ©Getty

Don't underestimate the power of paint to breathe new life into a modern edge to your kitchen. Helen Shaw, Director of Marketing (International) at Benjamin Moore explains that the key to adding 'visual spice' to a kitchen filled with neutral countertops and cabinets is painting 'the cooker hood or light fittings with contrasting and energising pastels.' Using 'zingy hues,' she adds, will instantly lift the space.

3. Add a fresh coat of paint

modern kitchen ideas
A contemporary kitchen renovation remodeling featuring a center island, hardwood floor and quartz counter. ©Getty

Some people like their modern kitchens to have a neutral colour palette, and that's ok - there really is no hard or fast rule when it comes to colour schemes. However, giving your walls a spruce up can make all the difference to the mood of your kitchen.

'If you're not a colour enthusiast, even a fresh breath of paint in a neutral pastel hue will make the room sing. Don't forget the ceiling is just as important as the walls as using either a complementary or matching colour will completely change the way a room feels,' says Shaw.

4. Go Green

modern kitchen ideas
©Willis & Stone

Whether you prefer zesty lime hues or rich olive, green kitchens are set to be one of the biggest trends for 2024. A recent survey by IFA found that green was chosen as the top trend by 31 per cent of experts. Meanwhile, 'green kitchen' has become a breakout search term on Google, according to Google Trends.

'Dark green has gained popularity as a kitchen colour choice for its ability to make a bold design statement while offering a touch of sophistication and nature-inspired elegance. It brings a sense of richness and depth to the space, creating a welcoming atmosphere,' says Molly Chandler, Designer at Willis & Stone. 'Its versatility allows it to pair well with various materials and accents, making it a timeless colour choice for those seeking to infuse their kitchens with personality and style.'

5. Change your taps

modern kitchen ideas
A general interior view of a domestic dove grey kitchen, with painted white walls, island with quartz worktop, chrome tap, grey crushed velvet bar stools, stainless steel range cooker oven, chrome tap, skylight, vertical radiator, potted plant and patio doors into the back garden within a home ©Getty

They say it's all in the detail, and this saying certainly rings true when it comes to modern kitchens - right down to the taps. 'Instant-hot taps are an essential for a new kitchen. The practical advantage of being able to fill a cup or saucepan instantly with steaming hot water is so great that owners often complain, when away from home, about the bother of filling of a kettle. Once you have one, you’ll never go back,' says Nigel Palmer, Head of Communications Marketing for House of Rohl. For traditional and contemporary designs, check out the range from Perrin & Rowe.

6. Try window dressings

modern kitchen ideas
Scandia Hus Cotton Waterbury Shutters in Kitchen ©Thomas Sanderson

'Window dressings are the perfect canvas for a modern kitchen,' explains Lisa Cooper, Head of Product at Thomas Sanderson. 'Go for colours, playful patterns or layered textures to create a mismatched look. Shutters aren’t just for a traditional style kitchens either. Playful, colourful shutters make a bold statement in a modern kitchen.'

If you prefer a minimalist colour palette, Cooper recommends choosing white and cream shutters, which make a 'stylish and sophisticated' addition to modern kitchens. 'The key to a modern kitchen is to make it as light and airy as possible and to optimise as much natural light shining in by adjusting the shutters louvres,' she adds.

7. Bare all with open shelves

modern kitchen ideas

Reka Simon-Toth, showroom manager at Kutchenhaus, explains more people are using open shelves as storage options, as they have the 'potential to draw attention' and become a standout feature.

'Open shelves allow you to easily add plants such as a peace lily or aloe vera to your kitchen and bring about a healthy feel. Floating wooden shelves are perfect for beautifully displaying these items, as well as storing bowls, small ornaments pots and spices, all within arm’s reach. A combination of these things together will make sure your space feels alive and organic,' she says.

One of the biggest benefits of open shelves, she explains, is that they can be emphasised by other elements of the kitchen. 'Shelves can differ from the rest of the kitchen in terms of material and colour, making them stand out and enabling the owner to add a personal touch. A little extra lighting highlighting shelves can also transform the kitchen into somewhere memorable that visitors take note of. It can help the room break out from the standard box vision, allowing a more open feel to run throughout,' she says.

8. Add wooden features

modern kitchen ideas
Empty kitchen island with marble surface in foreground, green vintage countertop with drawers and pendant lights hanging above, lots of flowers in jars, blurred background ©Getty

'Wood features is the finish of choice for anyone looking to create a softer and warm kitchen environment, and is very much rising in popularity again and set to be a trend in 2024,' says Darren Watts, Showroom Design Director at Wren Kitchens. He explains that, although wood is typically associated with traditional kitchen designs, it can complement marble, copper and steel to create a modern finish to suit any kitchen.

'Available in a diverse range of colours and tones, wood can be integrated almost anywhere in the kitchen, from the worktops to the cupboards, and designs include traditional shaker, modern matt or gloss, and even light Scandinavian-inspired style,' he says.

9. Use wide plank flooring

modern kitchen ideas
Modern kitchen interior with island, sink, cabinets, kitchen appliances and hardwood floor in a new luxury home. ©Getty

While laminate flooring is a classic style that will suit the aesthetic of nearly every home, wide plank flooring is great for those looking for a more rustic feel. Johanna Constantinou, interior trends expert at Tapi Carpets & Floors, says she expects the trend to rise in popularity this year.

'Wide plank flooring showcases the natural grain and character of the wood providing warmth and richness as well as making the room appear more spacious,' she says. 'Install the planks diagonal or perpendicular to the longest wall in the room to give the room a wider look. To enhance the visual interest of the planks, use contrasting or complementary materials for borders.'

10. Keep splashbacks playful

modern kitchen ideas
Three green pendant lights above unit with Silestone work surface in kitchen with raised bar and stools ©Getty

Kitchen splashbacks might not feel as exciting as other areas of your kitchen interior, but that doesn't mean they can't contribute towards the modern aesthetic. Molly Woodward-Moor, creative director at Stone Superstore, says that updating kitchen splashbacks with soft pastels or elements of pattern can help to create a lively and trend forward kitchen.

'Consider tones like lilac, sage green, butter yellow, or plaster pinks. These cheery colours are particularly enchanting in a dusty, matte finish, and evoke a sense of hope and fun,' she says. 'For a chic, modern look that is full of personality, consider using alternating-coloured tiles to create a striped or chequerboard effect – a decor style that is hugely on trend this year.'

11. Install pendant lighting

modern kitchen ideas
A general interior view of a large modern fitted kitchen diner, painted white with black cabinets, marble effect quartz worktop, island and wooden dining table ©Getty

Pendant lighting is one of the biggest interior trends at the moment, and it looks like it's set to stay for 2024. Jonathan Lee, owner of The Cushion Guys, explains that, in modern kitchens, lighting designs tend to be 'focused around functionality and aesthetics', making pendant lighting a great choice. 'They add a touch of elegance, enhancing the modern feel,' he says.

12. Get nostalgic

modern kitchen ideas
©Mowlem and co

Just because your kitchen has a modern style, that doesn't mean it has to lose its charm. Lois Riley, Designer at Mowlem & Co, explains there is a growing trend for 'nostalgia with style’ in kitchen design, creating 'something with charm and character but modern functionality. Features such as dresser-style pantries, cupboards painted in 'heritage' shades and pendant lighting can all contribute to this aesthetic,’ she adds.

13. Upgrade your storage

modern kitchen ideas

One of the best ways to keep clutter at bay is by getting savvy with storage. Lou Graham, owner of Graham and Green, explain that display cabinets are a great way to store useful items while still showcasing trinkets and ornaments.

'Use these cabinets to store dinnerware, and other frequently used items in the kitchen to promote a well-organised room. Create an inviting and functional space to host joyful dinner parties and quiet Sunday mornings,' says Graham. She adds that kitchen larders also make a 'thoughtful' addition to any modern kitchen. 'With generous storage and shelving, this kitchen furniture showpiece offers optimal organisation and allows for items to be stored out of sight, whilst still adding beauty and charm to the space,' she says.

14. Go bold with cabinets

modern kitchen ideas
Large modern open space loft kitchen interior with large kitchen island and bar chairs. Copy space render ©Getty

Houna Bech, interior designer and founder of With Houna, explains that 'bold, dark' cabinetry is going to be a big trend for 2024. 'Deep greens, blues, and even black can make the kitchen feel lush and cosy,' she says. 'Pair them with light walls and countertops, as dark cabinetry grounds the space. For hardware, try matte black pulls for a modern vibe.'

15. Let modern appliances bring the jazz hands

modern kitchen ideas
An interior view of a taupe, champagne coloured shaker style fitted kitchen diner with gold handles, quartz island, gas cooker hob, toaster ©Getty

From air fryers to blenders, appliances have become a mainstay of modern kitchens - and there's no reason they can't elevate a space too. Eric Bramlett, owner of []{href='https://eur01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fbramlettresidential.com%2F&data=05%7C02%7Calice.hall%40bauermedia.co.uk%7Cd317c13a14ef443e743708dc4da4d9a1%7C0e79f3f34eeb48ed815e2876c379e863%7C0%7C0%7C638470617643613381%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C0%7C%7C%7C&sdata=P93F5ERoQhd0FEubqbnxU6fJVxse2F%2BKXIZphYuV4rk%3D&reserved=0' }Bramlett Residential, explains that more brands are evolving to incorporate design elements into their appliances. 'Curving, minimalist panels that blend nearly invisibly into cabinetry are a sleek, futuristic touch. Touchscreens and app connectivity take functionality to the next level while preserving a clean aesthetic,' he says.

16. Incorporate natural elements

modern kitchen ideas
design, scandinavian, grey, kitchen, interior, modern, minimal, floor, pears, cosy, nordic, cabinets, home, wood, house, luxury, furniture, white, sink, architecture, cabinet, table, new, contemporary, light, indoors, window, indoor, nobody, decor, clean ©Industville

Mara Rypacek Miller, Managing Director and Founder at Industville, is seeing a growing trend towards materials such as rattan, raffia, or wood to inject warmth and texture into a space. 'For an on-trend look, consider incorporating rattan dyed in dark hues. This monochromatic black finish will pay homage to an edgy, slightly industrial aesthetic whilst retaining the essential softness and warmth of natural interior design styles,' she says. 'The use of such dyed natural materials in the kitchen, especially against the backdrop of sleek cabinetry, creates a feeling that is both contemporary and comforting.'

17. Try metallic finishes

modern kitchen ideas

Metallic finishes are one of the most popular elements of a modern kitchen, as they are an easy way to inject some unique detail into your space. 'From impactful metal-front cabinetry to create a truly eye-catching and streamlined space, to metal worktops and splash backs, luxurious details like these add both a tactile and visual appearance to kitchen spaces,' says Alex Main, director at The Main Company. 'Opt for aged brass for a warmer aesthetic which pairs beautifully with darker woods and paint colours, or choose to incorporate cooler stainless steel for a more industrial final look.'

18. Upgrade your cabinets

modern kitchen ideas
Modern bright shaker style kitchen with Belfast sink ©Getty

If you're looking for a quick modern upgrade for your kitchen, then cabinets are a great place to start. 'One of the easiest ways to do this is to swap out the hardware. The same way jewellery adds sparkle to an outfit, decorative accents can have a surprisingly big impact on a space without breaking the bank. From sleek drawer pulls to gemstone knobs, these finishing touches add a dose of glamour and can even be swapped out seasonally for maximum impact,' says Dayna Isom Johnson, trend expert at Etsy.

19. Take inspiration from nature

modern kitchen ideas
Modern open plan apartment interior. Kitchen countertop, dining room, chairs, pendant lamp, shelves, pillar, concrete floor, living room, sofa, TV screen and marble panel in the background. Copy space template. Render. ©Getty

One of the biggest interiors trends for 2024 is natural materials and tones, such as wood, marble and stone. Bodsworth explains that shades of blue and green are a client favourite, alongside new neutrals, raw timber finishes and metallic accents. 'Eye-catching mineral effects in graphite and stone will be a popular choice for contemporary schemes, able to bring a multi-layered effect with gravitas,' he says. 'The most on-trend kitchen spaces this year will be inspired by the pure qualities of nature with opulent marble, raw timber, tanned leather, high quality fibres and aged metals instantly adding an extra layer of authentic luxury in the kitchen.'

20. Contrast muted with bold

modern kitchen ideas
Close up of a modern kitchen with a black , white and grey colour scheme ©Getty

Versatile, stylish and equally at home in big and small spaces, grey is one of the most popular colours for modern kitchens. 'Shades like charcoal, slate, and dove grey can create a sleek and contemporary look. Pairing these with touches of bold colours, such as navy blue or emerald green, can add a striking contrast and a sense of depth to the space,' says Ben Thomson, manager at Promain. 'Neutral palettes with a pop of colour, such as muted blues or subtle greens, are currently trendy for modern kitchen designs. These colours create a calming and sophisticated atmosphere while allowing for more versatility in decor accents.'

21. Try a wood kitchen

modern kitchen ideas
kitchen in luxury home with two islands, stainless stell appliances, and gorgeous hardwood cabinetry ©Getty

Wood kitchens may seem outdated, but experts have seen them make a comeback in recent years. Al Bruce, founder of Olive & Barr, says he has noticed a demand from customers looking for an 'authentic look' which celebrates natural materials, 'moving away from the stark white design' in the past. 'While painted cabinets remain a popular staple in kitchen design, there is something about untouched materials which feels timeless,' he says. 'Wood kitchens create a warm, inviting atmosphere, the natural grain and textures add depth and character to the home and provide the perfect backdrop for an abundance of natural textures, from quartz worktops to sandstone floors and more.'

22. Keep furniture minimal

modern kitchen ideas
A luxurious white and blue kitchen with gold hardware, stainless steel appliances, and white marbled granite counter tops. ©Getty

Richard Cotgrove, Founder at Stucco Veneziano, explains that you should always prioritise clean lines and simplicity when it comes to furnishing a modern kitchen. 'Opt for sleek, handleless cabinets to maintain a seamless look and get the most out of storage efficiency. Also, by adding some minimalistic bar stools or dining chairs with geometric shapes, you can enhance the contemporary feel of the kitchen, while ensuring functionality and comfort for everyday use,' he says.

23. Try a marble splashback

modern kitchen ideas
A general interior view of a high quality grey kitchen with kitchen island ©Getty

If you don't fancy a bold and bright colour, then keep things minimal when it comes to your splashback. Bruce explains he has seen an increase in popularity of using a single slab of material, such as marble, granite and quartz, as the backsplash, extending from countertop to ceiling. 'The slab backsplash serves as a focal point, showcasing the beauty and natural patterns of the chosen material,' he says, continuing that this trend can complement many kitchen designs, from sleek to rustic. 'The choice of material and its veining or patterns can significantly influence the overall look of the kitchen, adding depth, texture, and character to the space,' he adds.

24. Go red

modern kitchen ideas

Bold and bright, this season's kitchens are getting injected with a dose of red. 'Whether cheerful and velvety in lovely pale pink or richly sophisticated in a deep burgundy or staying more neutral with a muddy maroon or blended burnt orange, these colours feel fantastic in on cabinetry,' says Melissa Klink, creative director at Harvey Jones. 'Shades of burgundy and blush are a great accent for burnished brass, the most on demand handle finish. The colours work exceptionally well as monochromatic scheme, pairing a lighter more neutralised blush with a darker more saturated burgundy.'

25. Clear that clutter

modern kitchen ideas
©Harvey Jones

Clutter is the modern home's worst enemy, so one of the easiest (and cheapest) ways you can upgrade your kitchen is by having a good old fashioned clear out. Laura Price, founder of The Home Organisation, says you should start by going through your kitchen cupboards and shelves to find things you no longer want. 'Creating that extra space in your cupboards can transform how you use your kitchen and make daily tasks so much easier. And if you’ve not got a lot of space, don’t waste it on appliances you only use once or twice a year. There’s no harm moving them elsewhere in the home to free up much needed cupboard space,' she says.

26. Decant ingredients

modern kitchen ideas
Uncooked groceries in glass jars arranged on wooden shelves of kitchen ©Getty

It may sound simple, but Price explains that having a few glass jars of pastas, pulses and rices on an one shelf 'adds a subtle pop of colour' to your modern kitchen, and helps to create visual interest. Plus, it saves on space and helps keep ingredients fresher for longer - a win win situation.

27. Embrace quiet luxury

modern kitchen ideas
Modern kitchen furniture in green ©Getty

Thanks to the popularity of Succession, quiet luxury has become a huge trend in fashion and interiors. Within the home, Klink explains this translates as a 'focus on the quality of materials' and 'allowing them to dominate the style' of a kitchen. 'The blend of unique finishes creates spaces that are immediately elegant and softer as a result of the layered combinations. Nothing garish - think thicker worktop slabs with specialised edge detailing instead of obvious bold and colourful veins of marble,' she says.

28. Fluted and reeded

modern kitchen ideas
©Chatsworth / Harvey Jones

Reeded and fluted detailing is a big interiors trend for 2024, and it's perfect for adding texture and visual interest to a space. 'The best part of this trend is that you can apply the texture in whatever scale you choose,' says Klink. 'You can have a small portion of the island in a fluted panel, or the entire run of cabinetry, an accent dresser or coffee station with reeded glass doors or a full wall with floor to ceiling reeded fronts. This influence of texture works so well and in any combination.'

29. Try a back kitchen

modern kitchen ideas
Empty kitchen island with marble surface in foreground, green vintage countertop with drawers and pendant lights hanging above, lots of flowers in jars, blurred background ©Getty

Of course, this one is space dependent and something most people won't have the privilege of being able to try, but experts have seen a rise in demand for second kitchens. Charlie Smallbone, founder of Ledbury Studio, explains that back kitchens can offer additional prep or cooking space, double as a laundry or utility room, or provide storage for various items. 'Its versatility depends on its size, but its primary function is to relieve pressure from the main kitchen and provide a place to hide everyday clutter. This is particularly beneficial in open-plan kitchens where the main kitchen is always more visible,' he says.

30. Have a metal moment

modern kitchen ideas
A kitchen sink with a beautiful pattern tiled backsplash with a chrome faucet, black granite countertops, and surrounded by blue and wood cabinets. ©Getty

Chromes are one of the coolest ways to add a modern aesthetic to your kitchen. Matt Siberry, Head of Home at Pinterest UK, says their annual Pinterest Predicts report shows people are are saving silver tones and bold chromes to their Pinterest boards this year, with 'hot metals' set to dominate 2024. 'We’ve seen an increase in cool silver tones and bold chrome interiors, and simple ways to incorporate this into your space are through aluminium kitchen appliances and accessories, such as chrome vases,' he says.

31. Explore Japandi interiors

modern kitchen ideas
Japandi wooden kitchen in white tones. Dining island with chairs. Herringbone parquet floor and potted plants. Contemporary interior design ©Getty

Just because the kitchen is the busiest room in the house, that doesn't mean it can't be a calming space, too. Siberry explains that he is seeing more people gravitate towards Japandi design, which 'incorporates nature, prioritises functionality, embraces minimalism and neutral colours palettes.' Think calming browns, naturals and greys, with black and green accents.

'In the past three months on Pinterest, we have seen searches for ‘japandi kitchen’ increase by 55% as people are looking to bring the pared-back trend into their kitchen. Consider adding organic textures and earthy tones into your kitchen to establish a  cosy and serene environment in the home,' he says.

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