What is a Modern Kitchen Cabinet?

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  • Written By: Sheri Cyprus
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 25 February 2020
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A modern kitchen cabinet is the opposite of a traditional style of cupboard. Traditional cabinet styles tend to be ornate, while modern kitchen cabinets are always clean-lined. Traditional kitchen cabinets are usually made of wood with trim or detail added. A modern kitchen cabinet may be in any material or color, but it always has a clean, fresh look.

Most modern kitchen cabinet styles are frameless. Frameless cabinet doors tend not to have bevelled, or thick padded, edges. A modern kitchen cabinet design usually features a smooth surface, although some wood cabinets may have slats of wood positioned together. If this is the case, the wood is often stained all one color. Traditional kitchen cabinet styles almost always open vertically. A modern kitchen cabinet design may feature sliding cupboard doors or a door type that opens from bottom to top much like the overhead storage on airplanes.

The handles on modern kitchen cabinets are simple rather than embellished. The hinges also tend to be plain if they show. Modern cabinet door pull styles range from square plain wood knobs to very thin metal bars. Detailed knobs such as floral ceramic styles or large embossed metal pieces aren't likely to be found on modern kitchen cupboards.


Woods used for cabinets for modern kitchens are likely to be smooth in graining. Knotty pine is much too rustic for a modern look. Dark or light woods can be used for a modern kitchen cabinet style if the overall look is clean. Cherry is a popular wood for modern cupboards. Dark cherry gives cabinets an elegant look, while the lighter version is less formal.

Metal is an ideal material for modern kitchen cabinets as it gives cupboards an industrial look. Stainless steel is a popular metal for cabinets as modern appliances and countertops are made from the same material. The cool, smooth look of stainless steel embodies modern style. Colored enamel coated metal cabinets in bright colors such as blue or red are another option for modern kitchens.

Glass doors are common in many modern kitchen cabinet designs. Clear glass cabinet doors allow dishes and other items to be displayed. Opaque types of glass doors such as frosted varieties don’t reveal the stored items as much. Both types of glass doors create an airy look that works well with modern cabinets.


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