If you feel like you’ve traveled in time to the 1950s every time you enter your kitchen—or if you’re just ready for a change—you should consider giving this essential room an update for 2014.
Modernizing your kitchen doesn’t have to mean modeling it on the sterile metal domestic spaces you may have seen in some sci-fi movies. A good modern space is interesting to look at, but still offers a sense of comfort—and comfort is key in the kitchen. After all, this is a place where families and friends gather together to catch up over food, and you want to make sure that you and your guests feel at home whenever you’re there.
The possibilities are limitless when it comes to updating your kitchen. Here are just a few ideas to give this space a nice, modern touch.
Keep it black and white - If you want to go for a bold look in your kitchen, why not keep it strictly two-toned? You might try white walls with black accents around the room, such as black shelves or appliances. To break up a large white space, you can also add black patterns to the wall, such as diagonal or zigzag lines. Don’t overdo it on the patterns, though; minimalism is a major part of the modern look.
Add a splash of color - If the all black-and-white kitchen isn’t for you, consider adding just a splash of color as an accent. Maybe you can paint your cupboards a bold green or a more subtle plum shade, or you could paint the bare wall behind your stove a deep blue. You can also add a bold piece of pop art to the wall if you want to do something less permanent. This type of color accent works particularly well if the rest of your kitchen is a fairly neutral tone.
Go for the gloss - If you don’t want anything about your kitchen to say “neutral,” you can throw caution to the wind and choose a bold color, like red or aubergine, as the color scheme for the room. If you do this, you should make sure that all your appliances are the same color so that the kitchen doesn’t become too visually overwhelming.
Think straight lines. Modern design is known for emphasizing angles and crisp lines. Give your kitchen a touch of sophistication by choosing square-corner cabinets, angular appliances, and straight line accent pieces like bar stools and pendant lights.
Let there be light. Modern kitchens really benefit from natural light, so if it’s in your design budget, consider installing full-length glass windows or doors to let that light brighten your space.
Embrace open space - Having a kitchen that opens out to another space, like a living room, is a great way to make your space look more modern—and to make the kitchen an even more social place! A central counter between the kitchen and living room will create a clear division between the spaces while still allowing friends and family members to talk back and forth.
Make those shelves float. Open spaces are becoming increasingly popular in home decorating, and floating shelves can make a great addition to any modern kitchen (they also offer a great opportunity to add another color or black accent). Display formal dishware or other interesting kitchen items on these shelves to add personality to the room.
Make the island the place to be - If you have a fairly large kitchen space, a central island can provide a great surface and also give guests a place to gather. Consider installing an island with bar seating to encourage visitors to congregate. Islands can also be a clever place to install hidden cabinets, drawers, and pull-out cutting boards so that you truly make the most of the available space.
Bring on the Breuer chairs - Named after celebrated designer Marcel Breuer, this cantilevered chair typically has steel tubing that creates a free-swinging effect. These popular chairs, with their sleek and minimalist design, make an ideal addition to a kitchen breakfast nook. Another bonus: they’re lightweight, versatile, and flexible.
Warm up your stainless steel - Many modern kitchens prominently feature stainless steel appliances and surfaces, but too much steel can make you feel like you’re living inside a robot house. If you have a lot of stainless steel in your kitchen but want to make the room feel cozier, consider adding features like bar stools in a deep ombre color or other warm shade. You might also try mixing in wood details, like mahogany cabinets. When done right, the juxtaposition between metal and wood can look very sophisticated.