55+ Thoroughly Modern Kitchens We Can’t Stop Swooning Over

With these sleek spaces, contemporary reigns supreme.

rech carstens home in johannsburg
Elsa Young/Bureaux

If there’s nothing cookin’ in the kitchen, the rest of your home is starving. OK, that might be a little overdramatic, but regardless, it’s time to take some notes if you’re planning a refresh of your kitchen, be it your lighting, island, backsplash, or any of the other fixings. And if your taste favors sleek surfaces, contemporary hues, and clean lines over, say, beveled cabinetry, checked curtains, and AGA cookers, then an airy, modern aesthetic is the look for you. And fortunately, it doesn’t require a miracle to make yourself a modern kitchen you can be proud of, no matter the impediments, such as minimal square-footage, lack of southern exposure, or Lilliputian ceiling height. To get inspired (and perhaps inspire some design FOMO), read on for 55+ of the most beautiful and thoughtfully designed modern kitchens.

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1 Extra Veiny Marble
hugo toro  kitchen
Stephan Julliard

This is so extra, and we’re here for it! The floor and walls in the kitchen of the Paris flat of Hugo Toro are clad in an eye-poppingly glamorous Brèche de Médicis marble. The range and hood are from La Cornue.

2 Scandi Wood Cocoon
a kitchen with wood floors and shelves and black cabinets with a white island countertop
Stephen Kent Johnson

Design duo Ashe Leandro bring a little northern European calm and simplicity to this kitchen on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. The countertop is by Caesarstone, the fittings are by Brizo, the range is by Wolf, and the stools are from Finnish Design Shop.

3 Primary Color Accents
jacques grange  kitchen
Stephan Julliard

While the bones of this charming home in Portugal are traditional, the vivid blue and a drop of bright yellow command the eye’s attention in this otherwise simple kitchen by Jacques Grange in Comporta, Portugal. All the cabinets are custom.

4 Four-Top Fantasy Island
ishka designs kitchen
Frank Frances Studio

Two’s company, three’s a crowd, but four stools is just right for the Volakas marble island in this kitchen by Ishka Designs in a Brooklyn brownstone. The stools are by Greta de Parry, and the pendant lights are by Cedar & Moss.

5 Unvarnished Rusticity
david murphy  austerlitz house
William Waldron

It’s all about context in this Berkshires home, which is surrounded entirely by forest. The custom retrofitted kitchen features cabinetry by KraftMaid, a Jenn Air refrigerator, Kohler faucet and sink, and a sandstone tile floor.

6 Smoky Green
w88th townhouse designed by 2michaels
Ty Cole

This shade of green never goes out of style. Here, 2Michaels selected Vintage Vogue by Benjamin Moore for the kitchen cabinets and island of a brownstone on the Upper West Side of New York City. A pendant by Apparatus, barstools from Stellar Works, and hexagonal backsplash tiles by Tyler Hays complete the look.

7 Collector’s Repository
olivier dwek  knokke
Philippe Garcia.

Kitchens can be a fine place to keep beautiful art and vintage blue-chip design pieces, as evidenced in this Knokke, Belgium, vacation home by Olivier Dwek. Two vintage Pierre Jeanneret high stools are positioned below a vintage vase and pitcher by Roger Capron; the candlestick is by Richard Texier. On the wall are two prints by Brice Marden.

8 Pretty Picture Window
perifio  hudson valley
Isabel Parra

When you’re home—and more specifically, your kitchen—is surrounded by nature like this one by Perifio, at least one picture window is a great option. The custom cabinets are in a C2 paint, and the hardware is from Omnia. The quartz island and countertops are from Caesarstone, the Pelle stools are vintage, and the faucet is from Blanco.

9 Plain Perfection
stainless stove set into stainless steel counters with light colored cabinets with small shelving above with small framed artworks
Stephen Kent Johnson

If the basic ingredients are top notch, you don’t need to add pepperoni to the pizza. Decorator Billy Cotton kept it nice and simple in this kitchen he designed in Midtown Manhattan.

10 Up in Your Grille
alice tully hall  elle decor
Christian Harder

All other kitchen counters seem naked after looking at this one by Cullman Kravis clad in custom grilles by Architectural Grille. The cabinets are by Scavolini, and the countertop is by Cambria.

11 Top Brass
Stephen Kent Johnson

For a Hamptons beach home, designer Poonam Khanna clad a monolithic kitchen island in shiny brass that will naturally patinate with time. It’s a magnetic, showstopping element amid pale timber cabinets and floors.

12 Riding the Wave
dash marshall tribeca loft
Esther Choi

We’ve never seen a kitchen as unique as this one, located in a downtown New York apartment designed by Dash Marshall. Inspired by feng shui principals, the architects clad the island, storage spaces, and appliances entirely in undulating pale oak tambour. Talk about ahead of the curve!

13 Clean and Contemporary
rech carstens home in johannsburg
Elsa Young/Bureaux

Leave it to a pair of architects to design the sleekest modern kitchen of all. This one, located in the Johannesburg home of Silvio Rech and Lesley Carstens, takes cues from its 1950s architecture, which was originally inspired by modernists like Richard Neutra.

14 Terrazzo Checkers
bradley stephens  upper east side apartment
Thomas Loof

For a prewar apartment on NYC’s Upper East Side, designer Bradley Stephens deploys Italy’s greatest flooring innovation to give the kitchen an Art Deco vibe. The island in the kitchen is custom, the stools are from Grazia & Co., and the refrigerator is from Sub-Zero. The backsplash is from Ann Sacks, the hood is from Wolf, the Swedish pendants are vintage, and the cabinetry hardware is from Buster & Punch.

15 Paint on the Floor
jeffrey bilhuber lodge in jackson hole, wyoming
Douglas Friedman

Doesn’t that painted chevron pattern give this Jeffrey Bilhuber–designed kitchen in Jackson Hole, Woming, an air of sophistication? The range is by Wolf, the refrigerators are by Sub-Zero, the dining table is custom, the chairs are from Dienst + Dotter Antikviteter, and the chevron floor was painted by Bob Christian.

16 Aquamarine Palette
best modern kitchens
Eric Piasecki

In this Steven Gambrel–designed Chicago revivalist mansion, the kitchen’s ceiling and walls are covered in handmade glass tiles, the custom-cut oak floors are arranged in an Escher-like pattern, and the exhaust hood is enameled in forest green.

17 Beachy Black and White
best modern kitchens
Katie Charlotte

In this Cortney Bishop-designed beach house, which she affectionately named “Ebony and Ivory,” black and white take center stage in the kitchen, with an understated marble island and backsplash paired with a black fume hood, cabinetry, and doors.

18 Concrete Kitchen
William Abranowicz

Designers Matt Berman and Andrew Kotchen of Workshop/APD crafted this sleek Greenwich village kitchen with concrete floors and a complementary island, which was accented with sunny yellow counter stools from Counter Evolution.

19 Weathered Wood
best modern kitchens
Chris Everard, The White Company

The White Company founder Chrissie Rucker designed her modern pool house kitchen with nature in mind, which included antique timber flooring, a thick-cut picnic bench for casual dining, and a concrete island.

20 Green and Gold
best modern kitchens
Douglas Friedman

For his own Hollywood, California home, designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard's kitchen features a vibrant green island and backsplash, both of which are tempered by a high-top marble table and brass pendants from his Corbett Lighting collection.

21 Mirrored Backsplash
Zeke Ruelas

An homage to the 1960s with a charmingly modern flair, this John McClain-designed L.A. kitchen features a statement mirrored backsplash, which was paired with dark wood cabinetry and cool gray floors.

22 Touches of Orange
best modern kitchens
Alison Gootee

For ELLE DECOR’s Neal Beckstedt-designed showhouse, an all-white kitchen was given a citrusy kick through vintage barstools, which have seats covered in an Élitis fabric.

23 Floor-To-Ceiling Tiles
best modern kitchens
Simon Upton

For retail guru Patricia Greene Isen, architect and designer Daniel Romualdez crafted a spacious kitchen tiled in handmade glazed white terra-cotta, which were paired with B&W checkerboard floors by Mosaic House.

24 Understated Luxury
The Boundary

In Studio Sofield's Beckford residences, the modern Christopher Peacock-designed kitchen features custom millwork, statuary marble countertops and backsplashes, and appliances by Sub-Zero, Wolf, and Miele.

25 Classic Black and White
a striking black and white kitchen with black marble backsplash and white marble kitchen island
Julia Robbs

For a kitchen in a New York City condo, Homepolish's Jae Joo settled on a pairing of black and white marble, along with black stools and cabinets with white throw pillows and accents. The space, which is connected to the dining area, leads out to the balcony.

26 Ultra Marine
Refrigerator, Furniture, Product, Cupboard, Major appliance, Room, Cabinetry, Wine cooler, Kitchen appliance, Drawer,
Greg Premru Photography Inc.

A contemporary kitchen in a Boston home designed by JN Interior Spaces features blue glass subway tile and a wine refrigerator.

27 All White
Room, White, Interior design, Furniture, Property, House, Building, Kitchen, Floor, Yellow,
Douglas Friedman

An all-white kitchen in a playful NYC apartment is outfitted with cabinetry by Bulthaup, a countertop and sink by Corian, fittings by Vola, and an oven and cooktop by Gaggenau. The light fixture is by Bega, and the floor is terrazzo.

28 Loft Living
William Abranowicz

In a San Francisco loft, the kitchen’s cabinetry is by Henrybuilt, the countertops are PentalQuartz, the faucet is by Dornbracht, the stools are by Overgaard & Dyrman and the wall sculpture is by Manuel Neri.

29 Inviting Townhouse
Max Zambelli

In a textile designer's townhouse, the kitchen counters are Calacatta Gold marble, the backsplash tile is by Waterworks, the range is by Capital, the stools are from ABC Carpet & Home and the light fixture is by Apparatus.

30 Stainless Steel Details
Richard Powers

In the kitchen of an NYC apartment dedicated to art, the custom island is topped with brushed stainless steel, the range is by Wolf, the Saarinen table and chairs are from Knoll, and the Dandelion chandeliers by Tony Duquette are from Remains Lighting; the Roman shade is of a China Seas fabric with velvet trim from Duralee, and the floor tiles are by Paris Ceramics.

31 Chic and Clean
Simon Upton

In this New York City home high above the city, the kitchen's lacquer cabinetry is custom made for a clean, modern aesthetic. It is echoed in style by the backsplash and countertop, made with Calacatta marble. The range is by Viking, the refrigerator is by Sub-Zero and the print is by Ellsworth Kelly.

32 Dark Hues
William Waldron

Modern design shows its dark side with a sleek black Valcucine island in this chic Manhattan kitchen. Above the island hangs a glass pendant light, and behind it, a photograph by Eric Slayton.

33 Textured Accents
Simon Upton

Black granite floors and Panton chairs by Vitra take center stage in this Toton Sanchez-designed home in Caracas. Wood wine racks, laminate cabinetry and a marble-top Saarinen table by Knoll add variety and texture to the space without being distracting.

34 Fit for Entertaining
Roger Davies

Designed for true modern-day entertaining, this Florida home by Nate Berkus showcases stools by BDDW and light fixtures by Historical Materialism. The marble wall tiles are by Ann Sacks, and the counters are teak.

35 Minimalist Details
Richard Powers

In a young couple's Brussels home designed by architect Frederic Haesevoets, the modern kitchen island is by Bulthau. The vent hood is by AEG, the stools are by E15 and the hanging light fixtures are by Ionna Vautrin.

36 Luxurious Living
Simon Upton

This luxurious kitchen in an Upper East Side home incorporates a touch of the past in its modern design. The pendants are from a Czechoslovakian factory, the oven is by Wolf and the floor is lined with Corten steel tiles.

37 Clean and Cool
Simon Upton

Marble tiles in this modern kitchen of London designer Colin Radcliffe's Notting Hill townhouse set the foundation for a cool, clean space. The design is markedly modern, with the exception of a 1950s FontanaArte chandelier and 1970s barstools. The cabinetry is custom made, and the refrigerators are by Liebherr.

38 Parisian Style
Simon Upton

In a glamorous Paris apartment, the kitchen embraces a fresh vision of luxury with mod pendant lights by Tom Dixon and custom-made, walnut-veneer kitchen island and cabinetry. The stools are by Mater Design, the ovens and refrigerator are by Gaggenau and the sink fittings are by Franke.

39 Cozy Space
Sergey Ananiev

In a Moscow apartment that embraces modern living, designer Olga Kulikovskaia-Ashby assigned an area of the kitchen for a convenient breakfast nook. The chairs are by Vitra, the plates on the kitchen counter are by Seletti and pendant lights by Tom Dixon hang above the table.

40 Ultra-Modern
William Abranowicz

Ralph Lauren's kitchen opts for modernism over tradition, with ovens and a cooktop by Wolf, a custom-made vent hood and cabinetry of white lacquer and stainless steel. The island is sheathed in Celador, and the Bertoia barstools are by Knoll.

41 Wood Tones
William Abranowicz

This San Francisco loft, belonging to designer Steven Volpe, proves that wood can be incorporated into modern design—especially when it's paired with marble. The marble-and-wood kitchen island is surrounded by silver Knoll barstools.

42 White Palette
William Waldron

This modern kitchen in fashion designer Josie Natori's New York home makes ample use of white for a clean design that bounces light. The island is topped with marble and the cabinetry is by St. Charles of New York.

43 Rustic Charm
Bjorn Wallander

When a Silicon Valley family wanted to create a retreat in the woods, without going rustic, architect Cynthia Wang and designer Jamie Bush brought modern, urban cool to a country cabin. This modern kitchen's island creates a somewhat moody atmosphere with its quartzite countertop. The cabinetry is by Bulthaup, the oven is by Miele, the stove and hood are by Gaggenau, the sink by Blanco has Dornbracht fittings and the custom-made stools are covered in an Edelman leather.

44 Custom Details
Richard Powers

Cowhide makes a surprise appearance in this contemporary Los Angeles bachelor pad with custom-made stools covered in an Edelman cowhide in the kitchen. The island features a surface by Caesarstone, the lacquered cabinetry is custom made and the sink fittings are by Dornbracht.

45 Urban Glam
Eric Piasecki

In a Manhattan home overlooking the Hudson river, the kitchen counter is by Antolini, the stove and oven are by Miele, the refrigerator is by Sub-Zero and the sink fittings are by Dornbracht.

46 Sophisticated Black
Wichmann - Bendtsen

In this black kitchen, the custom-made stools and cabinetry are by Københavns Møbelsnedkeri.

47 Black and White Design
Simon Upton

This black and white kitchen features custom-made cabinetry with vintage hardware. The refrigerator is by Sub-Zero, the sink fittings are by Dornbracht and the countertops are white glass.

48 Perfection in Paris
Jean-Francois Jaussaud/ Lux Productions

In a perfumer's Paris home, designed by Pierre Yovanovitch, the kitchen's backsplash and wall sculpture were made by Armelle Benoit. The Bertoia stool is by Knoll, the range is by Wolf, the sink is by Franke and the cabinetry is custom made.

49 Hamptons Delight
William Abranowicz

In a sophisticated home in the Hamptons, the kitchen barstools are by Etel Carmona for Espasso, the matte lacquer cabinetry is custom made, the sink fittings are by Kallista and the range is by Wolf.

50 Posh Penthouse
Björn Wallander

The kitchen island and counters in this New York home are topped with a Caesarstone surface. The Bertoia barstools are by Knoll, the refrigerator is by Thermador and the sink by Elkay has Rohl fittings.

51 Dramatic Setting
Richard Powers

In the chic kitchen of George Nunno's New York loft, the custom cabinetry is ebonized oak topped with Nero Marquina marble, the black and brass barstools are by Milo Baughman and the iron sculpture was found in a Paris flea market.

52 Natural Meets Modern
Mikkel Vang

Designed by firm Ashe + Leandro, this Manhattan loft kitchen for Coldplay's lead guitarist Jonny Buckland blends natural materials with modern finishes. Leather-upholstered barstools provide seating around the room's mahogany butcher.

53 Understated Elegance
Simon Upton

This elegant kitchen, belonging to hostess Rena Abboud, is designed for evening socializing. The island is brushed metal, the stools are Lamboro and the pendant lights are Eichholtz.

54 Old Meets New
Simon Upton

This hyper-modern kitchen, designed by architect Achille Salvagni for a storied Roman palazzo, combines a self-designed brass light fixture and a Venetian portrait from the 1780s.

55 Cork Detail
William Abranowicz

This modern cork-floored Brooklyn kitchen features pendant lights by Progress Lighting and cabinetry and stainless steel countertops by Galesi Design.

56 Modern Madrid
William Waldron

The stained-wood floors of Manolo March's Madrid kitchen blend flawlessly with Gaggenau cabinetry and appliances and modern Italian stools.

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