Modernizing Your Kitchen

Going for that sleek, modern look for your new kitchen? Between the cabinets, countertops, backsplash, lighting, and other little details, there are so many ways to incorporate modern elements into your design. Let’s take a closer look at the different materials and styles out there that, when combined, make for a streamlined and stunning kitchen.


Modern design is marked by straight, clean lines and minimal details. If you’re going for a modern look, stay clear of cabinets that have any sort of curved lines or elaborate, raised panels and stick with flat-paneled, full overlay doors and straight edges.

One of the more popular trends in modern kitchen design is creating a unique island that features a different cabinet color than the rest of your cabinetry, paired with a countertop that’s either a different material, color, or pattern than the rest—while still coordinating with the colors and style of your kitchen. Not only does this create an extra element of interest, but it helps define the island area and gives the space a more open feel.


Choosing countertops for your modern kitchen will depend largely on your personal preference and the level of durability you want for your workspace. Because modern design is marked by a sleek, high-end look, you want to make sure you choose a high-end material. The good news is, with so many different materials to choose from, you don’t have to splurge on marble to achieve that high-end look. Granite has been a popular choice for years now, but quartz is becoming the new favorite for its high durability, low maintenance upkeep, and array of color and pattern choices.

In the kitchen pictured above, you can see that the same quartz material that was used for the countertops was extended to the backsplash as well. This creates a seamless look that adds to the simple yet elegant feel of the space.


When choosing a backsplash for your modern kitchen, it’s important to think about the following attributes:

Material – If your appliances are stainless steel, you might consider pulling that into the backsplash by choosing a stainless steel or metallic-flecked tile. To keep with the modern look, choose materials like stainless steel, glass, or marble.

Shape/Pattern – This is where you get to have some fun! Whether you’re using oversized subway tiles or small glass tiles, there’s always a chance to add interest in the way they’re laid out. Consider going with a geometric pattern like chevron or pinstripes to solidify the modern look of your space.

Size – To go modern, it often helps to choose between the two extremes. Small tiles arranged in a unique pattern give off an almost pixelated, computerized vibe that screams modern, while large, oversized tiles are great for making a bold statement.


In a room where you’re preparing food and where people are constantly gathering, lighting is everything! Not only do your lighting choices affect the functionality of your space, but they also play a key role in establishing style. While you might choose a scrolling, oil-rubbed bronze fixture for a more traditional look, stainless steel pendants with straight lines and simple details are more fitting for a modern kitchen.

Consider how lighting can enhance the features of your kitchen. For example, you might highlight your island or bar seating area with a series of hanging pendants above. You might accent your glass-panelled cabinets with track lighting. Take a look at this modern kitchen upgrade and see how the lighting plays an important role in the overall aesthetic of the space.


When choosing hardware for your cabinetry, consider whether your modern kitchen is leaning more toward organic and natural or industrial and polished. If your appliances are stainless steel, you might consider pulling that into the backsplash and topping off the look with brushed nickel hardware. If you’ve chosen sleek gold pendants to hang over your island, you can ensure the gold is balanced throughout the kitchen by adding streamlined and simple gold drawer pulls.

In the kitchen pictured above, the brushed nickel hardware has a long and lean profile that gives the whole space an extra touch of polish and bold style.

Ready to Modernize Your Space?

Hopefully you’re feeling inspired and ready to modernize your outdated kitchen. Not sure where to start? Contact American Wood Reface to schedule a free in-home consultation!

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