Are you getting ready to remodel your kitchen and love the idea of something simple and clean? If so, Modern design just might be the right choice for you. Crisp lines and simple colors, mixed with metal and glass, Modern design is based on the idea of simplicity in every element of the room. It’s saying no to any ornate pieces and heavy wood tones, and yes to minimalism. Basically, less is more when it comes to modern interior design. Keep in mind, modern design and contemporary design are not the same thing…in fact they are often confused with one another. True modern interior design features clean, sharp lines with no additional detail, which differs from the curves and sweeping lines of contemporary design.
Before we talk about how to bring Modern design to life in your kitchen, let’s take a look at the history of this style of decor. Modern design refers to a specific design style from the early to mid 20th century that broke with the traditional styles of the days before the Industrial Revolution. With roots in German and Scandinavian styles of design, Modern design styles are heavily influenced by modernism and Post WWII ideas that cutting excess, moving towards simpler lines, and focusing on the concept that form follows function. Basically if it didn’t have a practical purpose, you don’t need it. The shift from decorative to minimalist design and furniture styles was reflective of the changing philosophies brought on by the introduction of new technologies.
Three Principles of Modern Design
When approaching the design of your kitchen remodel, consider these three basic principles of Modern design: clean, straight lines, use of metal and industrial elements, and minimalism.
Principle 1: Clean, Straight Lines
Modern design’s lines are crisper, sharper, and very sparse, so you won’t see heavy wood in cabinet mouldings, trim on windows, or on doors and walls. Typically you’ll find frameless cabinet designs that either don’t include hardware, or the hardware is sleek and simple. Besides the modern look they create offering seamless lines, frameless cabinets are also known as “full access” cabinets that provide more room for storage due to the frameless box construction. The goal with cabinets in a modern style kitchen is to let the natural beauty of the materials shine through. Another signature feature of Modern design, is lack of ornamentation. From flat-panel door styles, to simple glass backsplashes and natural material countertops such as marble or quartz. Horizontal, straight lines can be found in true modern kitchens as well. Often the attention to detail on this is so important, designers will accentuate the horizontal lines of the cabinets by having the hardware run the full length of the drawers and doors. Other subtle signs of horizontal lines include grooves in the cabinets, wood grain, stacks of drawers lined up in a row, and with kitchen islands.
Principle 2: Use of Metal and Industrial Elements
Use of metal or industrial elements is also a signature feature of Modern design. Look to include this in stainless steel appliances, kitchen islands, and simple bar stools. And don’t be afraid to bring in industrial elements to the room. Concrete is a great way to do this and create a look that instantly says modern. Forget the traditional accent wall highlighted with paint, and add an untreated concrete wall or consider concrete flooring. Remember, the goal is to focus on the use of natural materials in a modern kitchen from metal, concrete, glass and wood, these are where modern kitchen designs get their personality.
Principle 3: Minimalism
Minimalist design doesn’t have to be boring. While simple, sleek elements and furniture are the signature of minimalist kitchen design, you can still look for ways to mix things up with memorable light fixtures, a dramatic kitchen island or strategic pops of color. To go really minimalist in your kitchen design, consider white high gloss acrylic cabinets to create a true minimal, modern aesthetic. Bring metal in with stainless steel appliances and a few pops of color. A simple marble slab backsplash rounds out this very clean look.
Finally, sleek, pared-back kitchens offer an ideal canvas for adding accessories. Remember when adding accent pieces to the room, finish with a modern flair by making sure there is consistency in lighting, chairs, tables and bar stools, and continue with the theme of simple, clean lines. Sleek and simple bar stools and pendant lights, or a beautiful piece of art that add a pop of color and some character will round out your design. A good rule of thumb is to remember to leave kitchen countertops and open shelves clutter-free.