Eight Elements Of Modern Kitchen Cabinet Design

Modern Kitchen Cabinet Design – It can be tough to distinguish between modern and contemporary, and for good reason. Many spaces are both modern and contemporary, and people often use the terms interchangeably, but there are differences in look and terminology. “Contemporary” typically means of the moment or current, the design of right now. “Modern” refers to a specific design style from the early to mid-20th century that broke with the traditional styles of the days before the Industrial Revolution.

Modern Pull Style for Kitchen Cabinet HardwareModern Pull Style for Kitchen Cabinet Hardware

When we think of modern kitchen designs, we should also think of modern kitchen cabinet design, and it should be frameless cabinets, sleek and simple hardware, strong horizontal lines and a lack of ornamentation, with the natural beauty of the materials shining through.

Modern Kitchen Cabinet Design’s Elements

Frameless Style in Modern Kitchen Cabinet DesignFrameless Style in Modern Kitchen Cabinet Design

Flat-panel door style – his is sometimes referred to as a slab-door style and is a signature element of modern kitchen cabinet. You might see a modern kitchen cabinet using a Shaker door style, but that often falls into transitional rather than modern — which is not to say it can’t be used; it’s just not a purist’s perspective.

Frameless, full-overlay cabinet construction –  A bunch of terms are thrown around to describe this type of cabinet construction: frameless, Euro frameless, overlay, full overlay. They all mean the same thing, that the door overlays the cabinet box. This style is the most often used in modern kitchens because it’s sleeker than a flush-inset cabinet, which is often associated with more traditional kitchen, cabinet and furniture design. In a true frameless cabinet you won’t see a face frame at all, and you’ll get consistent spacing between all the doors and drawers, even between two cabinets. In what’s called a framed overlay, you will still have a face frame and varying space between doors and cabinets.

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Sleek Kitchen Cabinet for Modern DesignSleek Kitchen Cabinet for Modern Design

Sleek and simple hardware – In modern kitchens you’ll most often see C-channel hardware that’s integrated into the cabinet, as well as tubular pulls or flat linear pulls. Lots of times the horizontal lines of the cabinets will be accentuated by cabinet hardware running the full length of the drawers and doors.

Lack of ornamentation – Always a signature of modern kitchen cabinet, this is often where contemporary and modern stop being similar. Whereas you might see patterned tile shapes or multiple materials with texture, color and patina in a contemporary kitchen, you won’t see much of that in a modern kitchen. Flat-panel door styles and sleek hardware are joined here by a simple full-height glass backsplash and countertops without any pattern or veining.

Horizontal Look in Modern Kitchen Cabinet DesignHorizontal Look in Modern Kitchen Cabinet Design

Reliance on the beauty of natural materials –  It’s not to say that modern kitchens can’t have a little bit of ornamentation, but when they do, they get it from the natural characteristics in a material, such as the horizontal grain of oak when it’s rift cut or the natural beauty and veining of marble.

Emphasis on horizontal lines – You might not notice at first, but many modern kitchens share a tendency toward the horizontal: long, wide lines, stacks of drawer cabinets lined in a row, hardware set long and horizontal to accentuate the lines of the drawers.

Modern Kitchen CabinetModern Kitchen Cabinet

Consistency in style of accent pieces – Accents like lighting, tables, chairs, and bar stools all have to be considered when designing a kitchen. In a modern kitchen cabinet these elements will stay consistent rather than deviate like you’d see in an eclectic kitchen. The pieces should show simple, clean lines and lack of ornamentation.

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Industrial elements – There’s something about the unadorned elements of industrial details that are instantly modern. The complete lack of ornamentation of the cabinets completes the look of this modern kitchen.

Industrial Style in Modern Kitchen Cabinet DesignIndustrial Style in Modern Kitchen Cabinet Design

The flat-panel or slab-door is basic style of modern kitchen cabinet design. The essence of this style is often about minimal embellishment and letting the natural materials speak for themselves. The wood grain might be the statement, or it could be a simple linear pull on a high-gloss white cabinet.