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10 June 2021

Modern kitchen ideas

Our modern kitchen ideas will help you refresh your tired old kitchen or create a bright, contemporary new space.
Liz Ransome-Croker

Whether you want to create an entirely new modern kitchen from scratch, or just want to update your current design, our gallery bellow is packed full of ideas. 

The kitchens shown are from B&Q, Ikea, Betta Living, John Lewis, Magnet, Wren Kitchens, Benchmarx, Homebase, Next and Howdens Joinery

Our guide to the best kitchen brands can help you narrow down your choice – the top-scoring brand earned a customer score of 90%, while the bottom one scored only 61%. Three kitchen brands achieved Best Buy status.

10 modern kitchen designs

Modern kitchens gallery

A large collection of images displayed on this page are available at

Modern kitchen ideas

White kitchen

White is synonymous with modern kitchens, giving them a fresh, uncluttered feel, particularly if in gloss or fronted with handleless doors. 

But they can become clinical. Add a mix of textures, such as with a naturally speckled granite or metro-style tiles, and tones - there are a surprisingly wide range of whites available.

Black and white kitchen

Creating a monochrome scheme is a simple way to bring a modern feel to your kitchen, and it can be done easily using paint and accessories, or by buying a new kitchen.

Think about where you will use the two different colours to create maximum impact and ensure the look is balances. Also consider using some tones of grey of off white for even more interest.

Black and white kitchen with modern handleless units

Grey kitchen

If an all white or totally black scheme is a step too far, grey is the perfect middle ground. You can use it sparingly, with just a few grey units or fittings in the shade, or take the plunge and have an all-grey kitchen.

Whatever you choose to do, remember that, like with whites, there are a huge ranges of greys available and will work on a gloss or matt finish.

Visit our page on kitchen ideas for more on kitchen design ideas, including information on painting your kitchen.

Scandinavian kitchen

Scandi-style is huge, and replicated time and time again. The basics translate to whites, clean lines, minimalism, wood and monochrome - taking elements from other kitchen styles but giving them a more natural, warm feel.

To create a next-level look that doesn't simply follow what everyone else has done, think about adding in monochrome fabrics, subtle and soft patterns, clever lighting, different types of wood and delicate touches of rose gold and brass.

Scandinavian kitchen with white units, wooden worktops and a wooden table

Colourful kitchens

A bold, colourful design instantly says modern. Many kitchen companies supply colourful units or new doors in a range of shades and finishes - from bright red to sunshine yellow - but you could also paint your current doors or create a feature wall for a cheaper update. 

See our guide to kitchen costs to work out how much you should expect to spend on a new kitchen, or to spruce up your current one. You can also find out the typical prices for the big-name kitchen brands, including B&Q, Ikea, John Lewis and Wickes.

8 ways to create a modern kitchen

Choose an open-plan design

If your space allows it, an open-plan layout will give an instant modern feel. A kitchen diner, in particular, is not only practical for modern family life, but can make your kitchen feel open and light - ideal for a contemporary design. See our guide to kitchen layouts for more ideas.

1Go bold with your splashback or tiles

Grey kitchen with a marble effect splashback, black and wood kitchen island and three grey pendant lights

Your splashback and tiles are a place where you can go bold and really make a modern statement. Think about striking materials (marble and granite are particularly good for this), strong colours or unique patterns. 

Starting at around £50 for a splashback and as little as 50p each for tiles (you would need around 100 to cover a one metre square area if the tiles are 10cm squared), both are a great way to modernise a new kitchen or spruce up an old design.

2Consider wood and glass

Two materials that might be easily forgotten, but that can both take a kitchen from drab to daring. Wood is no longer just for country kitchens - there are many other tones and finishes that can bring your kitchen up to date.

Dark wood kitchens (usually walnut) show the grain, and light wood can add a fresh, Scandinavian feel. Wood veneer kitchens are a popular choice for either and cost less than solid wood. 

Our page on kitchen units, doors and worktops has more advice on the different materials available, and reveals which surface kitchen owners have rated better for standing the test of time.

Glass is also ideal for the modern look - it allows light to pass through and bounce around your kitchen and can be used in a range of ways, from glass doors on cabinets to glass splashbacks, which come in a range of colours.

3Buy new built-in appliances

From ovens to dishwashers and washing machines to fridge freezers, a lot of appliances now come as built-in, which can create a more streamlined, sleek look.

If your budget allows, going high-end and getting a range of gadgets will not only make any chef jealous, but also give your kitchen a futuristic feel.

Visit our kitchen appliances page to find the best for your kitchen, whether it's compact or open plan, as well as the size and price options. Wooden kitchens

4Opt for gloss units and sleek lines

White kitchen with kitchen island and handleless doors

Handleless doors and curved kitchen units create a sleek modern look, but these design details will cost a little more – handleless doors to replace your current ones start at around £10. 

Many kitchens also come in a high gloss finish. But, if you don't want to buy a whole new kitchen, you can spruce up your current units with gloss paint, although this won't give quite the same sheen.

Visit out page on kitchen cabinets and doors to find out more about buying the best new and refreshing old designs.

5Make a statement with lighting

Lighting can make all the difference to a kitchen, whatever the style. A contemporary kitchen is the perfect place to let statement lighting shine. 

Consider LED lighting running underneath and on top of cabinets, bold pendant lights (particularly over an island or table) and unfussy spotlights.

Our page on kitchen ideas for kitchen lighting inspiration.

6Choose the right flooring

The floor in your kitchen will be one of the biggest elements, so it will have a big impact in your design.

Concrete is an obvious choice for a contemporary space, but it can be expensive, cold and not easy to fit if you're updating a kitchen. Vinyl offers a solution to having the look of concrete, but not the price tag or upheaval.  

There are a number of other flooring looks available, from real wood - soft wood tones work best in a modern space - to stone tiles, both of which can be created in vinyl too.

If you're interested in a wooden floor, take a look at our guide to buying wood flooring.

7Choose the right worktops

A new worktop can be an inexpensive way to modernise your kitchen, depending on what type you want – granite and solid worktops can be the most expensive, from around £150 per square, and laminate worktops, which replicate a number of materials, from around £30 per square metre.

Our page on kitchen costs has more information on how much it might cost, including labour, to replace and repair tired old worktops.

Want to see the best and worst kitchen brands? Find out which brand was rated highest by its customers in our fitted kitchens review.