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Modern Kitchen Design Ideas

Kitchens are constantly evolving, not just in how they look but also in how they are used. In the past, the kitchen was hidden away, with the wealthiest homeowners leaving the space to staff and hardly setting foot in them.

Now, kitchens are the heart of the home, designed as much for cooking and running the household as for family gatherings and entertaining guests. And we have to say, this is the way we like it. So, with that in mind, let’s look at the best features and must-haves for a modern kitchen design.

What Should a Modern Kitchen Have?

Ultimately, every contemporary kitchen design should be unique, reflecting your lifestyle and creative tastes. However, there are a few things that are considered essential for a modern kitchen:

Frameless cabinetry – The door of the cupboard should overlay the frame, eliminating gaps between cupboards to create a flush surface for your cabinetry.

Frameless cabinetry in a London kitchen extension done by the Plus Rooms design and build company.

Minimalist hardware – Strip hardware down to the essentials to create a sleek, clean look. Simple, elegant taps with clean lines and no flourishes are best (think function first), and you can do away with handles completely with push-release drawers and cupboards.

Minimalist hardware in a London kitchen extension done by the Plus Rooms design and build company.

Natural materials and simple patterns – While your modern kitchen can be a simple white box, it’s not necessary to go to that extreme to get a modern kitchen design. The idea is to make natural, simple textures on a key surface pop against a clean background. Think solid wood grain against white walls, or large grain marble against matt plain cupboards.

Natural materials and simple patterns in a London kitchen extension done by the Plus Rooms design and build company.

Sleek appliances – Quiet, energy efficient, and stylish, they have it all.

Double-bowl or large sinks – Adding a butler sink or undercounter stainless steel sink that’s a statement piece.

Kitchen Styles That Are Trending

Trends are a great source of inspiration for modern kitchen design ideas, and they can help a contemporary space develop a character of its own. Some of the biggest kitchen trends for 2023 include:

Pops of colour – Modern kitchen design is usually associated with neutrals, and these greys, whites, and pale browns are still a big part of the style. However, in 2023, we’ll start seeing bold colour accenting the space. This is achieved with accessories (for easy swap out), colourful taps or handles, or an eye-catching kitchen island. Royal blue, forest and mint green, cherry reds, and mellow yellow add energy to the space.

Bold colour use in a London kitchen extension done by the Plus Rooms design and build company.

Hidden pantries – Eliminating clutter is a big trend, and hidden pantries put all your everyday items out of sight. The best versions of these are floor-to-ceiling cupboards that pull out (rather than having a door that opens). Items are easier to reach and when it’s not in use the kitchen instantly looks tidy.

Curves – Recently, we’ve seen a lot of curves come into kitchen design creating a retro but contemporary feel. This is trending with kitchen islands in particular, where the curved shape creates a social space with easy traffic flow, and mimics elegant, curved dining tables.

Kitchen Tiles for Modern Kitchen Designs

Kitchen tiles are a personal preference, but when you’re looking for contemporary kitchen design ideas, it’s best to choose the following:

Marble – A large sheet of marble or natural stone is the ultimate luxury when it comes to a tile effect. Choose an option with bold but minimal graining to get a classic but updated look.

The use of marble in a London kitchen extension done by the Plus Rooms design and build company.

Chevron – Like hexagonal tiles, chevrons are a key trend in modern kitchen design. It’s best to choose a fairly narrow tile if you want lots of texture, or a subway tile for a simpler look.

Chevron tiles in a London kitchen extension done by the Plus Rooms design and build company.

Oversized tiles – If you have the wall space, go big with your tiles to minimise grouting, and achieve a bold, simple effect.

Hexagonal tiles – Hexagonal tiles can be large or small, all one colour or a mix of colours. Randomising colours or textures is a big trend right now, but don’t go for more than two options as this will make them look very busy.

See more kitchen design ideas here.

Enlarge Your Space With a Kitchen Extension

Most homes in the UK have poor kitchen placement, often being quite small, narrow spaces at the back of the home. But don’t let that stop you from getting the modern kitchen design of your dreams. With the right design and build company, your kitchen can be the spacious, social space you and your family deserve.

At Plus Rooms, a leading design and build company in London, we’ve worked on over 1,400 freestanding homes, terrace homes, and other residential properties to deliver bespoke kitchen extensions. Our side, side and rear, and wraparound kitchen extensions are designed to make the best use of your space, from transforming unused space into valuable living space to reinventing the flow of your entire ground floor. We will lead you through the process from start to finish, helping you get the best floor plan, features, and quality for your budget whether your project is large or small. Contact us today to start the journey to your dream home.

Kitchen Island Design Ideas

Kitchen islands have been around for so long that it’s difficult to imagine a kitchen without one. Although they used to be reserved for large or open design kitchens, modern designs allow you to include this functional and attractive piece in almost any space. Here are some kitchen island design ideas to help your design process come to life.

How to Design the Perfect Kitchen Island for Your Home

Kitchen islands can be custom designed to your exact specifications, making them one of the most useful features in your kitchen. Here are some things to consider when planning a kitchen design with an island.

Include Space for Seating

Kitchen island with seating in a London kitchen extension done by Plus Rooms.

This is a great option in a kitchen dining space, especially if you want to do away with having a full dining table to make more room for entertaining, like in this Peckham home. The seating space at the kitchen island creates a breakfast bar, a homework space for the kids, and seating for your guests. It can also be an informal seating or entertaining space separate from your dining area, like in this Richmond Upon Thames home.

Zone an Open Plan Space With a Longline Island

Longline kitchen island in a London kitchen extension done by Plus Rooms.

The secret to a great open plan living area is creating zones for eating, cooking, entertaining, and relaxing, working with how you use the space to achieve an open and spacious flow. A longline kitchen island is a great way to do this, as it makes a barrier between the cooking space and the rest of the room without isolating it. In this Tooting home renovation project, the longline kitchen island effectively divides the open plan space, while the marble finish adds elegance to each zone it borders on.

Extend an Island to Incorporate a Dining Table

Kitchen island with dining table in a London kitchen extension done by Plus Rooms.

By simply adding a larger countertop surface to your kitchen island, you instantly create a dining space that’s convenient for everyday use. It makes the kitchen a more social zone, is perfect for serving meals directly from the kitchen, and means you get lots of company while you cook or entertain. We love this kitchen island design in East Dulwich for the cosy, informal dining table it creates.

Make Sure Your Island is Well Lit

Kitchen island with lighting in a London kitchen extension done by Plus Rooms.

Whatever you want to use your kitchen island for, make sure your design includes good lighting. This is especially important if you are using it as a cooking, prep, or dining space. It’s also a fantastic way to add character and style to highlight this feature. We love the modern, bold copper pendants in this Muswell Hill kitchen design, as well as these vintage-inspired industrial pendants in this Clapham kitchen renovation project.

Adding a Kitchen Sink to The Island

Kitchen island with sink in a London kitchen extension done by Plus Rooms.

In most projects, the kitchen island is primarily about adding functional space in the form of a prep area. Having a kitchen sink plumbed into your island adds exceptional convenience while you are cooking and entertaining, especially if you add a boiling water tap too. It makes it easier to move between appliances and taps freely, and gives you an extra tap to use while the dishes are being cleaned. You can see just how attractive and useful this feature is in this Shepherd’s Bush kitchen renovation project.

Multifunctional Kitchen Islands

Multifunctional kitchen island in a London kitchen extension done by Plus Rooms.

Kitchen islands can add almost any additional functionality to your space, providing housing for everything from additional sinks to stoves, ovens, wine fridges, and more. This makes creating open plan living areas much more achievable and functional even in smaller spaces, as you can see in this Tooting home renovation project.

Large Kitchen Islands

Large kitchen island in a London kitchen extension done by Plus Rooms.

If you have a large open plan space, a big kitchen island is a must-have. Not only does it help break up the space into functional zones, but it also makes it quick and easy to use your kitchen efficiently. You can create the perfect triangle for your kitchen design, moving easily between the fridge, cooking appliances, and sink. You can also add all kinds of luxury features, such as a wine fridge, boiling water and sparkling water tap, ice maker, and more. A large kitchen island like this one in Elmbridge is the ultimate luxury feature that adds a real wow-factor to your home.

Slimline Islands

Slimline kitchen island in a London kitchen extension done by Plus Rooms.

Many people come to our design and build company for a kitchen renovation thinking that a kitchen design with an island is beyond their reach. But slimline islands designed to your spec will fit perfectly into any home, including narrower terrace homes and flats. Not only are these islands attractive, but they also provide essential storage and counterspace which is often a challenge in terrace homes. In this Lewisham kitchen renovation, the slimline kitchen island design includes seating and storage space as well as an additional sink without cramping the overall design. And in this Wandsworth terrace renovation, it zones off the kitchen space, adds multifunctionality, and keeps the open plan area spacious and airy.

Use a Moveable Island if Space is Tight

Kitchen islands don’t have to be anchored in place, so remember to look for movable islands too if you want a kitchen design with an island. These are a great option if you want more storage and prep space for bigger events but want to keep your kitchen space free-flowing and spacious when it’s not in use. Wheeled options can be moved around as you need them – in the kitchen for prep, into the dining space for serving, or even outdoors as a bar area or barbeque prep space.

Practical Stainless-steel Worktop

Your kitchen island can have any surface you like, and making it contrast with your other countertops makes it a stylish focal point. Marble, granite, and wood are all good options, but don’t forget about stainless steel. Popular in restaurant kitchens, it’s hygienic, hard-wearing, and gives your space an industrial chic appeal. It wears with time, giving it character, but it won’t rust or harbour bacteria or dirt, which makes it the perfect prep surface.

Drop In a Low Dining Table

Traditionally, kitchen islands are the same height as countertops because this is best for when you’re standing. But not everyone likes bar stools or finds them practical. So, if you want a dining space on your kitchen island that’s easier to sit at, you can drop in a low table surface where you extend it for the seating. This gives you all the family-friendly benefits of a dining kitchen island with a lot of extra comforts.

See more kitchen design ideas here.

Your Kitchen Deserves the Leading Design and Build Company in London

PlusRooms is a full-service design and build company in London, creating elegant and functional custom designs for large and small spaces. We’ll work with you through the entire process, from designing your kitchen extension and managing planning permission to building the project and ensuring it is completed to your satisfaction. Please visit our website to see more of our kitchen extension projects, to be inspired by our kitchen island design ideas, and contact us to start the journey towards your dream home.