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5 Ideas for Transforming a Your Kitchen Into a Modern Classic

Updated on August 16, 2018

The kitchen and dining room are the heart of the home and they should be designed and decorated as such. It’s where everyone gathers to cook meals, converse about their lives, work on projects and homework, among many more special moments.

Aside from getting to enjoy the space yourself, a modern kitchen remodel will help your home sell easier if you put it up for sale down the road.

What Is Considered “Modern”?

Often used interchangeably with “contemporary,” a modern kitchen generally includes sleek hardware and surfaces coupled with simple looks. As opposed to traditional looking kitchens, the modern aesthetic is chic and easy to create by following a few simple guidelines. Think minimal ornamentation, horizontal lines, non-complex hardware, and a focus on the beauty of the materials themselves.

A modern kitchen can truly be a work of art. Featuring sharp, straight lines, bold shapes, and a neutral color scheme, this style is a great option for those who want a trendy kitchen that will withstand time.

Even if the kitchen is isolated, it needs to look and function just as great as the rest of the residence.

— Vasi Ypsilantis

One thing to consider, however, is the layout and style of the rest of your home. Vasi Ypsilantis, a world-renown kitchen designer, reminds us that "even if the kitchen is isolated, it needs to look and function just as great as the rest of the residence."

Trying to force a modern kitchen may not be the best idea for your specific home. However, to help you decide, here are 5 ideas for transforming your kitchen into a modern classic:

1. Add a Fresh Coat of Paint

One of the easiest and most effective way of transforming your kitchen from “blah” to “wow” is by giving it a fresh coat of paint. A dark kitchen looks dated, so opt for neutral to bright natural tones like creams, whites, and grays. Avoid painting your cabinets, as modern kitchens rely heavily on the beauty of the natural materials in the space. A nick in the grain of the wood or the natural veining of marble make the space feel authentic to true modern style characteristics.

2. New Backsplash and Countertops

A tasteful new backsplash can elevate any kitchen making it look more modern (and expensive). Geometric tiles in white or gray tones are the most popular and match most countertops, plus they are durable and easy to maintain.

Selecting new countertops is also essential to updating your kitchen’s look. Be sure to invest in durable materials that will withstand all the messes and poundings you create in the kitchen. Granite is always a stylish and functional option, but some modern homes are opting for natural quartz, soapstone, and recycled glass as options. Similar to your backsplash, you want to keep the colors neutral and natural. If you are considering new countertops in your kitchen, here are the 2018 average kitchen countertop installation prices:

Price Range (per Sq. Ft.)
$50 – $200
$42 – $65
$100 – $150
$125 – $250
Plastic Laminate
$20 – $50
$70 – $150
Solid Surface
$75 – $120
$20 – $30
Stainless Steel
$75 – $150
$50 – $100
Cultured Marble
$40 – $140
Recycled Glass
$50 – $125
Carrara Marble
$50 – $150
$50 – $100
$70 – $120
Butcher Block
$35 – $200

3. Try Replacing the Hardware

Not only does replacing old handles with new ones help to complete the look and feel of your kitchen space, but it’s also be a simple way to take years off your kitchen’s look without breaking your budget. Go for long, tubular style handles that extend the full distance of the drawers, or C-Channels that create a linear flow. All modern kitchen place an emphasis on horizontal lines, and so it’s important to accentuate the long, wide lines of the countertops and cabinets. Think clean, simple lines as oppose to ornate. If you’re on a tight budget, spray-paint your existing hardware to match the rest of your kitchen and give the room a whole new look.

4. Update the Kitchen Cabinets

An essential part in modernizing your kitchen’s look is updating your cabinets, either with new ones or by refacing your existing ones. Stay in the lanes of the modern aesthetic by keeping the new cabinets simple and sleek. Handleless cabinets are very trendy in new kitchens, and help make smaller kitchens spaces feel bigger and less cluttered. If handleless isn’t practical for your lifestyle, craftsman style kitchen cabinets are also great options. Frameless cabinets are also an effective way to create a modern looking kitchen–they help maximize storage and look very clean. Whichever style you choose, keep the color neutral and natural.

5. Add New Appliances

If your budget allows, it’s best to splurge on new appliances when updating your kitchen. Not only will this enhance the look and feel of the space, it will generally add functionality and efficiency too. For a practical choice with a nice contrast, try matching cabinets with black stainless steel appliances — when paired with light paint, natural wood, and strong horizontal lines, this is a classic modern look. Versatile, long-lasting, and pretty to look at, installing new appliances will transform your space in a functional and form-fitting way that’s worth the extra expense.

If you were wondering, here are the average costs for new appliances in 2018:

Material Price Range
Installation Price Range
$450 to $3,000
$150 to $250
$400 to $700
$200 to $500
Stove & Range
$650 to $2,000
$100 to $200
$200 to $500
$115 to $200
Range Hood
$200 to $3,000
$300 to $600

Bonus Tip: Keep It Clean and Organized

Be sure to install plenty of storage so you can hide away unnecessary kitchen items such as extra small appliances, china, and other items one would toss in a catch all-drawer, or “junk drawer.” Think of how you’ll use the kitchen before organizing everything — you want easy access to your most frequently accessed cookware and utensils. Keeping pots and pans near the stove and dishes near the dishwasher can help to keep meal prep and cleanup as efficient as possible.

After you’ve done all this work to modernize your kitchen, the final important step is to keep it neat and tidy. The key element to modern style is a clutter-free workspace — not only does it look better, but the cook of the kitchen will be happy too.


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