Modern Kitchen Ideas

Sally Painter
A modern kitchen increases the value of your home.

Modern kitchen design is more than style and using the latest appliances. The first thing you need to consider are the ergonomics of daily tasks that impact the function of your kitchen.

Don't Confuse Modern With Contemporary

Modern doesn't mean contemporary. Victorian, Italian Renaissance, or Traditional styles were contemporary to their time periods. Contemporary styles can be designed as modern kitchens. A modern kitchen utilizes the most up-to-date appliances, cabinetry designs and conveniences. The design doesn't compromise the style, but marries the two so there is complete harmony.

Work Station and Kitchen Layout

The standard triangle layout is created by drawing lines between the sink, refrigerator and cooktop. This layout may not be the best approach since more families are preparing meals together and this layout caters to a traditional, one-cook kitchen.

Workflow Analysis

Before building or renovating your kitchen, you should conduct a workflow analysis. This analysis will help you understand all of the functions performed in your kitchen. You'll then use these results to layout the space to accommodate those tasks with ease and convenience. This design approach will give you a customized workflow that fits your families' needs.

Questions to ask:

  • What activities will be taking place in your kitchen and who will be performing them?
  • Do you need different areas for various tasks?
  • What tasks are repetitive and which ones are performed occasionally?
  • Do any areas require a different counter height to comfortably perform the tasks? Some food preparations are repetitive and are better served with higher counters while others need regular height.
  • Do you need seating for small children at the kitchen counter or will adult height be sufficient?
  • Do you grow your own vegetables and need a farm sink for washing fresh produce from the garden?
  • Do you entertain and need a second sink for faster clean up?
  • Do you need an entertaining sink for ice and bottles?

Once you answer these and any other questions you have, you'll have a better idea where to locate the appliances and workstations.

Other Modern Kitchen Ideas

Modern kitchens are becoming larger since more family activities center around this room. When considering your kitchen workstation layout you may wish to choose from one of the most popular ones:

  • L-shaped - Two walls
  • Galley shaped - Two walls
  • U-shaped - Three walls
  • G-shaped - Four walls (Good design for double island kitchen.)

Don't Forget Resale Value

Another consideration when coming up with modern kitchen ideas is the resale value of your home. The kitchen design is one of your largest investments. Since few people live their entire lives in the same home, don't make your customized kitchen too personalized. Most modern kitchens opt for a gourmet design which appeals to most people, even non-gourmet cooks. You can obtain a universal appeal to your kitchen by learning:

  • Which colors are best for resale value?
  • Which appliances are the most desired by home buyers?
  • What type of countertop material is the most popular?
  • Are wood floors preferred over tile floors?

Keep your selections within a moderate range of the average choices and you'll have a kitchen that future home buyers will want.

Eco-Friendly Designs

Eco-friendly is an important element to home owners. Sustainable and reusable should be design considerations for increasing market values.

Floor choices:

  • Cork - Same trees still producing after 100 years.
  • Bamboo - Sustainable plantwood
  • Linoleum - Made from linseed and other composites such as burlap, wood flour, or cork dust
  • Rubber - Recycled
  • Ceramic Tile
  • Recycled Wood

Other Eco-friendly materials and design elements:

  • Halogen
  • LED bulbs add ambiance
  • Compact fluorescent light bulbs contain mercury and should be recycled
  • Built-in recycling bins
  • Recycled glass, concrete, stone-chipped composites, or low-VOC countertops
  • Skylights or light tube
  • Hands-free faucets
  • Tankless or demand hot water heaters
  • Water filtering system
  • Gray water system for watering plants

Modern Kitchen Design Elements

While there are certain industry standards for a modern kitchen that include shelving heights, countertop heights, layout, and appliances don't be afraid to change things to suit your family.

Basic Appliances

  • Refrigerator - Paneled refrigerator doors to match your cabinets is a personal choice.
  • Dishwasher - Dishwasher drawers are very popular
  • Venting hood or range venting system - The most popular ventilation system is the range hood.
  • Microwave - Opt for a microwave and convection combination oven
  • Oven - Convection and traditional oven combination. Two ovens are often seen in a modern kitchen, especially if you have a large family or do a lot of entertaining in your home.
  • Gas Range - Easier to cook on since temperature is better controlled than electric ranges.
  • Mixer and Blender - Opt to spend a little more for a stowaway cabinet where the blender and mixer can be lifted to countertop height while never leaving the shelf.
  • Toaster - Opt for digital

Appliances For The Ideal Kitchen

  • Warming drawers
  • Dishwasher drawers
  • Gas range
  • Trash compactor
  • Hot water dispenser
  • Trash Compactor
  • Garbage Disposal
  • Pot Filler Faucet Over Range
  • Induction Cooktop
  • Wine Cooler Storage
  • Food Processor
  • Juicer

Storage

There are several areas of storage you need to accommodate:

  • Vertical drawer storage for pots and pans is a great design element and gives easy access.

(Lazy Susan, swing corner cabinets, roll out shelves, and storage bins help organize and minimize body strain while making for a pleasant daily cooking experience.

  • Spice drawers should be located near the cooking station.
  • Walk-in pantry
Double islands are a popular modern kitchen design.

Modern Kitchen Ideas: Newest Trends

One of the newest and most exciting kitchen design trends is the double island. This is a functional and attractive addition to the modern kitchen. One island serves prep, storage and cleanup tasks while the second one is the main workstation where the dishwasher, sink and cooktop are located. Having a second island frees up wallspace for additional appliances and features.

Stay Focused

Whatever you decide to add to your modern kitchen design, remain focused on the goal to create a warm and inviting place for you and your family to enjoy.

Modern Kitchen Ideas