Small Modern Kitchen Ideas

Updated April 17, 2017

A modern style works well in small kitchens because it focuses on clean lines and function. A modern kitchen will feel clean and contemporary. Modern kitchens cut down on clutter and create functional work areas. You can save money using modern materials for a small space that is big on style.

Modern Materials

Modern kitchens use manmade and natural materials. Look for cabinets with a frosted glass insert with a maple wood facing. Horizontal upper cabinets on which the door opens from the top are on the cutting edge of design. Large steel handles and drawer pulls will update your existing cabinets. A stainless steel island can act as a work surface and eating area in a small kitchen that doesn't have a breakfast nook.

Bring glass into your kitchen to give the illusion of more light in a small space. A Plexiglas or tile glass backsplash adds subtle colour without overwhelming a small kitchen. Look for countertops, cabinets and furniture with straight lines that are evocative of modern style. Curves are rarely found in a modern style and can make a small kitchen feel cluttered.


Keep accessories to a minimum in modern design. This is perfect for a small kitchen where space is at a premium. Keep your countertops free of clutter so you can use every square inch of countertop as a work surface. Store appliances in cupboards for a cleaner look. If you have a brightly coloured mixer display it on a sturdy floating shelf for added colour in the room. Use magnet strips on the wall to store knives and metal spice jars while giving your space modern style.

Modern Colors

Modern design plays on neutral and bold colours. Stick with a colour palette that consists of black, silver and white for a modern kitchen. Use this colour palette on more expensive items such as flooring, cabinets and appliances. You'll be able to transition your design style into another look inexpensively if you use neutrals. Bring in a pop of colour such as red, orange or turquoise through dinner plates, bar stools or a tile backsplash. Paint the walls a bright white for a modern look that won't overwhelm a small room.


Appliances may dwarf a small kitchen. Consider slightly smaller appliances to free up space. Space-saving appliances often appear in condos or rentals and are fully functional. Stainless steel is popular in modern kitchens but black or white appliances will also blend into a modern colour palette if you're working on a budget.

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About the Author

Sara Gilmore is a freelance writer who has been creating web content for the last four years. Her writing has appeared on eHow and her own blogs and websites. Gilmore has a degree in paralegal studies from Kaplan College.