5 Design Tips for Creating a Modern Kitchen

5 Design Tips for Creating a Modern Kitchen

Whether you love a clean, minimalistic design or you’re the crossover type going for a transitional style, you need to know what makes a modern kitchen.  It’s not just cutting-edge technology, and it’s not even straight lines and minimalism.  Modern design is a philosophy centered on function.  This could never be truer than in a modern kitchen, which tends to be the center of the home, where function and flow lines are absolutely essential.

In addition to function, there are a few basic design elements that can make a kitchen feel more contemporary.  This can help you steer your design in the direction you want, so read on for our top 5 design tips for creating a modern kitchen.


Lay your backsplash tile in a straight stack pattern.


There are many different patterns you can follow when laying tile:


brick pattern:









horizontal straight stack:



vertical straight stack:



…and many others.  If you are trying to achieving a more contemporary look to your kitchen, we recommend using a straight stack as opposed to a more staggered pattern.  Not only is it sleeker, it is easier to install, usually has less lipping, and typically requires fewer cuts.  This is in keeping with the modern philosophy of form being based on function.


Upgrade your appliances.


There is a wide variety of appliances on the market today.  While Subzero and Wolf are America’s Sweethearts, many companies have top-of-the-line appliances that don’t have to break the bank.  GE, Samsung, Thermador and even Frigidaire make top of the line products with popular features like:

WiFi Connect options which enable you to receive alerts on your phone if the fridge door is left open, if a water filter needs to be replaced, or if the dishwasher is running low on pods or if a leak is detected.
Induction cooktop technology.
Convection oven capabilities, which helps to lock moisture in and create a more uniform and consistent temperature.
Microwave drawers.
Climate controlled and customizable drawers and compartments.
Countertop depth refrigerators that still have lots of interior space.
LED lighting.

We love all the bells and whistles out there, but the truth is, even a simple upgrade to matching stainless steel appliances will give your kitchen that modern “refresh” it needs.


The Wolf gas range helped to add a simple, beautiful touch to this custom home.


Keep your lines simple. 


The kitchen of this modern-style home we remodeled in Sand Key features flush panel cabinets and quartz countertops with an eased edge.


When it comes to a modern kitchen, less is more.  Cabinet profiles, hardware, fixtures and countertops should not be too ornate.  Opt for a straight or eased edge on your countertops, as opposed to an ogee or beveled edge.  Select straight bar cabinet pulls, or a simple knob.  Choose a flush panel or Shaker style cabinet, as opposed to a more traditional style door.  Use open shelving instead of upper cabinets.  Keep it simple, smooth and functional.


The kitchen of this home we remodeled in Treasure Island features concrete countertops, Smart appliances, contemporary light fixtures, and straight bar pulls on the cabinets.


Use geometric light fixtures. 


The front entry of this custom home we remodeled in Brandon, Florida, included a geometric light fixture to give it a modern touch.


Pendants, chandeliers and sconces can be the finishing touch on a modern kitchen, if done right.  Fixtures with geometric shapes are very popular, but you can also add some round elements if you wish to soften the straight lines and square edge of the room. 


This luxury condo that we remodeled on Sand Key Beach included many modern elements, like this dining room light fixture.


Either way, stay away from traditional light fixtures such as those with candelabras and cloth lampshades.


Let your décor tie it all together. Select bowls, vases and candle holders with minimalistic lines and modern materials.  Put up some abstract art in rectangular frames.  Choose some retro furniture if you’re going more Mid-Century Modern.  Your furniture and home décor should pull the look together with subtle sophistication.


While this St. Pete home had the bones of a traditional home, the client added a number of modern design features, making it a transitional style in the end. The decor brings elements of both modern and traditional styles into balance.


Retro-style furniture and modern looking light fixtures and decor create a transitional style in this St. Pete historic home which was a full gut and remodel.


Nelson Construction and Renovations, a family business founded in 2006, is a design-build company that specializes in high-end remodels, home additions, and custom homes. With our headquarters in Clearwater, Florida, we serve homeowners all over Pinellas and Hillsborough Counties. We are an award-winning member of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry and have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.  

Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to re-post this article in its entirety with credit to Nelson Construction and a clickable link back to this page.

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