Modern Kitchens

Nadia Hursky on September 29, 2011

The modern kitchen is streamlined, practical and open with the avoidance of clutter and excessive decoration. It employs four key principles: less is more, symmetry, disguise, and bold, pioneering statements.

 Modern architecture is the simplification of form and stripping back of all unnecessary ornamentation. Modern architecture is a reflection of the advancements in technology which began at the turn of the 20th century. The Bauhaus movement influenced the idea’s and conception of modern architecture, which started as a school in Germany in 1919. At it’s core, the Bauhaus movement strived to make a coherent or total work of art, including architecture based on the principles of geometry, practical materials and constrained economic sensibilities.

Modern kitchens are similarly based around these principles of modern design. Modern kitchens are symmetrical or geometric in its approach, they use practical materials and allow for practical movements within the space. Below are some idea’s and concepts explored in modern kitchen designs.

Less is More

Sometimes less really is more when it comes to design. Paring back elements to bare simplicity creates an elegant and understated modern kitchen. This design philosophy (started in the Bauhaus movement) allows for totality and unity within a space. You must keep function at the heart of your modern kitchen when using a “less is more” philosophy.

simple modern kitchen

This modern kitchen sits beautifully in this space. The arching ceilings contrast with the simplicity of the kitchen. Clean, minimal and understated, this kitchen epitomises ‘less is more’.

white modern kitchen

Strikingly simple, this white modern kitchen is pared back to the basics. Lighting replaces the wall cabinets, adding a sense of space and light.

glossy modern kitchen

The human eye appreciates symmetry as a symbol of beauty. Modern kitchens rely on symmetry to create order and unity. A perfectly symmetrical kitchen, however, may not be possible or even ideal; but symmetry is optimal for places where the eye sees repetition. For example, in a straight run of tall cabinets along a wall, using four 600mm cabinets looks better than using two 500mm and two 700mm cabinets.

modern timber kitchen with no wall cabinets

Symmetry is created in this modern kitchen design with adjacent doors the same size. This creates balance, unity and proportion.

Modern Kitchen Island

The large island is divided symmetrically so that all the doors are the same size with a perpendicular island bench starting above the open shelves. Whilst the kitchen is symmetrical, the open shelves add a playful and individual element to the kitchen.


As the modern kitchen integrates into living space, it may no longer even look like a kitchen. Whilst remaining functional, the modern kitchen can transform into a piece of furniture by using such things as integrated (hidden) appliances, handless cabinets, and interesting material choices.

black modern kitchen

Tall handless cabinets create a back wall that works with the adjacent brick wall. The black island and chandelier add a sense of drama, theatre and fun.

Bold Statements

A modern kitchen doesn’t always have to be understated. Introduce bold statements with colour, kitchen island design, lighting and materials. Have fun with your modern kitchen.

orange kitchen

Colour shouts a bold and bright statement in this kitchen. The completely orange island adds playfulness and drama.

modern kitchen with black

This modern kitchen retains the restored original architecture of the space. Black cabinets, coupled with the lighting feature and textured walls, make the kitchen both classic and classy.

Modern kitchen designs depend on the space for which they are created. As a design concept, modern kitchens stay streamlined, functional and open. After paring back your design to the bare minimal, introduce disguise or make a bold statement within the space.



  1. Maria says:

    The simplified forms, symmetry and emphasis on functionality which characterizes modern kitchens are in so much contrast with old-fashioned, traditional designs! I find it difficult to compare two kitchen designs that are worlds apart… While I am not too keen on extreme minimalism, I do like modern kitchens and some of the above photos (second one in particular) show exactly what I love about modern kitchen designs: clean spaces, uncluttered, lots of light, simple forms, bold statements… Great article, thanks!

    1. nadiah says:

      Thanks for the comment Maria, it’s always lovely to get feedback and I am glad you enjoyed the article.

  2. Anne Piezesky says:

    This is definitely inspiring me to make a move from the old to the new! Maria, I agree with you, I don’t like minimalism in a kitchen (for instance, I do not like the orange design above), but there are plenty of modern designs which incorporate little details that make each feature look less “cold” and more “welcoming”. For instance, I love the rustic touches in the last photo above (and the old look of the walls!)

  3. nadiah says:

    HI Anne, the great thing about re-doing your kitchen is that you can take elements of whatever design style you like and mix them up…..a modern kitchen with a touch of rustic works nicely!

  4. Eudora Meredith says:

    I agree that symmetry is pleasing to the eye, but I guess one needs to be careful not to make it too perfect, as you say, or the design becomes a bit boring… I think a certain degree of asymmetry makes a design more interesting. It’s all about balance maybe, rather than perfect symmetry…

    1. nadiah says:

      Hi Eudora, you managed to say what i was trying to say perfectly! Thanks for your comment 🙂

  5. Hans Bauer says:

    I totally agree with the “less is more” philosophy. I hate cluttered spaces, particularly if we are talking about a kitchen. I love cooking and spending time in my kitchen… Being someone who tends to get stressed out easily, I find it really helps if my home – and in particular, the kitchen – is a relaxing and peaceful space. In my opinion, nothing beats the simplicity, symmetry and elegance of modern kitchens…

    1. nadiah says:

      Thanks Hans, I also believe the less clutter you have in your life the less stress you have. Hope you enjoy your long weekend 🙂

  6. Robert Lloyd says:

    Although my new kitchen is by no means spotless, and yeah, there is a big dog and a few kids running up and down most of the time, I would not mind somebody taking a few pics to show the world your amazing designs 🙂 It may look a bit more realistic if I put my apron on though LOL

    1. parsyar says:

      Hey Robert

      Good to hear from you… I’d actually love to get the photographer out to take a few pics…

      Will touch base ASAP

  7. Ryan Dye says:

    all i can say is beautiful.

    1. nadiah says:

      Thanks Ryan 🙂