Your Modern Kitchen Starts Here

While clean lines, minimal embellishment and uniform color schemes could be said to be hallmarks of a modern kitchen design, that doesn't mean that modern designs are devoid of interest. A particular lighting fixture can add visual impact, an unusual use of geometry can add drama, or sometimes the streamlined structure itself sets the scene. When designing your kitchen, look for ways to both maximize the usefulness of your existing space and give your kitchen personality.

Go Big at Home

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Reinforce your modern kitchen's grand, dramatic statement by sparsely furnishing a great, big space. Keeping and accessories low and light, while punctuating the space with a few dazzling pendants, lets the wide-open area and soaring ceilings take center stage.

Keep it Simple

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Carry the theme of minimalism right through to your lighting choices to keep your ultramodern aesthetic on point. LED pendants have the slimmest profiles in the biz and are a no-brainer for energy efficiency with a modern look.

Give a Hint

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Add a touch of modern farmhouse style to an otherwise generally traditional kitchen, Adding in a nautical-meets-industrial style gives a nod to a rustic aesthetic while maintaining a contemporary country-classic overall look and feel.

Open the Box

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If you like the look of open shelving but a wall of open shelves doesn't fit with your vision of an ultramodern kitchen, consider interspersing square open shelves with a vertical cabinet design. It allows you to fit the shelves into the design in a jigsaw-like pattern, showcasing some items and hiding the unsightly ones.

String it Along

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Cable lighting offers a versatile solution for long rooms without the trouble of installing a bunch of lights directly into the ceiling. The cables themselves are powered, so the pendant lights along the length can be installed at any point between the two ends. The overhead impact is suprisingly minimal for so many hanging pendants.

Get Washed Up

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The right sink is surprising important in achieving your overall kitchen design. A ceramic farmhouse or Belfast sink with its exposed apron front immediately suggests a country farmhouse style. That same farmhouse-style sink, but made of concrete or metal, lends a urban-loft feel to a modern-style kitchen.

Texture Time

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In an all-white kitchen, textures can set the design elements apart and create interest beyond the color scheme. Here, the basketweave on the backs of the stools complements the patchwork pendants, giving a tactile sensation that constrats beautifully with the glossy white surfaces.

Use Color To Classify

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In an open-plan space where you're incorporating both kitchen and dining areas, you can delineate zones using contrasting colors to define each section. Segmenting the colors gives the illusion of a separate area without blocking out space.

Let the Light In

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If you're lucky enough to have a significant amount of natural light in your kitchen space, consider eliminating most upper cabinets in order to take advantage of the windows. Find other places to add storage, like a tucked away wall shelf, a stand-alone pantry or storage over a fridge, as well as maximizing storage in an island or lower cabinetry.

Separate the Pairs

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Counter space is in high demand in a small kitchen, so consider having a separate cooktop and oven. The detached stovetop allows you to take maximum advantage of all the cabinet space under the burners. Then, as wall ovens come in a wide variety of sizes, you can get the smallest size possible to take maximum advantage of limited cabinet space.

What's Your Angle?

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Add visual texture to a room by playing with contrasting geometric shapes. Whether in a pendant light or the back of a chair, look for lines that have a similar spacing and similar shapes, but different patterns. For an extra bonus, consider laying the backsplash in an angled linear design as well.

Designing in the Details

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Add a touch of mid-century modern style to your traditional kitchen with accents like period-appropriate or modern bar stools. To make the room feel cohesive, keep any metal touches in the lamps consistent with the finishes in any hardware in the kitchen, like faucets and pull handles.

What Goes Where

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In two-color kitchen design, consider designating one primary color and the other as an accent. Have large items like cabinets, walls, and the island in one, then use the other for feature items like pendants, countertops and window framing, etc. The designations help clarify what should be what color, and lets the primary color be the background and the secondary color provide emphasis and visual drama.

Design Across Rooms

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If you have an open plan kitchen-dining room, a great way to make the rooms feel cohesive is to coordinate materials and use fixtures of a similar design style to create a harmonious space. While everything doesn't have to match exactly, using similar style items, like in the kitchen and in the dining room, gives a uniform feeling to the space.

Minimize the Mess

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Space is at a premium in an industrial loft, and since everything is usually out in the open, having a kitchen where you can hide everything behind cupboard doors is a great asset. Find spaces like open shelving or feature bookcase areas to showcase personal decorations, then tuck everything else away where it keeps the clutter to a minimum.

Design to Dine

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The perfect outdoor kitchen design should contain everything you want in an indoor kitchen, and then some. Along with the obligatory grill, think about a prep sink, beverage fridge(s), countertop bar, fireplace, lounge area, lighting and fans.

Pull Out Design Features

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For a subtle-yet-striking emphasis, consider laying a backsplash that plays against other special features in the room. For example, if you have horizontally laid cabinets, consider a similar horizontal mosaic tile. Duplicating those patterns deftly reinforces the architectural structure of the design. And a curvy, swervy ceiling fan breaks up all the angular lines.

Guide the Eye

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Internally lit glass-door cabinets and hidden cabinet lights are great ways to add a lot of visual interest to a kitchen design. Especially when set against a dark canvas of uniform cabinetry, the dramatic lighting draws the eye to feature areas. Whether for practical illumination or to highlight featured accessories, the lighting creates a sense of unity amongst disparate parts of the room.

Match the Unmatched

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If your design vision incorporates a little bit of many styles, build unity within the various elements in the room. Look to coordinate elements like metal tones in fixtures and hardware, wood tones and or the colors of flooring and backsplash tile to keep the design style feeling intentional.

Don't Forget Fido

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We love our pets, but stepping over water bowls in a kitchen can be a hassle... and an accident waiting to happen. Keep your animals in mind when designing your kitchen space. Whether it's a tucked in alcove for feeding or a pet "bedroom" carved out from under the stairs, any space to accommodate your pet's needs while keeping everything streamlined makes your modern kitchen that much more functional for the whole family.

You can create the perfect kitchen for your lifestyle—for cooking, dining, lounging, snacking or anything else you want to use it for. Kitchen lighting plays a role, as do kitchen furniture, furnishings and accessories. With your plan in hand, you can pick the designs that support and emphasize the aesthetic you have in mind, giving you the ability to be creative and add that little bit of spark to your modern kitchen.