16 Striking Modern Apartment Kitchens: From Simple to Splashy

updated Jan 24, 2024
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View into kitchen and dining room. Herringbone wood floors, cream shag area rug, lot's of tall windows with white sheer curtains. Kitchen has black cabinets, butcher block countertops. Long oval black dining table with rattan backed dining chairs, paper lantern overhead

Modern design (when compared to minimalist and contemporary design) is defined as “the precursor to both minimalist and contemporary design, and generally refers to pieces that are derived from the innovations of mid-century modern designers.” While I agree, I think (colloquially at least), that modern can apply to sleek, bold spaces without a lot of frills but still with a lot of style. Like these 16 beautiful modern apartment kitchens below.

Credit: Erin Derby

1. A Brooklyn Rental Transformed Into “Laidback Luxe”

Favorite element: “Living on the ground floor of a brownstone, I experience the extremes of a southern and northern exposure. Instead of fighting it, I painted in accordance. The rear of the apartment, leading out to the garden, is sunny, bright, and airy; the front of the apartment is drenched in inky blacks and browns, and feels more sultry and cavernous. Both areas speak to the duality of my personality. I can pick and choose where to lounge based on my mood,” says Kim White, renter of a Brooklyn brownstone.

Credit: Lula Poggi

2. A Designer Works & Lives in a Stylish Barcelona Space

There’s not a ton of natural light in this modern Barcelona space, but the color palette is such that the rooms feel like they’re encompassed in a warm glow. The renovation highlights the architectural aspect of the structure, too; the curved ceiling contrasts beautifully with the straight lines of the furnishings. And a big bonus of living in your interior design showroom is you get to splurge on a fancy kitchen since you’ll be showing it to clients — the showroom’s kitchen is the one he uses as his own!

3. Thoughtful Color Combinations in a Prague Home

“The realtor walked us through the building to the apartment, and once she opened the door, we immediately felt like we were home,” Lucy and Karina, the renters of this stunning Prague apartment explain. “The size of the apartment was perfect for us, and we really fell in love with the layout of the living room that is so open to the kitchen, which makes it the heart of the apartment with so much light and open space.”

4. A Bold, Blue and Bespoke Brooklyn Abode

The custom kitchen [in this modern Brooklyn space] feels like nothing I’ve ever seen in a Brooklyn apartment, or truly in any apartment: just two rows of cabinets in Harry’s signature cobalt blue, floating serenely across from each other. Hanging above is a chandelier that, upon closer inspection, turns out to be made from BIC Pens, a testament to Harry’s ability to see great possibility in ordinary things.

5. A Sunny Attic Apartment in a 15th Century Utrecht Building

Located on one of the main canals of Utrecht, this building (which houses a stunning attic apartment) was once a warehouse and dates from the 15th century. The building is now home to a workshop for the Museum Speelklok, the Utrecht clock museum, and two other apartments. Repurposing old buildings is not uncommon in the Netherlands and in fact this building has undergone several lives, including being the former residence of the city’s fire brigade.

Credit: Minette Hand

6. The “Comfortable Luxe” Brooklyn Pad of Two Stylish Expats

Biggest Indulgence: “The kitchen countertops, for sure. We thought about it for ages and cut the budget in a few other areas in order to make it happen — so the kitchen is a great example of combining both high (where you can) and low to get the final look you want,” say Carlos João Parreira and Greg James, owners of this modern Brooklyn apartment.

Credit: Viv Yapp

7. A Small, Renovated “Eclectic Scandinavian” West London Home

Helga and her husband Kirill bought this Victorian terrace two years ago and completely renovated the whole place. This once typical two-up, two-down house has been flipped upside down, with the upstairs bedrooms transformed into one big open plan lounge/kitchen diner. They also opened up the loft adding in skylights to give it a more airy feel.

“You know when the house is small, but you get the height, it doesn’t feel as intimidating,” Helga says. And indeed she’s right; the skylight really opens up the space, making the loft the perfect hangout for the whole family.

Credit: Viv Yapp

8. A British Eclectic Style Hong Kong Home

Biggest Challenge: “Avoiding clutter/letting go of pieces of furniture due to sentiments. We have a lot of art and prints that were previously hung around our house in the UK. Now that we are renting in Hong Kong, we needed to find inventive ways of displaying the art, without hanging directly on the walls,” say Michelle and Barry, renters of this eclectic Hong Kong home.

9. A Designer, a Dancer & Their Daughters in a Modern Brooklyn Brownstone

Delia Kenza and Júlio Leitão’s modern Brooklyn home, which took them one and a half years to renovate, is a comfortable family space for this family of four. Set against a clean, minimalist backdrop, it is also the perfect showcase for much of their expansive art collection and creative endeavors.

10. West Coast Casual Meets Southwest Minimalism in Brooklyn

Best Advice: “If you have a neutral furniture palette, it’s easy to layer and change objects and textiles to mix it up. We love color, but simplicity feels timeless and focused,” say Eva Goicochea and Ian Goicochea, who rent this minimalist Brooklyn abode.

Credit: Cathy Pyle

11. Audrey’s Cozy Industrial Soho Apartment

The previous owners of this industrial Soho apartment had furnished and decorated the apartment in a pristine, white, ultra-modern style which wasn’t to Audrey’s taste, so she enlisted Doris’ help to create a softer, more lived-in vibe. They introduced lots of vintage furniture, lighting and accessories, and used reclaimed scaffolding boards to create shelves in the living area and a new table in the dining area.

12. A “Primitive Modern” Austin Home

Georgia Pellegrini, who owns this modern Austin home, may not look like the type of woman who gets dirty for a living, but the adventure tour host draws much of her inspiration from the outdoors. The “Modern Pioneering” author turned her white-walled, concrete-floored abode into a warm and inviting space with touches of the trail and bits of the outdoors.

13. A Contemporary Urban Desert Home

Tim Rodgers, owner of this modern Phoenix abode, admits that there have been a few challenges living in what the architects agree was an experiment. He and his partner Jeff have had to block off a hallway with their refrigerator, as originally there was only space for an under-counter fridge. Tim has been considering modifying the countertop and cabinets to allow for a full size fridge, but he’s still not convinced.

14. A Food Blogger’s Bright Modern Apartment

Michelle Lopez, renter of this bright Brooklyn apartment, is a food blogger, specializing in desserts. Her blog Hummingbird High began in her college days and now reaches over 100,000 followers on social media. A major priority for the couple was finding a space where Michelle could comfortably bake and experiment with recipes. The couple and their cat Penny are happy to call this sunny space in Brooklyn their new home.

15. Libby & Tim’s Natural & Glamorous Parisian Flat

This mid-sized Parisian apartment merges Old World French and modern aesthetics perfectly. It’s hard not to fall in love with this space, with its big French windows, marble fireplaces, and hard woods. Libby and Tim found a way to illuminate the magic of Parisian architecture while incorporating their modern, natural style.

16. A Minimal & Modern Atlanta Studio Apartment

Coming in at a whopping 575 square feet, this Atlanta studio space is on the smaller side of the spectrum. However, stepping into a room flooded by natural light makes this modern apartment feel much larger than its measurements give it credit for. Sean completely embraced the opportunity in making an airy and open feel, with plenty of clean lines and touches of greenery.