These 7 modern kitchen color ideas are so chic — designers share the contemporary shades they always go for

These modern kitchen color ideas are perfect for adding serious sophistication

Modern kitchen color ideas are so smart. Here is a black and white kitchen with black cabinets, a silver fridge and oven, white walls, a white kitchen island, and a large window
(Image credit: Valerie Helgeson / Design Directions / Sarah Strunk)

Finding modern kitchen color ideas is a good idea if you want to go for all the contemporary styles.

We've asked interior designers how you can bring these into your space. Whether you love chic monochromes or want to add a bold pop of color, there are so many different options.

When searching for kitchen color ideas, going for sleek shades will ensure your space feels fresh and fabulous.

Beautiful modern kitchen color ideas

Even if you're starting with a clean base and are working with white kitchen ideas, modern kitchen colors can be added in.

Our pros have recommended useful paint and decor throughout, which we have shopped to help you get the look.

The prices below were correct at the time of publishing this article. 

1. Monochrome

A kitchen with black and gray cabinets with gold handles, white countertops and walls, and black faucets

(Image credit: Valerie Helgeson / Design Directions / Sarah Strunk)

Monochrome kitchen ideas have plenty of timeless charm, and are a breeze to bring in with shades of black, white, and gray.

“One of the many things I like about a monochrome kitchen is the versatility it offers,” explains Valerie Helgeson, principal designer and founder of Design Directions.

She continues, “If it’s a modern look you’re going for, use a flat front full overlay cabinet. I like to use black on the base cabinets to give the kitchen weight and white uppers to lend a bright airy feel.”

You can also incorporate stainless steel small kitchen appliances (the Breville Barista Express on Amazon is one of our top coffee makers thanks to its powerful milk frother and temperature controls) and minimalist hardware to achieve a cohesive look.

2. Blue and white

A kitchen with a dark blue kitchen island, a white surface with a silver faucet and chopping boards with bread and fruit, three glass pendant lights above it, and white cabinets to the right

(Image credit: Searle & Taylor Kitchens)

Modern style is all about letting simplicity shine, which is where bringing in blue and white shades through two-tone kitchen ideas comes in.

“Pair deep navy blue cabinets with bright white walls and countertops for striking visual impact,” suggests Nina Lichtenstein, principal designer and founder of Nina’s Home Design.

She continues, “Incorporate geometric patterns or textured surfaces such as marble to create depth and dimension within the color scheme.”

You can also consider adding brass or gold accents through fixtures (the Arthur Handle from Anthropologie is made from cast iron and comes in three colors) to enhance the luxurious feel.

3. Neutrals

A modern kitchen with white and beige walls, two gold chandeliers, a white circular table, six wooden chairs, a woven rug undereath, white cabinets, and black blinds on a window

(Image credit: Quick-Step)

Go for a refined and timeless feel by bringing in modern kitchen colors in with neutral tones.

Nina says, “Choose beige, taupe, or soft gray (Farrow & Ball's Shadow Gray is understated and is the one of the best paint colors for south-facing rooms) and opt for matte finish cabinetry in a light neutral shade paired with marble or quartz countertops for a luxurious touch.”

She also recommends bringing in greenery through indoor plants to bring life into the space. 

4. Gray

A kitchen with concrete gray cabinets with gold handles, an island with a white countertop and gray panels, and two gray fabric stools with light wooden legs

(Image credit: Higham Furniture)

Choosing modern kitchen color ideas with a particular design aesthetic in mind will help you achieve a cohesive look. 

“Capture the industrial aesthetic with gray tones that exude urban sophistication, such as through cabinets, countertops and backsplashes (the Faceables Old Brick Subway Tiles from Wayfair are water-resistant and freeze-resistant),” Nina explains. 

To complete the modern industrial vibe, incorporate exposed metal elements and minimalistic decor (the Troy Lighting Huntley 1-Light Pendant from Saks has patina brass lining that will give your kitchen a warm glow).

5. Jewel tones

The corner of a red kitchen island with a dark brown countertop, and pink cabinets behind it and a orange and white glass pendant light above it

(Image credit: Olive & Barr)

Pair up contemporary shades with bright colors to bring personality and energy into your modern

Nina says, “Consider adding a bold shade like emerald green, cobalt blue, or warm red.”

You can do this as boldly or as subtly as you like, such as bringing in a piece of decor in one of these (the Willa Arlo Thursa Counter Stool from Wayfair is the perfect way to bring in the unexpected red theory and has rubber pads for smooth movement), painting a cabinet, or color drenching the ceiling to the floor in the same shade.

6. Wood

A modern kitchen with wooden beams, a wooden countertop with a bar stool, a light wooden dining table with decor on it and a painting in front of it, and a woven jute rug on the concrete floor

(Image credit: Loaf)

One of the most timeless materials, wooden kitchen ideas in sharp shapes are great ways to bring in modern kitchen color.

“Embrace Scandinavian design principles by incorporating wooden tones into your cooking space,” Nina suggests.

“Keep the palette light and minimalistic to create a sense of simplicity and tranquility,” she adds.

If you love the clean look of the above picture, the Oxdigi Wooden Slat Peel and Stick Wallpaper from Amazon looks similar to the breakfast bar panels, has a 3D effect, is easy to cut, and is waterproof. 

7. Green

A kitchen with medium green cabinets with gold handles, white splashback and gold handles, and three warm wooden wall shelves to the right with jars and dinnerware on

(Image credit: Valerie Helgeson / Design Directions / Sarah Baker Photography)

For those looking to balance sophistication and playfulness with their modern kitchen colors, why not try green kitchen ideas?

“The right shade pairs very well with natural materials like wood, brick, stone, and metals and can also enhance the natural light in a kitchen, particularly if you choose light to medium shades,” Valerie says.

Be sure to pick a green that has cool undertones for an especially modern look, such as Benjamin Moore’s Lehigh Green which is a playful grassy shade with a hint of blue.


Modern kitchen colors are brilliant to have in mind when curating a sleek space with oodles of refinement.

“Whether you prefer a monochrome palette, bold contrasts, or subtle neutrals with a pop of color, selecting the right colors can make your kitchen a standout gathering spot,” Nina finishes by saying.

If you’re painting a specific area of your kitchen, finding out kitchen cabinet colors and seeing if they match modern ones will definitely come in useful.

Eve Smallman
Content Editor

Hi there! I’m a content editor at Real Homes. I've been a lifestyle journalist for over five years, previously working as an editor across regional magazines. Before this, I graduated from Nottingham Trent University a degree in journalism, along with an NCTJ gold diploma. I love running, decorating my rented Victorian home, and discovering new cheeses. For Real Homes, I specialize in interior design, trends and finding the best viral buys.

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