Before you get started on your next renovation project, take a look at these contemporary kitchen ideas for inspiration. You likely already know that the word “contemporary” means current. So does the word “modern”.

Yet contemporary design and modern design can yield different searches. Why is that? Well, modern often actually refers to a historical design movement that held a stricter set of rules pertaining to what was and was not included in the aesthetic.

Contemporary design takes on a more literal meaning, and typically refers to what is currently popular in interior design.

That being said, what is currently popular certainly borrows from modernist design choices. Contemporary kitchens also borrow from other design styles which circulate in and out of popularity.

In the examples we’ve provided, you’ll find elements of Scandinavian design, industrial appliances, and rustic inspiration. That’s the great thing about the contemporary design style — a lack of strict guidelines means you can really choose the current design elements you like to make your own interpretation.

Take a look at these kitchen designs, and keep track of which elements you’re most inspired by. Maybe you love the clean lines of modern kitchens, but want to incorporate more textures.

Notice how marble countertops look paired with stainless steel appliances — do you love it or hate it? Did you love the all white kitchen, or are you more inspired by the contemporary kitchens that use bold color?

At the end of the day, your kitchen is yours. You make the rules. We’re just here to help you.


1. Shades of Grey

Modern kitchen design doesn’t need to use all white in order to achieve a contemporary look. However, as evidenced by this all-grey kitchen, a monochromatic color scheme can certainly make your kitchen look sleek and current. These sharp grey upper cabinets leave enough room to display some kitchen decor above. Lower cabinets use unique geometric paneling to adorn the fronts. This kitchen’s futuristic modernity makes it look like it could be used in the set of a 2020 sci-fi drama — owned by the protagonist lead scientist.

2. Kitchen/Terrarium

This contemporary interior design uses cubist shelving units to proudly display a smattering of potted plants. The staging certainly adds a unified pop of green to this otherwise greyscale kitchen, but a more active home chef might want to use the extra space to store cookware. Here we have another example of appliances tucked away within the interior design concept. Stainless steel ovens are tucked into tall black cabinets. This black and white kitchen uses simplicity in an interesting and modern way.

3. All White (and a tiny bit of green)

An all white color palette harkens back to the Scandinavian design style. If you love the way this color scheme looks, you might want to go down a Scandinavian kitchen design Google rabbit hole next. These contemporary kitchen cabinets also borrow from the Scandinavian design aesthetic — a lack of knobs allows for a sleek, simple look. A light green tile backsplash brings a faint pop of color into this otherwise monochromatic kitchen. And if you’re looking for a way to incorporate a flatscreen TV into your kitchen in a more elegant way than your average sports bar, this kitchen does it well.

4. Contemporary Condo Kitchen

Some of us city-dwellers are operating with smaller spaces, and this contemporary kitchen design proves there are plenty of ways to make a small space look sharp and modern. White cabinetry wraps around this apartment kitchen, brightening up the room. With limited space, white definitely helps your home look bigger. Open white shelving above the kitchen sink adds more storage space. Adding more storage vertically helps avoid adding clutter to your workspace.

5. Cool Tones

When you think of a neutral color palette, you likely think of warm beige hues. However, this kitchen proves that neutrals can be done with cool tones as well. A blue, white, and grey color scheme unifies this modern kitchen design. Pendant lights hang above a large blue kitchen island at the center of the room. It looks as if this home uses an open concept design plan, with the kitchen bleeding into the dining area. You can use darker tones a bit more freely without fear of shrinkage when you have a large, open-concept space like this.

6. Eclectic Minimalism

Modern kitchens often feel minimalist with the use of solid colored cabinets and walls. This kitchen design certainly incorporates some contemporary minimalist elements, but the homeowner also seems to have a bit of eclectic taste. The mismatched dining room furniture is a bit quirkier than you’d expect from the average pared-down modernized kitchens. This kitchen’s tile backsplash also adds a bit of artistic flare, a reflective material instead of a solid white.

7. Everything in its Place

One trend we’ve noticed in contemporary kitchen designs is the tucking away of appliances. After all, the sleekest way to display an appliance is to barely display it at all. Here, an industrial stainless steel oven seems to be a part of the side wall. Which, by the way, is also a wall of cabinets. This storage illusion is a super interesting way to create more space in your contemporary interior design. Also notable in this kitchen design is the textured grey used to add some personality to an otherwise very modern kitchen.

8. Warm Tones

Many of the modern kitchens we’ve seen so far use a color scheme on the cooler side, so let’s take a look at how contemporary design can be achieved using warmer tones. Massive wood cabinetry likely hides the kitchen appliances. Who needs a fridge, anyway? Tall barstools with orange leather seats complement the warm yellow hue of the cabinetry and hardwood flooring. Marble countertops and a marble backsplash add an interesting textural change to the room. And listen, I don’t know why there are letters spelling the word “REAR” on the countertop, but I doubt that’s the thing you’ll be inspired by when designing your own modern kitchens.

9. Feeling Blue

This contemporary kitchen design embraces the sleek simplicity of other modern kitchens, but adds some bold flare of its own. Royal blue lower cabinets and drawers stand out in a sea of greyscale and neutral toned contemporary kitchens. Using a bold color like this in your kitchen or dining room furniture will make your interior design stand out in a crowd of minimalist concepts. White tiles and white upper cabinets also brighten up the space.

10. Clustered Light Fixture

The standout feature of this interior design is the clustered light fixture hanging above the kitchen island/kitchen table. The organic shape of these lights contrast with the sharp lines of the walls and countertops. A marble backsplash with grey accents pairs well with grey-backed chairs. This kitchen is minimalist, but far from boring.
Which of these contemporary designs of kitchens inspired you the most? Did you love the space grey cabinets, or are you a fan of the royal blue? Let us know in the comments. We’d love to help you turn your contemporary kitchen design dreams into a reality.

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Lisa Pogue
Lisa is a talented interior designer and writer with a passion for transforming kitchens into stunning and functional spaces. Her extensive experience in the home improvement industry allows her to provide readers with expert advice and creative ideas. Lisa's writing is both informative and inspiring, helping homeowners navigate their renovation projects with confidence. When she's not writing, Lisa loves baking and trying out new recipes in her stylish kitchen.