20 Contemporary Kitchen Ideas That Stay In Style

Go for open spaces, flat surfaces, and pops of color

colorful tile in modern kitchen

Idea Space

With their sleek cabinetry and sophisticated color schemes, contemporary kitchens blend modern design with a minimalistic aesthetic to create a distinctive look that transcends trends. Contemporary kitchens include any combination of flat-front cabinetry, sleek fixtures, stone features, wood accents, and stylish tile.

The main difference between a modern and contemporary kitchen is based on definitions. The two have a lot of similarities, but the term "modern" refers to a period of design spurred on by the Bauhaus movement after the late 1800s up through the 1960s.

The term "contemporary" refers to the preferred style of kitchen favored at the moment. Other kitchen styles besides modern that are contemporary during the 2020s include Shaker, farmhouse, cottage, traditional, and transitional.

Here are 20 contemporary kitchen designs that can inspire your own cooking space.

  • 01 of 20

    Dark Wood Cabinets

    dark wood kitchen

    Lucy Interior Design

    This gorgeous contemporary kitchen by Lucy Interior Design features dark wood cabinetry that resembles living room furniture, as well as a spectacular 3D backsplash. Unique pendant lighting not typically found in cooking spaces adds to the kitchen's luxurious feeling. And the rich teal of the chairs adds a pop of color.

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  • 02 of 20

    Pops of Color and Pattern

    playful contemporary kitchen

    Honeycomb Design and Build

    Colorful cabinetry and an eye-popping backsplash are the two primary features that give this contemporary kitchen by Honeycomb Design and Build a playful vibe. To make sure the space doesn't become too chaotic, both the walls and countertops are a simple white. The dark floor helps to anchor the space.

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  • 03 of 20

    Slab Door Cabinets

    sleek and modern blue and marble kitchen

    Idea Space

    Slab doors—as shown on the two-toned cabinets in this gray-and-white kitchen by Idea Space—are a hallmark of the contemporary style. The marble-patterned quartz countertop and matching backsplash add both timeless beauty and practical function. Cool-toned kitchens can feel a little chilly, so the walnut shelves add a splash of warmth.

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  • 04 of 20

    White Kitchen With Waterfall Island

    white quartz waterfall countertop modern kitchen

    Soda Pop Design

    This white kitchen by Soda Pop Design feels thoroughly contemporary thanks to its sleek cabinets and quartz waterfall kitchen island. The gray tiles, a marble stove backsplash, and dark wood cabinetry break up the mostly white space with interesting texture and pattern. And the lighting adds a bit of a playful touch.

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  • 05 of 20

    Geometric Tile Backsplash

    geometric black and white kitchen

    Space Craft Joinery

    Custom wood cabinets stained black set the tone for this contemporary kitchen by Space Craft Joinery. The bold pattern of the wood tile backsplash personalizes the space. And the white countertops ensure that the kitchen doesn't become too dark.

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  • 06 of 20

    Natural Wood and Sleek Glossy Features

    modern yellow and black kitchen

    Atticus & Milo

    Natural wood features, such as shelving or countertops, are often paired with sleek glossy cabinets in contemporary kitchens, as shown in this bold kitchen by Atticus & Milo. Besides being attractive, the slick cabinet surfaces are easy to keep clean. And they can be fabricated in nearly any color you can dream of.

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  • 07 of 20

    Contemporary Kitchen Shiplap

    Sleek modern kitchen in Spain with blue shiplap

    Colombo and Serboli Architects

    Who says bead board or shiplap is only for modern farmhouse kitchens? This small cooking space designed by Colombo and Serboli Architects feels both contemporary and inviting. The blue color of the cabinet paneling gives it a fresh, modern vibe. And it plays nicely off the blue archway that connects the kitchen to the rest of the apartment.

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  • 08 of 20

    Flexible Kitchen With Rubber Floors

    sleek natural wood kitchen with blue rubber floor

    The Paper House Project

    Lovely birch-faced plywood cabinets, blue rubber flooring, and stainless steel appliances are the essential contemporary ingredients in this family-friendly kitchen by The Paper House Project. All of the cabinets are movable, which add loads of flexible function to the cooking space. And the rubber flooring is soft on your feet.

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  • 09 of 20

    Decorative Accents

    sleek modern mint green and marble kitchen

    M.J. Lanphier

    Interior designer M.J. Lanphier created this stylish contemporary kitchen in an open-concept apartment that pops thanks to its decorative accents. The black sculpture and table lamp are unexpected touches. And the marble front on the kitchen island enhances the elegant vibe. 

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  • 10 of 20

    Colorful Tile

    colorful tile in kitchen

    Idea Space

    The design team at Idea Space added contemporary flair to this bright cooking space by installing colorful brick tile. Taking the tile from the counter to the ceiling makes it the focal point in the room. So it was key to keep the rest of the space fairly simple with coordinating blue cabinetry and sleek white countertops.

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  • 11 of 20

    Cozy White Kitchen

    white contemporary kitchen

    Alys Design

    Contemporary kitchens that feel more like living areas than cooking spaces are a welcoming decorating trend. This chic and inviting kitchen by Alys Design combines a cozy dining space with custom cabinetry. The pristine white doors hide some of the appliances, as well as a sizable pantry.

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  • 12 of 20

    Quirky and Colorful Contemporary Kitchen

    Colorful contemporary kitchen

    Vidal Design Collaborative

    If sleek lacquered cabinetry is not your thing, take in this colorful contemporary kitchen by Vidal Design Collaborative. The multi-toned cabinets and warm wood give the cooking space a mid-century modern appeal. Yet the space still has a streamlined and simple contemporary vibe as well.

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  • 13 of 20

    Warm Wood Kitchen Cabinetry

    Sleek wood cabinet contemporary kitchen

    Vidal Design Collective

    Kitchens are often the focal point of open concept spaces. But if you want your cooking space to blend in, consider slab front cabinetry in a warm wood tone that coordinates with your furniture and flooring. The cabinets in this wood-filled kitchen by Vidal Design Collective match the home's living room furniture, creating easy flow between the spaces.

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  • 14 of 20

    Bold Colors and Patterns

    graphic and mod contemporary kitchen

    Aegis Interior Design

    Bold patterns and exciting colors can enliven any kitchen. This fun kitchen by interior designer Annie Grierson gave a traditional cooking space a huge contemporary lift by combining contrasting patterns with bright hues. The key is to pick the spots where you want to go bold—in this case, it's the backsplash—and keep everything else simple, so the look isn't overwhelming.

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  • 15 of 20

    Warm White Kitchen

    Contemporary kitchen with stone features

    Synergistic Development

    White contemporary kitchens can sometimes feel a little cold or sterile. But this white kitchen by Synergistic Development solves that problem. It uses natural stone features, such as the soapstone counters and slate backsplash, to warm up the entire space. And there's plenty of lighting to keep things bright and cheery.

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  • 16 of 20

    Family-Friendly Contemporary Kitchen

    white and natural wood kitchen

    Rachel Madden Interiors

    The best family-friendly kitchens, such as this contemporary cooking space by Rachel Madden Interiors, blend durable materials with inviting features. Sturdy quartz countertops and natural wood tones give this kitchen a crisp appearance. Plus, the white upper cabinets seemingly disappear into the white tile backsplash. This visual trick enhances the room's relaxed and uncluttered good looks.

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  • 17 of 20

    Warm Wood Features

    contemporary California kitchen

    CM Natural Designs

    Maybe you like the look of sleek white cabinets but also prefer some warm wood tones. You can do both in your contemporary kitchen. The custom paneled oven hood and wood shelves add natural warmth to this contemporary kitchen by CM Natural Designs. They're a nice contrast to the cool cabinets and countertops.

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  • 18 of 20

    Tiny Contemporary Kitchen

    tiny house kitchen


    White walls, tall ceilings, and glossy cabinetry make the tiny kitchen in this small home by interior design firm Suba feel much larger. The marble countertops and matching backsplash lend polish to the place. And the matching materials also help to make the whole space feel larger and more cohesive.

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    Blue and Black Contemporary Kitchen

    Black and blue contemporary kitchen

    Black Lacquer Design

    Black and blue are the primary colors in this urban kitchen by Black Lacquer Design. The marble countertops seep with a dramatic pattern that's sleek and modern. Another exciting feature is the modern glass door refrigerator, which puts its contents on display. That's one way to force you to keep your fridge organized.

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    Black Contemporary Kitchen

    black enclosed kitchen with wood counter

    Ban Architecture

    Black paint is what separates this dark contemporary kitchen by Ban Architecture from the rest of the light living space. The contrast is stunning and gives the kitchen presence in the overall space. Plus, the wood features, including the maple countertops, provide even more striking contrast.