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4 Chic Backsplash Choices For Contemporary Kitchens

Contemporary kitchens boast a sleek, minimalistic style. They typically feature a monochromatic color scheme, often favoring neutrals over bold or vibrant hues. Think dark or white Shaker cabinets and matching acrylic solid surface countertops. The more seamless the design, the better.

Since this modern kitchen design has such distinct characteristics, you’ll need to find just the right backsplash tile to maintain your contemporary aesthetic. Here are four chic backsplash choices for inspiration.

1. Subway Tile

Subway tile is truly one of the most versatile options when it comes to backsplash tile. It was first introduced in the New York subway back in the early 1900s. But those unremarkable ceramic rectangles grew to be much bigger than their originator could have ever imagined. That same tile became the go-to choice for kitchens and bathrooms all over the country.

Today, subway tile has evolved immensely and is now available in a variety of materials, patterns, and colors. With so many timeless options to choose from, you will have no problem finding the perfect match for your kitchen. The simple pattern of subway tile is both sophisticated and understated, so it finds harmony with any kitchen theme — and contemporary is no exception.

2. Stone

You can create a stunning look by matching your backsplash to your kitchen countertops. Whether your countertops are quartz, granite, or another type of natural or manufactured stone, you will likely be able to find a similar tile. Doing this minimizes contrast and will enhance your modern kitchen design.

If you love seamless, ultra minimalistic kitchens, stone backsplashes are a great choice. Unique options include marble, travertine, slate and onyx. And don’t worry about finding an exact match. It’s absolutely fine for there to be some distinction between your backsplash and countertops. In fact, the subtle differences will only add intrigue by creating the slightest amount of visual interest.

3. Glass

Glass is right on point in contemporary kitchens and can be a stylish addition to minimalist or monochromatic spaces. This transparent material is high-shine, which is a very desirable feature in modern kitchen design — whether it’s backsplash tile or glass-front Shaker cabinets.

Because it can be sheer or semi-sheer, a glass tile backsplash is a genius way to incorporate a soft color like blue or green without overpowering the room’s aesthetic. That glossy reflection is also irresistible and creates an undeniably eye-catching accent to your kitchen walls.

4. Stainless Steel

Stainless steel appliances are almost synonymous with contemporary kitchens. You’ll rarely find an ivory refrigerator or dishwasher here. Stainless steel is just undoubtedly sleek, and its popularity has elevated it above and beyond glistening appliances, sinks and kitchen hoods.

Durable and easy to clean, it only makes sense that this heavy-duty material made its way to kitchen walls. Like glass, stainless steel offers a high-shine finish, and it boasts an intriguing dash of futuristic appeal when paired cohesively with other elements in the kitchen.


Welcome to Willow Lane Cabinetry — the #1 place to buy affordable, semi-custom cabinets online! Let us help you create the kitchen, home office, home bar, laundry room, closet, TV room or bath of your dreams with our 100% free room design tool. We offer all wood cabinetry, fully assembled and delivered for free, plus all the accessories needed to complete your remodel. Visit our website to see our products today!

5 Ways To Design A Dark And Dramatic Kitchen

Halloween is lurking just around the corner, and there is no better time to talk about dark and dramatic kitchen cabinet finishes and decorative accents. From chic and contemporary cabinets to bespoke backsplash tile, here are a few of our favorite modern kitchen design choices for those who lean towards the dark side.

Kitchen Cabinet Finishes

Dark kitchen cabinet finishes are right on point in a modern kitchen design, whether you prefer rich Regency Espresso, Midtown Java Shaker, Midtown Dark Grey Shaker, or the dark chocolate tone of our Brazillian Shakercollection. You could even go for a bold, two-tone look! Order samples to feel and see the finish and quality of our all wood cabinetry before committing, or take advantage of our free online design service to see how these contemporary cabinets would look in your space.


When selecting countertops for a dark and dramatic kitchen redesign, there are many options to choose from to compliment deep kitchen cabinet finishes. Granite natural stone countertops create a stunning statement, with options like Black Pearl, Depero, Merz and more. Or opt for Argon, Pangea or Essex acrylic solid surface countertops with a seamless, integrated sink — a favorite feature of modern kitchen design.


The best flooring for kitchens should be strong, impervious to water damage, easy to clean, and easy to maintain. Tile checks off all of these boxes, and it also suits the modern kitchen design aesthetic. Options include warm, waterproof rigid core luxury vinyl planks, and durable, wood-look ceramic tile that realistically mimics hardwood floors. Or choose Dimensions Graphite porcelain tile that features a deep gray color. For an extra touch of drama, we recommend our Arabescato Carrara With Black Marble Basket Weave Pattern.

Backsplash Tile

Dark backsplash tile is like the icing on a rich and decadent chocolate cake. Some of our favorite styles include Black Cristezza Club Glass, Montauk Black slate tile, and Metallic Gray Glass subway tile. Of course, you could always go for a dramatic, two-tone, high-contrast look with Bright White Cristezza Club Glass, sparkling Silver Foil, or Glossy White subway tile paired with dark kitchen cabinet finishes and countertops.

Appliances And Decor

When shopping for large appliances like your refrigerator, dishwasher, and range, look for matte black or black stainless steel finishes for a dark twist on modern kitchen design, but don’t stop there. Toasters, blenders, coffee makers, microwaves, and heavy-duty mixers all come in dark and dramatic colors. From there, add area rugs, wall art, table linens, window treatments, furnishings, and other decor to complete your dark and dramatic kitchen redesign.

And don’t forget to shop our Halloween Sale, October 23rd through November 2nd, online at Willow Lane Cabinetry!


Welcome to Willow Lane Cabinetry — the #1 place to buy affordable, semi-custom cabinets online! Let us help you create the kitchen, home office, home bar, laundry room, closet, TV room or bath of your dreams with our 100% free room design tool. We offer all wood cabinetry, fully assembled and delivered for free, plus all the accessories needed to complete your remodel. Visit our website to see our products today!

3 Cool And Contemporary Color Combos For The Kitchen

When looking for a color palette to compliment your modern kitchen design, it can be difficult to know where to start. For inspiration, here are a few of our favorite cool and contemporary color combinations for the kitchen.

Light and Bright Combos

Once upon a time, pink and green was the “It” color combo. According to Southern Living, this colorful kitchen trend is making a comeback. Add a splash of crisp white to the mix, and you get cool and contemporary kitchens with a splash of pure whimsy.

To get the look, pair Mint Green Glass Subway Tile with Midtown White Shaker all wood cabinetry. Then, choose a soft pink shade for the walls. For a list of gorgeous pink paint colors, according to top designers, click here for a recent article from Elle Decor.

Bright shades of blue are also fun and always in fashion. According to Sherwin Williams, blue is the most popular color family by far. For a modern color palette, start with an energetic blue wall color or backsplash tile. Then, add cool contrast with white all wood cabinetry, such as our Regency White collection.

8-27-19 WLC2-Midtown Dark Grey Shaker

Neutral and Monochromatic Combos

Monochromatic color schemes are right on point. While light, neutral shades of gray, beige and white are classic, they can also be chic. The key is to layer tones for visual interest. Start with a subtle shade, and go one or two steps up the color swatch for an accent wall.

Neutral hues are soothing and can be a cool choice for contemporary kitchens, especially with decorating in an industrial or Modern Farmhouse style. Willow Lane Cabinetry offers a number of light finishes, including white, off-white and gray options in all wood cabinetry.

Dark and Dramatic Combos

Deep jewel tones are right on trend for home interiors, and can be a stunning choice for contemporary kitchens. From cool Emerald and Turquoise to warm Amethyst and Ruby Red, these dramatic, versatile shades pair nicely with both light and dark cabinet finishes.

Blueprint, Behr’s Color of the Year, also has a distinctly contemporary flair. This is especially true when paired with the dark cabinet finishes that optimize modern kitchen design, like our Midtown Dark Shaker all wood cabinetry. Cool Carolina Timber Wood Look Tile softens the look and is perfect for wet areas like the kitchen. Then, add natural stone countertops and stainless steel appliances to complete your cool and contemporary custom kitchen design.


Welcome to Willow Lane Cabinetry — the #1 place to buy affordable, semi-custom cabinets online! Let us help you create the kitchen, home office, home bar, laundry room, TV room, or bath of your dreams with our 100% free room design tool. We offer all wood cabinetry, fully assembled and delivered for free. Plus all the accessories you need to complete your remodel. Visit our website to see our products today!

What Is a Galley Kitchen & How Do You Plan for One?

Defined by their corridor-like design, the galley kitchens of today are hot, hot, hot in home design trends. In no way do they resemble the narrow ship kitchens for which they were named. Today’s galley kitchens run from tiny to massive and can be both economical and luxurious. One thing is for sure: homeowners (and designers alike) love them.

Galley kitchens are narrow and consist of two parallel walls that include all the kitchen necessities: sink, refrigerator, stove, pantry, counter space and cabinets – usually lots of cabinets… we’re talking floor to ceiling storage. Let’s take a deeper dive into the pros and cons of a galley kitchen and tips for including one in your remodel project.

Pros and Cons of a Galley Kitchen

Pros of a Galley Kitchen:

  • As there is only the corridor in which you work, galley kitchens are a wonder in workspace efficiency.
  • Originally, galley kitchens were, by nature, small. So, for those on a tight budget, galley kitchens can be cost-effective. For those thinking about an extravagant galley kitchen… this “pro” may not apply.
  • Small households work well with galley kitchens as there won’t be too many cooks in the kitchen.
  • Galley kitchens can have ample storage with floor-to-ceiling cabinetry. The trick is to make the most of your storage space. We’ll get to that in a moment.

Cons of a Galley Kitchen:

  • Because of that floor-to-ceiling cabinetry, galley kitchens tend to not have much in natural light and therefore, are a little on the darker side.
  • Smaller galley kitchens can feel tight and isolating in a not-so-cozy way.
  • Depending on the size of your galley kitchen, counter space can be limited, not allowing for ample workspace.
  • Because of their corridor-like appearance, galley kitchens are not ideal for entertaining larger groups.

Tips for Including a Galley Kitchen in Your Remodel

Whether you’re thinking about upgrading your galley kitchen or you want to design one from scratch, we’ve got the tips and tricks you’ll need before you start your galley kitchen project.

Keep it Simple: Galley kitchens are meant to be simple. Adding breakfast bars, kitchen islands, huge farmhouse sinks and other bulky items will take away from not only the entire concept of a galley kitchen but space. Let it be known now – you do not want to waste space in a true galley kitchen.

Include Ample Space-Saving Storage: One of the best—and most stylish—features in a galley kitchen is the ability to create floor-to-ceiling cabinetry and storage. To get the most out of this space, things to consider include baskets, labeled bins, glass-front cabinet doors, lazy Susans and roll-out appliance shelves.

Lighten Up: If the galley kitchen you’re designing will be on the smaller size, consider lighter, more neutral tones as this will give the feel of a much larger room throughout the space. Our suggestion: lighten up all over, from the flooring, counters and backsplash, to the cabinets, paint and appliances.

Let’s Talk Lighting: Light fixture placement is essential in a galley kitchen – especially if you want to give the illusion of more space. A well-lit kitchen can truly make the space feel larger. Adding character with lanterns, hanging cluster globe pendants, chandeliers and recessed lighting can give personality to your galley kitchen as well.

When to Incorporate an Island: Breaking from the true galley kitchen for a modified one, a fun way to include an island is to use it as an entire galley wall, opening to another room in your home. Doing this means you can create a breakfast bar, homework space, second sink, entertaining space… the options are endless.

Final Thoughts on Designing a Galley Kitchen

Typical galley kitchens range from 100-150 square feet and are approximately seven to eight feet in length. If this fits the bill with your plans, the above tips and advice will really help you make the most of your space.

If, however, you’re opting for a larger galley kitchen, consider these a guide to making your galley kitchen the best it can be… but most importantly, just have fun and enjoy your new, trendy kitchen.

Glass-Front Kitchen Cabinet Doors – Pros, Cons and Are They Right for You?

Glass-front kitchen cabinet doors are appealing to homeowners on many levels as they can make it easier to find things, elevate what’s inside to home décor status, make a smaller room look larger… you get the idea.

And wouldn’t you know it—there are a few different types of glass cabinet doors to choose from, offering a number of ways to utilize them in your space. Let’s take a look at the different types of glass cabinet doors, their pros and cons, and when they may be the perfect fit for your home.

Types of Glass-Front Kitchen Cabinet Doors

Glass-front kitchen cabinet doors just happen to come in many styles. A few of the most popular include:

  • Clear, Full-View Glass Cabinet Doors:

    Balancing function with looks, clear cabinet doors mean one thing – goods on display. This, in itself, can be a great thing; however, it can also be limiting, depending on needs and style.

  • Fluted/Reeded Glass Cabinet Doors:

    Slightly blurred, the contents behind fluted-glass doors will be somewhat obscure, yet still seen.

  • Frosted Glass Cabinet Doors:

    While glass, these cabinet doors are more opaque and cloudy, almost completely blocking the view of what’s inside the cabinets.

  • Seeded Glass-Front Cabinet Doors:

    Different size “bubbles” give a wavy appearance and look like vintage, hand-blown glass.

  • Leaded-Glass Cabinet Doors:

    Used to achieve a dramatic look, leaded-glass is much more decorative and often comes as a theme or specific style. These are popular in built-ins and hutches.

Pros and Cons of Glass-Front Kitchen Cabinet Doors

Adding elements of elegance and luxury to any space, glass-front kitchen cabinet doors have really become a popular trend with many homeowners. There are both pros and cons to this style of cabinet door, and depending on your lifestyle, you’ll either love them or decide to go a different direction. Let’s delve.

Pros of Glass Kitchen Cabinet Doors:

  • Give the illusion of more space, allowing for an open and airy feel (similar to the appeal of open shelves) while still providing a protective door
  • A showcase for statement pieces
  • Busy chefs will always know where to find everything (unless doors are frosted glass)
  • They’re gorgeous, modern and knock-it-out-of-the-park chic

Cons of Glass Kitchen Cabinet Doors:

  • Get out the window cleaner – these cabinet doors need to be cleaned often
  • Possible viewable clutter – depending on space and contents
  • Susceptible to cracks and breakage (not always kid-friendly)
  • If dishes don’t match and styles run the gamut, they may not be a fit

Are Glass-Front Kitchen Cabinet Doors for You?

Glass-front kitchen cabinets make a statement and bring a stunning balance to a room full of wood, tile and metal. So, unless you have mix and match dishware, you’re prone to slamming doors and tap, tap, tapping on glass, we say go for it!

Things to consider in your decision:

Only choose glass-front doors for upper cabinets; if your kitchen needs a little more light, but you’re not sure how to do this, installing lights inside your cabinets and adding glass-front doors can do the trick.

If you’re still indecisive, a fun, trendy idea is to blend – have a mix of glass-front cabinet doors and traditional cabinet doors in your kitchen. This way, you can hide away those items you don’t want to be seen—but still have them within easy reach—and showcase your statement pieces.

How to Create Contrasting Textures in Your Kitchen Décor

When it comes to creating contrasting textures in your kitchen design and décor, there are countless areas where you can get creative and have a lot of fun doing it. Cabinets, countertops, backsplashes, walls and flooring are great places to incorporate contrasting textures and add rich depth to your kitchen.

What Do We Mean by “Contrasting Textures?”

Contrasting textures can mean many things: it can be as simple as pairing rough with smooth or mixing natural wood against metals. An example of this is to take natural, unvarnished cabinets and contrast them against white quartz countertops. You can also create beautiful, contrasting textures by pairing different geometric shapes together, such as sharp, angled corners with smooth, rounded surfaces.

Benefit of Contrasting Textures in Kitchen Design

Texture not only adds visual weight and depth to a space, but it also complements the overall design of a room. In the kitchen, it can convey a specifc theme and feeling to your space. Whether you’re trying to create a warm and cozy kitchen, or you’re looking to go more rustic and natural, chic and sophisticated or create some other vibe personal to you, contrasting textures are an ideal way to convey those styles.

Trendy Ways to Add Contrasting Texture to Your Kitchen

Now to our favorite part… ideas! When it comes to the kitchen, one thing to remember is this is a room that needs to be easily cleanable, and therefore, you’ll want to stay as smooth as possible. No worries – these days, it’s easier than ever to create contrasting textures in your kitchen while keeping the room a breeze to clean. Take a look at a few of our favorite ideas for contrasting textures in your kitchen.

  • Pair brassware against smooth, white sinks and marble countertops: The chic, industrial style of white and marble warms up fast when paired with brassware, creating a warm and cozy space. Your friends and family will always want to know who your designer was in creating this design.
  • Combine natural wood with concrete: Concrete surfaces have come a long way when it comes to interior design. In the kitchen, pairing wooden furniture with concrete surfaces exudes style and ease. Something really fun to think about here is how to accessorize. See below for fresh ideas.
  • Complement glass-fronted cabinets with a subway tile backsplash: This somewhat understated idea packs a style punch and looks especially fantastic in a white kitchen. Complement the overall look of your white kitchen with white, plank flooring.
  • Match shaker-style cabinets with a geometric backsplash: Adding contrasting textures to a country-style or more traditional kitchen can be achieved by pairing shaker-style cabinets (painted a deep, solid color like navy) with a geometric backsplash. Bring it all together with a backsplash that has a hint of the cabinet color.
  • Create texture with bold, kitchen walls: Whether you want to make one wall a bold focal point in the room that stands out beautifully against the other walls, or you want to paint your walls a rich, deep color and add contrasting cladding to areas of the room, going bold will always make a statement.

How to Accessorize a Kitchen with Contrasting Textures

Sometimes, it really is about the little things. When it comes to accessorizing, there are simple ways to really make the space radiate. We’ve come up with a couple of ideas to help you figure out your accessories for a kitchen with contrasting textures. And remember this: in general, less is more.

  • For white and natural kitchens full of different, smooth textures, it’s great to accessorize with pops of color (cutting boards, small appliances, potted plants, etc…). This is a great way to add more depth to the kitchen.
  • For kitchens that are already pretty colorful, minimal accessories are the best option so as not to look too busy. Having optimal cabinet space and storage is great to achieve this in your space. Opt for a couple stand out pieces.

How to Mix Open Shelving with Your Kitchen Cabinets

Kitchens that feature a combination of open shelving and closed cabinets are becoming increasingly popular. If you don’t like the idea of hiding all of your kitchen items behind closed doors or having to clutter your counters, then mixing open shelving with your kitchen cabinets may be the perfect design solution for you.

Not only does this mix add a fresh look, providing some open spaces and additional areas to display your unique style, but it’s also practical for storage and creating additional space.

Open Shelving Kitchen Ideas

Would you love to use open shelving in your kitchen but aren’t sure how to best incorporate them with your cabinets so that your kitchen has a uniform, polished look? Check out the open shelving kitchen ideas below to inspire your creativity.

  1. 1. Add Shelving in Select Spaces

To incorporate some shelves, you can remove some upper cabinets and replace them with shelves. Shelves are also great to place in otherwise hard-to-reach areas, making them more accessible.

You can also install an open shelf across a window. This will enable you to create additional storage space without having to give up the coveted natural light that comes through the window.

  1. 2. Place Items You Use Daily on Open Shelves

Keeping items you use frequently on open shelves provides easy access to them when you need them and also makes it easy for guests to grab what they need without having to search through cabinets.

For example, bowls, plates and mugs are ideal for storing on shelves, while items that aren’t used often, such as vases, can be kept in cabinets or on the tops of cabinets.

  1. 3. Mix in Decor Items on Your Shelves

Have fun mixing in some of your favorite objects on your open shelves as well. Display cherished accessories, art and framed photos to add some personality and color to your kitchen’s overall design.

  1. 4. Match Shelves to Your Kitchen Cabinets

Matching shelves to your kitchen cabinets provides a cohesive and uncluttered look. For example, if you have all white kitchen cabinets, you can choose to go with all white shelves and if you have slate grey cabinets (as pictured above), slate grey shelving provides a rich look.

However, if you want to add in pops of color in an elegant way, you can go with colored shelves that complement your cabinets and seamlessly blend in with the rest of your kitchen decor. Or, stick with one color for both cabinets and shelves, and be deliberate about displaying colorful items on your shelves. For example, colorful mugs, bowls and accessories will add beauty, color and personality to your kitchen in a subtle way.

  1. 5. Add Fun Design Elements

Open shelves provide the opportunity to add interesting design elements to a space. For example, you can paint the wall or use decorative wallpaper behind the shelves to add color or incorporate a fun pattern. You might also want to accessorize the shelves with different types of brackets and hanging systems to blend in other design elements.

The combination of open shelves and cabinets is ideal for kitchens but also works beautifully in other spaces, particularly mud rooms and bathrooms! If you need help designing a mix of open shelving and cabinets in your kitchen or another area of your home, use our free online room design tool to get started creating a modern, functional space with storage solutions that work best for you.

5 Must-Have Elements of Modern Kitchen Design

Modern kitchen design can be described in many ways. Not every expert will agree on every detail. Design is a form of art so it will always be open to interpretation. That being said, there are a few general rules of thumb within each theme from traditional to contemporary kitchens that most designers will agree on. Here is our list of five must-have elements of modern kitchen design.

  1. Slab cabinets with frameless construction.

In modern and contemporary kitchens, slab or flat-panel cabinetry is pretty standard. This cabinet style features a flat door with no frame. Frameless construction is popular in modern and newly built kitchens because this evolved design ensures full access and maximum storage space. Not only are these cabinets sleek but they are also incredibly functional.

The Urban White Cabinets from Willow Lane Cabinetry are the perfect example of slab cabinets with frameless construction. Take a peak online or order a sample and see for yourself!

  1. Sleek hardware that lacks ornamentation or detail.

Another telltale sign of a modern kitchen is a lack of ornamentation and detail. We notice this with the selection of cabinet doors but also in the hardware used. Rather than decorative pulls and knobs, modern kitchen design features sleek hardware that doesn’t demand any attention.

Elements’ Brenton Collection Knobs

A few finds from Willow Lane Cabinetry that fit this mold are Elements’ Brenton Collection Knobs and Verona Collection Pulls.

When planning your kitchen design, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team. Whether you need help picking the perfect modern kitchen island or can’t decide between two backsplashes, our designers are here to help from the initial layout to delivery.

  1. Countertops and flooring designed with natural materials.

Whether it be a marble countertop or wood floors, you will often find natural materials used in the construction of a modern kitchen. This reliance on nature comes from a desire to add character, color, and details in an organic way. It also helps to offset what might come across as a “cold” or “uninviting” ambiance. While the goal of a modern kitchen is to create a sleek, clean design it is not meant to take away for the welcoming vibe that will always be at a kitchen’s core.

  1. Industrial features that ground contemporary elements.

You’ll likely come across one or more industrial elements in a modern kitchen. This addition helps to ground an overwhelmingly contemporary kitchen much in the way that natural materials do. When you see a concrete countertop or exposed ceiling beams, think of it as an open invitation to make yourself at home.

  1. Open storage that leaves little to the imagination.

4-27-18 WLC2-Roosevelt Tidewater

It’s not uncommon to find open shelving or glass door cabinets in a modern kitchen. Rather than keep storage hidden, modern kitchens rely on visually appealing ways to incorporate their essentials into their design.

This approach to storage creates a more open space and also ties into the idea of organic décor. Rather than add clutter to countertops, you can put your favorite dinnerware on display. Minimalism comes to light in many ways in the modern kitchen and this is one of the signature approaches.

The 6 Features Of A Modern Kitchen Island

You may think that all kitchen islands are the same but there are a few features that differentiate one style from the next. From traditional to contemporary, islands create a statement and help support the aesthetic and theme of the kitchen.

Let’s take a look specifically at the modern kitchen island and what clear characteristics make it distinct.

  1. Not all 90-degree angles.


One trait that is becoming dominant in the modern kitchen island is curved or rounded edges. This shape surely stands out amongst a sea of hard corners and is a statement we only see in more modern or contemporary kitchens.

While their unique look is surely something to be acknowledged, curved kitchen islands also offer exclusive functionality. The elimination of harsh corners means less accidents and their rounded shape opens up more space for sitting around the island.

  1. Modern means more.

One noteworthy differentiator of the modern kitchen island is its demand for more. While traditional kitchen islands provided a place for your oven or extra storage, modern kitchen islands include features like a wine storage cabinet. These “add ons” to your traditional cabinets offer allure and a taste of luxury, while also giving way to the evolving needs of today’s homeowner.

  1. Unconventional countertops.

A lot of time has passed since granite countertops were the gold standard. Since then, quartz has become the material of choice for kitchen countertops. But along with the popularity of this engineered stone, we’ve seen a rise in unconventional materials like butcher block, concrete, and stainless steel.

Many modern and contemporary kitchens are opting for these outside-of-the-box options and it is not uncommon to see a concrete or stainless steel countertop on a modern kitchen island.

  1. Designated seating.


Meals are much more casual than they were in the past. It’s no longer considered poor manners to eat breakfast or dinner right at the kitchen counter. Because of this trend, we are seeing that kitchen islands are often the designated seating area for modern families.

As we move away from the dining room table and into the kitchen, the island becomes prime seating space and the focus shifts to making it accommodating for meal time.

  1. Sleek cabinet styles.

There used to be a desire for intricate details on kitchen cabinets, which is why styles like the raised panel were so popular. But in modern and contemporary kitchens, sleek cabinets are the preference. There is an obvious draw toward shaker and slab cabinets and they have quickly become the cabinet style of choice for modern kitchen islands.

  1. Modern function meets modern features.

When it comes to modern kitchen islands, it’s not all about the look. A test of functionality can also determine whether or not an island is modern or not. We look for soft-close doors and drawers, adjustable shelves, and a frameless design for maximum storage space. It’s not just about what you can see from the outside, it’s important to take a look inside to truly see what a modern kitchen island can offer.

Potted Plants: The Greenery You Need Above Your Cabinets

Many kitchens have that awkward space above the cabinets that, let’s face it, many of us just aren’t sure what to do with. Do we leave it alone, go crazy with knick-knacks or use it as storage for things we almost never use? One avenue to consider is filling your above-cabinet space with potted plants. This is a fresh and creative way to add a little color and life to your space. Take a look at a few of our favorite ideas.

For Minimal Space

If the space between your cabinets and the ceiling is short, low-light plants are a great option. Tucked just above the cabinets, these plants add a natural and vibrant accent to any space. If you want to add a little more color, think colored pots! Remember to take measurements before you purchase your plants. Another thing to think about when choosing houseplants for your space: consider their future growth. Plants that grow on a vine are an excellent choice for a short space.

Plants for the Non-Green Thumb

You know the type – every year, you try to keep a plant or two alive, and every year, you succumb to the guilt that you killed another one. We’re here to tell you about great (and foolproof) plants for that space above your cabinet – that anyone can keep alive. And they look good, too! Give these a go: Aloe Vera; Aluminum Plant; Chinese Evergreens; White Jasmine; English Ivy; Cast Iron Plant; Spider Plant, and African Spear.

Plants that Clean the Air

If you’d love to detox and purify the air a little, there are countless plants to get the job done. Since we’re thinking above-the-cabinet potted plants, we’re sharing our favorite plants that are low-light, easy-care and beneficial to the air quality of your home: Areca Palm; Philodendron; Dracaena (unless you have pets – these are poisonous to dogs and cats); Weeping Fig; Peace Lily; Rubber Plant; Bamboo Palm, and Snake Plant, to name a few.

Read our other post about air purifying houseplants.

Mix and Match… or Not

One of the best things about potted plants – the pots! They can add color, shape and texture to your space. Don’t worry about matching the pots – pots in a variety of sizes, shapes, colors and textures add interest to your plant display. By livening up your potted plants, you can create a fun and fresh effect in the room.

One Last Thought: We recommend placing waterproof trays under your potted plants to reduce the risk of moisture damage and mold to your cabinets.