Designing a Modern Kitchen That Is Warm and Homey

Creating a modern kitchen doesn't have to come at the cost of the homey, cozy feel any gathering space should have. With the right balance, you can create a contemporary, edgy design that doesn't feel cold or impersonal. Here are a few inspirational ideas that will help you design a trendy kitchen that's just as warm and inviting as it is visually invigorating.

Create Warmth with the Flooring

When designing a kitchen, your flooring choice is key because it's the base from which the rest of your design will bloom. And any space, modern or otherwise, can benefit from a little color science. For instance, it's no secret that cool colors are soothing and relaxing, and best suited for bedrooms. Warm red, brown with red undertones, gold, honey, and yellow tones, however, surge with energy and are perfect for the kitchen. Consider going with a warm-colored glazed porcelain tile underfoot. Not only will a rich, mottled or wood-look tile floor appear modern in the right setting, but it will anchor the rest of the room. To maximize its warming effect, consider adding in-floor heating.

Carefully Choose Cabinets and Countertops

It might be tempting to go with sleek, high gloss, snow-white cabinets for an ultramodern appearance, but not so fast; the overall idea is correct, but such stark color can appear cold. The design can still be streamlined for contemporary edginess, but use some restraint. Try opting for cabinets that are warm white with a creamy undertone, for instance, and then add gray quartz countertops. A handcrafted wood island with a gray stain offers cozy contrast when you top it with white marble. And a few handmade or subtly decorative touches, such as the Liner Wave Bronze backsplash strip, can add to your modern, yet homey, design.

Photo features Fontanella 18 x 36 in Monza on the floor.

Opt for a Warm Wall Color

As for wall color, again, choose a shade that will add to the homey vibe. Rather than painting the kitchen walls in bright red, yellow, or orange in an attempt at modern zing, paint them autumn red, burnt orange, golden yellow, or even matte or metallic bronze, and then add a complementary glass tile backsplash. These more earthy hues meld warmly and effortlessly with wood tones and natural stone.

Accent the Space with Appliances and Accessories

The appliances are a big part of a kitchen's design—figuratively and literally—so be sure to consider the color you go with. For instance, white tends to jump forward, while black appliances appear to retract into the walls, quieting visual noise and letting smaller accent pieces stand out. Stainless steel appliances are also extremely popular right now, and add a modern touch to any kitchen space. Choose your appliance color, and then finish your design by adding zingy cayenne- or paprika-colored tile accents to spice up your contemporary space in a more natural way than primary-colored accents would. If you're styling an all-white or minimalist kitchen, use shapely, sculptural white accents, such as handcrafted clay pots, vases, and trivets, to project warmth through form, rather than color.

Add the Right Lighting

A modern kitchen glimmers under good lighting, but look beyond pedestrian fixtures. Instead, opt for products made by local artisans who craft lampshades from slices of agate or hand-cut artistic glass. Such touches exude warmth and whimsy, removing starkness from a streamlined room. Draw attention to your new fixtures with a metallic tile backsplash or accent wall.

Under-cabinet lights and flush-mounted ceiling puck lights are a must for optimal illumination, but you can also group richly colored drop pendants over the sink, table, and peninsula or island. A grouping of three, five, or seven pendants in warm red, gold, or multicolored shades carry the same class as a chandelier but with trendy flair. You can also replace harsh or clear bulbs with soft white or full-spectrum ones. These options exude clean light, keeping all colors, naturally beautiful and warmly modern.

Finding the perfect balance between modern and cozy can be a challenge. Luckily, with these design tips, any homeowner should feel confident about getting started on their design. Before you know it, you'll be cooking and enjoying a kitchen that's boldly stylish but still feels like home.