Kitchen remodeling projects allow homeowners to update the look and functionality of one of the most-used rooms in a house. The kitchen is the heart of a home, where families cook, eat, entertain, and gather together. As styles and needs change over the years, renovating a kitchen keeps it current and tailored to how a family lives today.

This week we look at three stunning modern kitchen designs that have something unique to showcase. From an expansive island to a textured tile backsplash, these kitchens use special details to elevate the space and give it character. Read on for an inside look at what makes these renovated kitchens stand out.

Modern Farmhouse Kitchen with Wraparound Island

The wraparound island is the focal point of this fresh, modern farmhouse kitchen. The large island provides ample counter space and comfortable seating for multiple guests. White shaker cabinets and antique brass hardware give it a timeless look, while the marble waterfall island counter and glass pendant lights add striking contemporary details.

Design Details That Make It Special

Oversized Island – The expansive island is truly the heart of this kitchen. The wraparound design provides seating on two sides and maximizes work surface area. The white cabinets match the perimeter ones but use glass doors to break up the solid white and showcase glassware.

Waterfall Island Countertop – A marble countertop cascades over the edges of the island in a waterfall design. This stylish detail adds intrigue and makes the island feel more like furniture. The grey and white veining in the natural stone surface contrasts beautifully with the crisp white cabinets.

** Statement Lighting** – Five brass pendant lights hang in a row over the island, suspended from a metal beam stretching across the ceiling. The glass pendant lights have an antique brass finish that pairs with the other metallic accents. They make a striking visual statement and highlight the island space.

Mix of Materials – The kitchen mixes metal, marble, wood, and painted finishes for depth and contrast. The island combines the marble top and brass lights with white painted cabinets and a wooden cutting board shelf. The room comes together cohesively thanks to consistent colors and complementary pairings.

Open Shelving – Floating open shelves flank the range hood over the stove, providing easy access for spices, oils, and other frequently used cooking items. The shelves continue the mix of materials, with a rich wood tone that pairs attractively with the adjacent white marble backsplash.

Vaulted Beadboard Ceiling – The vaulted ceiling reaches up to the top of the second floor and culminates in a dramatic exposed beam. White beadboard planks with thin gaps cover the pitched ceiling. The beadboard’s linear design draws the eye upward and makes the kitchen feel bright and airy.

This kitchen comes together beautifully thanks to a balanced combination of classic and contemporary elements. The island steals the focus with its oversized scale, luxe waterfall countertop, and eye-catching pendant lights. Yet the traditional white cabinets, subway tile backsplash, and beadboard ceiling keep the look grounded in the modern farmhouse style. Special details like the open shelves and mixed materials elevate the straightforward concept into an interior design stunner.

Contemporary Kitchen with Textured Geometric Tile Backsplash

This sleek contemporary kitchen gets its wow factor from the statement-making backsplash. The elongated geometric tile features raised diagonal ribs that add eye-catching texture. Glossy white cabinets keep the look light and bright, while the backsplash makes a bold style statement.

Design Details That Make It Special

Geometric Tiled Backsplash – The showstopping backsplash tile steals the focus in this contemporary kitchen. The elongated shape and raised ribbing create intriguing angles. The sheer scale of the repeating geometric pattern makes a dramatic impact. The glossy white finish reflects light and prevents the backsplash from feeling too heavy.

Extra Tall Upper Cabinets – The upper cabinets extend all the way to the 9 foot ceiling for a clean, uninterrupted look. This custom choice maximizes storage space. The cabinet faces are sleek with no visible hardware. Push-to-open mechanisms keep the modern, streamlined style.

Waterfall Island – One side of the large kitchen island features a countertop with a waterfall edge. This detail mimics the look of the geometric tile pattern. The overhang makes the island appear like a standalone furniture piece.

Stainless Steel Hood and Range – The professional-grade stainless steel range hood and gas stove make a striking focal point. They pop against the crisp white cabinetry. The hood’s modern stacked box design complements the linear look of the backsplash tile.

LED Under Cabinet Lighting – LED lighting strips run below the upper cabinets and provide task lighting over the counters and backsplash. The cool white light accentuates the gleaming surfaces. The understated lighting allows the backsplash design to take center stage.

Mirrored Glass Pendant Lights – Five narrow pendant lights hang over the waterfall portion of the island. The lights feature rectangular mirrored glass enclosures that bounce light around the room. The pendants complement the backsplash with more reflective surfaces and clean lines.

The combination of the bold geometric backsplash, streamlined white cabinetry, and stainless steel pro-grade appliances give this kitchen a sleek, contemporary personality. The textured tiled backsplash makes a stunning focal point. It packs visual drama into the space without feeling overwhelming thanks to the minimalist white palette. The scale and texture of the tile pattern become an integral part of the kitchen’s contemporary design concept.

Modern Black and White Kitchen with Unexpected Green Accent Wall

This striking black and white kitchen embraces bold contrast balanced out by clean, minimalist lines. The matte black lower cabinets ground the space, while glossy white uppers keep it feeling fresh instead of dark and moody. Pops of vibrant green liven up the palette in an unexpected way.

Design Details That Make It Special

Green Accent Wall – One wall of floor-to-ceiling glossy green-flecked tile provides a punchy style accent. The bold shade of green enlivens the otherwise neutral black and white palette. The accent wall tile features organic texture from its emerald-colored flecks. The sleek tile surface radiates depth without feeling busy.

Black Lower Cabinets – Matte black bottom cabinets anchor the kitchen’s design. Their minimalist shaker style features straight lines instead of fussy details. The lower cabinets disappear visually to showcase the green tile wall. Black base cabinets simplify the overall look.

White Upper Cabinets – To keep the space feeling light and modern, the upper cabinets use a gleaming white high-gloss finish. Their streamlined style matches the lower cabinets, while the white up top balances the moody black below.

Brass Hardware and Fixtures – Warmed brass finishes provide an attractive contrast to the black and white cabinets. The cabinet hardware, kitchen faucet, and pendant lights feature an unlacquered brass with a subtle matte texture. Brass offers a traditional material in a contemporary application.

Open Shelving – Floating shelves that match the black lower cabinets display pretty white ceramic pieces. The open shelving breaks up the wall of glossy green tile and provides an easy-access place for key kitchen items near the stove.

Marble and Brass Island – A large black-stained wood island acts as a bold anchor. It features a sleek marble countertop and conical brass pendant light. The mix of marble, black wood, and brass complements the color scheme and materials used throughout the kitchen.

The clever use of a vibrant green accent wall enlivens this minimalist black and white kitchen. Matte black cabinets keep the look modern yet grounded, while glossy uppers add lightness. Splashes of warm brass tie the whole room together. This kitchen may use a subdued color palette, but the unexpected punch of green gives it an undeniably captivating look. The special details merge to create a space brimming with style and personality.

Design Elements That Make Modern Kitchens Stand Out

Many factors go into highly functional, beautiful kitchen designs. Special details and finishes can elevate a basic kitchen layout into a stylish showpiece. Some elements commonly used to give modern kitchens unique character include:

  • Statement backsplashes – From bold patterns to eye-catching textures, the backsplash offers the perfect place to showcase a special material. Tile, metal, glass, and stone backsplash materials make a strong style statement.
  • Waterfall edges – Islands and peninsulas with countertops that extend over the edges with a cascading waterfall design instantly grab attention while looking sleek and contemporary.
  • Contrasting cabinet finishes – Mixing glossy and matte cabinet finishes adds appealing visual contrast. Pairing stained lower cabinets with painted uppers grounds the kitchen while keeping it light.
  • Exposed beams – Vaulted ceilings with rustic exposed beams inject visual drama and add volume to a kitchen space. Exposed wood rafters bring warmth to a sleek, modern space.
  • Specialty lighting – Statement lights like bold geometric pendants, edgy brass fixtures, or even color-changing LED strips enhance a kitchen’s ambiance. Mixing glossy, matte, and transparent glass pendant shades adds interest.
  • Mixed metals – Blending metals, like unlacquered brass, blackened steel, and satin nickel, creates an intriguing style combination. Metals provide a contemporary accent that plays off different finishes.
  • Unexpected color accents – Vibrant accent colors enliven neutral cabinetry. Vivid green, blue, or yellow on an accent wall or the back of an island pack visual punch. Even small colorful details make a big impact.
  • High-end appliances – Professional-grade ranges and built-in refrigeration lend high style while offering gourmet function. Stainless steel and matte black finishes let appliances disappear into a minimalist aesthetic or stand out as focal points.
  • Multi-functional islands – Islands that incorporate seating, storage, lighting, and even sinks or cooking equipment become statement showstoppers. Wraparound islands and extra large scaled islands maximize functionality.

Thoughtful selections of special finishes, lighting, cabinetry details, appliances, and accents allow designers to make even the most basic kitchen layout feel unique and memorable. These bespoke elements let homeowners add personal flair to a highly used living space.

FAQs About Modern Kitchen Design Trends

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about creating a modern, stylish kitchen design:

What are some key design elements of a contemporary kitchen?

  • Clean lines, minimal ornate detailing
  • Mix of glossy and matte cabinet finishes
  • Neutral color palette accented with bold hues
  • Sleek metal, stone, glass, or wood finishes
  • Eye-catching backsplashes and accent walls
  • Streamlined, discreet appliances
  • Statement lighting fixtures

What makes an island or peninsula stand out as a focal point?

  • Wraparound and extra-large scaled islands
  • waterfall countertops
  • Contrasting cabinet finish from main kitchen
  • Incorporation of seating, storage, lighting, or sinks
  • Use of special finish like marble or quartzite stone

Should I mix and match cabinet hardware finishes?

It’s generally best to stick to one metal finish for cohesion, but mixing something like matte black hardware with unlacquered brass accents can add appealing contrast. Limit mixes to two complementary metals.

How do I make a small kitchen look more spacious?

  • Use mirrored or reflective surfaces like glass backsplashes
  • Opt for wall-mounted cabinets instead of bulky base cabinets
  • Paint the walls and ceilings white to reflect light
  • Incorporate open shelving for a lightweight look
  • Use glass cabinet door fronts
  • Include one extra-large element like a statement hood

What backsplash designs work well in modern kitchens?

  • Geometric tile patterns
  • Graphic wallpaper prints
  • Oversized statement tiles
  • Stone slab backsplashes
  • Mirror or stainless steel sheets
  • Glass or marble tile mosaics

Key Takeaways

  • Special finishes like waterfall countertops and textured backsplashes let homeowners personalize their kitchen designs.
  • Islands and backsplashes are smart spots to incorporate standout materials and details.
  • Mixing glossy and matte cabinet finishes adds appealing visual contrast to a kitchen.
  • Vaulted ceilings with exposed beams bring drama and volume to kitchen spaces.
  • Statement lights like bold pendants and integrated LED strips enhance a kitchen’s style.
  • Unexpected punches of color livens up even the most minimalist black and white kitchen.
  • Professional-grade appliances combined with luxury materials connote high style as well as function.


The heart of the home deserves special attention when it comes to interior design. These three impressive modern kitchens illustrate how unique finishes and clever details can transform simple kitchens into stylish statement-makers. From the island’s wraparound design to the textural geometric backsplash tile, small touches make a big impact. Elements like luxurious waterfall countertops, contrasting cabinet finishes, and eye-catching accent walls give each space distinct character. Appliances and lighting fixtures seamlessly merge style with performance. Minor upgrades turn the essential kitchen into a favorite place to gather, cook and relax in contemporary comfort. Minor upgrades ensure these kitchens achieve the perfect marriage of form and function.