A kitchen redesign can completely transform your home. With some thoughtful planning and smart design choices, you can create a modern, functional, and beautiful new kitchen. Here are some tips for successfully redesigning your kitchen for a contemporary look and feel.

Assess Your Needs

Before starting any redesign, take time to think about how you use your kitchen and what you would like to change. Consider the following:

  • How many people regularly cook in the kitchen? Do you need workspace for multiple cooks?
  • What are your storage needs? Do you need more or better cabinets and drawers?
  • What cooking appliances do you use regularly? Will the new design accommodate your favorites?
  • How does the kitchen connect to the rest of the home? Will you knock down walls or change entries?
  • What aesthetic changes do you hope to make? Paint color, countertops, flooring, etc.

Thoroughly assessing your needs will inform all design decisions moving forward. Pay close attention to how you use the kitchen now and how you’d like to use it in the future.

Choose the Right Layout

Modern kitchens emphasize streamlined workflows, ample prep space, and easy access to amenities. Here are some popular modern layouts:


This layout centers around a large freestanding island. The island provides a spacious work area and can house sinks, appliances, and seating. Places frequently used tools, ingredients, and appliances along the perimeter counters for an efficient workflow.


The galley layout features counters and cabinets along two parallel walls. It’s an efficient option for small spaces. Maximize storage with tall upper cabinets. Make sure the walkway is at least 42-48 inches wide.


An L-shaped kitchen has counters and cabinets along two adjoining walls. One wall typically features cooktop and oven, while the other houses the sink and additional appliances. The corner where the counters meet offers extra prep space.


A U-shaped kitchen has counters and cabinets on three walls, leaving one wall open for traffic flow. It’s ideal for multiple cooks. Position the sink in the center of the U shape for efficient access.

Consider existing architecture, windows, and doorways when selecting a layout. Also factor in desired traffic flow between the kitchen, dining, and living areas.

Select Modern Materials

Sleek, minimalist materials give contemporary kitchens their signature look. Stainless steel, quartz, glass tile, and wood are popular options:

  • Countertops: Quartz is the most common modern choice due to its durability, neutral colors, and pattern options. Reclaimed wood also brings warmth.
  • Cabinets: Frameless, full-overlay cabinets give a seamless, modern aesthetic. Opt for neutral stained wood or painted finishes.
  • Backsplash: Glass, metal, or stone tile lends texture. Extend tile to the ceiling for a dramatic accent wall.
  • Appliances: Stainless steel appliances fit modern design. Built-in refrigerators and ovens conserve space.
  • Sinks: Undermount sinks create a sleek silhouette. Stainless steel and composite granite sinks pair well with contemporary designs.
  • Fixtures: Matte black and oil-rubbed bronze finishes complement modern elements without appearing too industrial.

Experiment with mixing and matching materials to personalize your space. Just keep finishes cohesive.

Incorporate Modern Elements

Several key elements introduce modern flair to a kitchen redesign:

Open Shelving

Open shelves lined with colorful cookware and glassware replace traditional upper cabinets. They keep the space feeling light and airy.

Pendant Lighting

Pendant lights over islands and counters provide task lighting. Opt for minimalist, Edison bulb, or industrial-style pendants.

Unframed Cabinets

Frameless cabinets with hidden hinges provide a minimalist look. For extra contemporary appeal, choose cabinets with angled edges and an ultra-matte finish.

Waterfall Counters

Quartz waterfall countertops that extend from counters to floors make a dramatic contemporary statement. They eliminate seams for easy cleaning.

Smart Appliances

Incorporate smart home technology like WiFi-enabled fridges, touchscreen ovens, and voice-activated kitchen assistants.

Minimal Decoration

Declutter surfaces and keep accents modern. Stainless steel kitchen tools and sculptural vases work beautifully.

With the right combination of materials, layout, and stylish accents, your redesigned kitchen will feel fresh and contemporary. Use these modern elements to cultivate your desired aesthetic. Don’t be afraid to mix and match materials and add unique character through accent decor.

Plan for Sufficient Storage

Even the most minimalist, modern kitchen still requires well-planned storage. Make sure to include:

  • Drawers for cooking utensils close to the prep area
  • Cabinetry for food, dishes, pots, and small appliances
  • Pantry for dry goods and overflow
  • Recycling and trash center concealed neatly away
  • Upper cabinets, open shelves, or tall pantries for less-used items

Also consider adding pull-out shelves, rollout trays, and drawer organizers to maxmize every inch of storage space. Take inventory of what you need to store before finalizing your cabinetry plans. No one likes dealing with cluttered countertops or digging through packed drawers to find a spatula.

Modernize for Accessibility

A major advantage of a kitchen remodel is the ability to customize for accessibility. Even if you don’t need it now, consider making the space more accessible for future mobility needs:

  • Lower countertop heights to 36 inches
  • Include countertop space with no lower cabinets beneath
  • Opt for cabinets with pull-out shelves and lazy susans
  • Install an induction cooktop that’s easier to see and control
  • Choose a touch-activated faucet that’s simple to turn on and off
  • Ensure a clear path of travel with 42-48 inches between cabinets

Planning ahead allows you to modernize your kitchen in an inclusive, accessible manner.

Don’t Forget Functionality

Form should follow function in kitchen design. Be sure to keep usability at the forefront:

  • Ensure ample clearances for appliance operation (open dishwasher, oven doors, etc)
  • Include landing space of 12-15 inches on at least one side of the cooktop and refrigerators
  • Prevent awkward reaches by placing frequently used items in the work triangle between sink, stove, fridge
  • Opt for easy-close drawers and cabinets
  • Include a recycling center and garbage bin for efficient waste disposal
  • Install outlets every 4-6 feet around the perimeter to plug in appliances
  • Don’t forget lighting under cabinets!

With good lighting, ergonomics, and workflow in mind, your modernized kitchen will be highly functional for everyday use.

Questions and Answers About Modern Kitchen Redesigns

What is the most popular layout for a modern kitchen?

The island layout is a very popular choice for modern kitchens. Centering the design around a spacious, free-standing island provides room for cooking, entertaining, and casual dining. It also enables an open, streamlined workflow.

What type of flooring works best for a contemporary kitchen?

Porcelain or ceramic tile is an excellent flooring choice for modern kitchens. Sleek wood-look planks are also a trendy but practical option. Both are durable, easy to clean, and come in a wide variety of minimalist styles.

What colors and finishes are trending for modern kitchen cabinets?

Two-toned kitchens using white, gray, or beige cabinets against a dark island or accent wall are trending. Matte finishes and minimalist hardware in black, oil-rubbed bronze, or brushed nickel suit the modern aesthetic.

How much does a major kitchen remodel typically cost?

According to the NARI Home Improvement Industry Study, the average major kitchen remodel costs around $135,000. The exact cost depends on layout changes, materials, appliances, and more.

Should I remodel my kitchen before selling my house?

Minor updates like paint and new hardware can improve a kitchen pre-sale. But a full remodel is not usually the best return on investment before selling. Focus any major remodels on the new home you purchase.

What are some smart kitchen storage solutions for small spaces?

Optimize storage in a small kitchen with roll-out trays and shelves, drawer organizers, pull down shelves, under-cabinet racks, and open shelving to eliminate bulky upper cabinets. Multi-purpose carts also provide flexible space.


Redesigning your kitchen for a modern, contemporary look can be an exciting and rewarding project. Taking the time to thoroughly assess your needs, research smart layouts and material options, and focus on functionality will ensure a cohesive, user-friendly new kitchen. Balancing form and function allows you to achieve the minimalist modern aesthetic you desire while enjoying all the conveniences of a well-designed cooking space tailored specifically for you and your lifestyle. With proper planning and design, your updated kitchen will become a treasured part of your home for years to come.