How To Make A Kitchen Look More Modern

How To Make A Kitchen Look More Modern

The kitchen is the vibrant center of a home, serving as both a functional space and gathering place. The aesthetic a homeowner chooses for a kitchen often sets the tone for the rest of the house, too.

Seeking simple, modern kitchen ideas? In this brief guide, we’ll outline tips and tricks to help you create a sleek, modern kitchen that is both beautiful and practical. 

What Do You Mean By Modern?

Many homeowners who are currently in the market for an updated, modern style kitchen often use the term “sleek” to describe what they’re envisioning within their kitchen makeover. It’s up to our designers to help homeowners interpret this term by selecting the best materials and modern kitchen decor from our inventory to bring their vision to fruition. Sleek could mean:

  • Simple

  • Sharp-edged

  • Sophisticated  

  • …and more

Three Key Design Elements Of A Modern Kitchen

Modern kitchen design can vary from home to home. Modern kitchen designs are versatile, allowing homeowners and designers the opportunity to get creative without being pigeonholed. 

For example, your idea of “modern” may include stainless steel and warm-colored dimensional tile (sophisticated). At the same time, your neighbor may want a “modern” approach that includes bright colors and tons of natural light (simple).1

There are three key design elements to consider before you start creating your sleek, modern kitchen:

  • Clean lines

  • Color scheme

  • Patterns and mosaics 

#1 Clean Lines

The term “clean lines” encompasses a variety of elements in your modern kitchen. If you are looking to update and modernize your kitchen space, especially if this space is on the smaller side, chances are you are in the market for a:

  • Simple but well-made materials – Cheaply made, flashy materials can be distracting in a modern kitchen. Investing in well-made, well-designed materials for your countertops, flooring, backsplash tile, lighting, and more will help you achieve your sleek scheme and durability.

  • Streamlined layout – These layouts include galley (long and narrow), open concept, U-shaped, and L-shaped designs. Your modern kitchen should be, above all, functional. An easy-to-maneuver layout sets the foundation for all of the aesthetic choices you’ll make.2

  • Ample but discreet storage – Clutter is the antithesis of the modern kitchen ethos. When designing your new, sleek space, consider adding deep drawers and full-length cupboards for optimal organization opportunities. To really double down on clean lines and a minimalist aesthetic, consider using a hardware-free kitchen cabinet that blends in with the rest of the kitchen.  

When helping homeowners adhere to a sleek design scheme, we’ll often point them to a marble or granite countertop, natural stone kitchen hoods, and a monochromatic tile backsplash to help them easily create clean lines. You can also create fewer lines overall with larger individual tiles and floorboards.

These natural materials seamlessly carry on the sleek aesthetic of the rest of the kitchen, exuding a simple sophistication. 

#2 Color Scheme  

“Bright and white” has grown in popularity over the past few years as the preferred design color scheme in today’s sleek kitchen design. “Earthy neutral” is also gaining in popularity.1

Our designers will often direct homeowners to certain stones to be used for flooring, countertops, or other kitchen accents, depending on their chosen aesthetic. While you can swap out your kitchen accessories, the building materials you choose are more or less there to stay. Your remodeled kitchen’s materials go a long way towards achieving bright, white or more subdued, earthy looks—and anything between.

 These stones include:3

  • Danby marble – One of the oldest quarried marbles in the country, Danby is a highly versatile stone that can elevate your home kitchen. Plus, you can tell visitors that it’s the same material used when sculpting many Washington D.C. monuments. 

  • Carrara marble – A highly sought-after, white and gray Italian marble, the Carrara stone rivals the Danby in terms of story and sophistication. You cannot go wrong with either when selecting materials that adhere to a “bright, white” color scheme.

  • Lombardy limestone – This “timeless,” North American-sourced stone falls somewhere on the spectrum between bright-white and warm-neutral, making it the ideal material for the homeowner who cannot decide which design scheme they want to pursue.

  • Vintage Vein-cut travertine – For the homeowner who wants their sleek, modern kitchen to be imbued with some natural warmth, the vintage, vein-cut travertine may be the material for you. This classic stone, featuring its own characteristic movement, is sure to add some depth to your design.

  • Cream limestone – Like a warm, frothy latte, the cream limestone is an inviting and soft material available with various finishes. Your modern kitchen design may call for the simple, clean lines of the cream “pillowed” or cream “honed” finishes. 

#3 Patterns & Mosaics

While white and cream-colored tiles and stones remain extraordinarily popular in kitchen design, your endeavor to create a sleek, modern space certainly doesn’t lock you into them. Recent trends point to homeowners feeling “bolder” with their accent choices when designing their sleek, modern kitchens.2 

Our designers have found that glass and ceramic tiles or custom mosaics can be fun, unexpected design elements that create bold focal points in modern kitchens. 

To achieve this look, our designers can help you peruse our catalog of exclusive mosaic designs, which include:4

  • Byzantine mosaics Cut and arranged by hand, this rustic design pays homage to one of the oldest forms of mosaic art. 

  • Calico mosaics This woven-inspired pattern incorporates more fine lines and symmetry than the Byzantine mosaic to create an “elegant but understated” look or a more “energetic” aesthetic depending on the tiles you choose.

  • Galileo mosaics Using clean lines and modern shapes, the Galileo mosaic creates a timeless look for your kitchen’s bold accent piece, featuring an astronomical twist.

  • Pebbles mosaics – The Pebbles collection creates a subtle, three-dimensional look with patterns including petals, clovers, argyle, and more.  

Make Your Modern Kitchen Dreams A Reality With Materials Marketing 

Whether you’re embarking on a kitchen makeover from scratch, looking for small kitchen upgrades, or researching how to make a kitchen look more modern, you’ll want to refer to the three key design elements listed above during your kitchen design drafting stages. 

Modern kitchens are not one-size-fits-all—your design may include a sophisticated aesthetic of bright, white marble and a monochromatic tile backsplash. In contrast, someone else’s design incorporates more natural, muted elements like cream limestone countertops. 

Here at Materials Marketing, we are always looking to help our clients achieve their design goals, no matter what they are, which means we keep our ears to the ground of the design landscape and our sights on the fashion-forward horizon.

To learn more about our design services, the top-quality products we offer, and matching your definition of the “modern kitchen” aesthetic, visit our website to find one of our eight showrooms near you or get in touch with our digital sales team.



  1. House Beautiful. The Definitive Proof That Modern Kitchens Have Endless Versatility. 

  2. Homes & Gardens. How to Design a Modern Kitchen – Tips and Tricks From the Experts. 

  3. Materials Marketing. Natural Stone Colors. 

  4. Materials Marketing. Mosaics.

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