How to Make Kitchen Cabinets Look Modern


Are your kitchen cabinets looking dull and dated? Have they seen better days? If so, you may want to look for a way to make your kitchen cabinets look modern. But if you aren’t willing to spend tens of thousands of dollars on the project, how can you get the job done?

Well, you don’t have to break the bank to improve your kitchen! There are other ways to modernize the look of your kitchen cabinets and other fixtures without emptying your bank account. These can be done for just a fraction of the cost of purchasing brand new cabinets.


Consider these 20 steps to get that modern kitchen look!

1. Install decorative crown molding – Crown molding not only makes your cabinets look more interesting, but it also adds height and sophistication to cabinets that might overwise be bland. Match the molding to the color of your cabinets or choose a different, contrasting color for a more modern kitchen vibe.

2. Change your hardware – Nothing gives kitchens more of an updated look than swapping out your boring knobs and drawer pulls for something more contemporary. Check out your local home improvement store for a host of options to match your style.

3. Installing sliding shelves – These days, roll-out shelves for the bottom cabinets are all the rage. Not only do they make your kitchen more up-to-date but they also make it easier to reach the things that normally get pushed to the back of the cabinet.

4. Stay organized with drawer dividers – Messy drawers make your kitchen cabinets look less than pristine, even if your guests can’t see them. You’ll feel better once your drawers are organized, so consider purchasing dividers that help you sort items such as small utensils that easily get lost in that “junk” drawer.

5. Consider removing some cabinet doors – Are you ready to get really bold? Then take off a few of your cabinet doors to create a modern kitchen look that includes open shelves. Save your best pieces for those shelves and keep them neat and orderly.

6. Install glass doors – Similarly, consider taking off your regular doors on a few of your cabinets – perhaps on either side of the sink – and replace them with glass doors. Glass doors make your modern kitchen brighter because they reflect the light. However, they offer less exposure than totally removing the doors.

7. Try open shelving – If you’re truly ready to take the plunge, dispense with some cabinets all together and try open shelving. This modern kitchen look is becoming more and more popular and can be designed to match a variety of styles.

8. Use removable wallpaper for the interior – If you are going for open shelves or glass doors, you can make your cabinets particularly interesting and modern by employing the use of stick-on wallpaper on the rear walls. Choose a color and pattern that compliment your décor.

9. Replace cabinet doors with chicken wire – If your kitchen is farmhouse style, you can add to the vibe by removing some doors and replacing them with chicken wire. This is a modern take on this style of kitchen and one that looks surprisingly good and also lightens up the space.

10. Add beadboard to your island – If you have a large but plain island in your kitchen, consider covering the back and sides with beadboard. It adds texture and is more interesting to the eye. You can use this paneling on cabinet fronts as well.

11. Add furniture legs and feet – Another way to make your island or cabinets more interesting is to add furniture legs or feet in the toe-kick space at the bottom. It’s not hard to find these to match various kinds of cabinetry.

12. Add toe kick drawers – A second way to take advantage of that empty space below your cabinets is to add thing drawers that are perfect for things like cookie sheets or cutting boards. It’s a great use of otherwise-wasted space!

13. Build a place to store your wine – If there’s a narrow space somewhere in your kitchen – such as between your refrigerator and cabinetry – consider installing a tall, vertical wine bottle holder to keep your favorite vintages at your fingertips.

14. Include under-cabinet lighting – When your kitchen is small or lacks natural light, you can brighten it up with under-cabinet lighting. Easy to install, this extra lighting makes your room glow and is a great addition to the modern kitchen.

15. Install a built-in message center – This is a great way to get rid of all that clutter that accumulates on the countertops. To rid your kitchen of this mess, install a base “message center” cabinet for all those loose papers and other items that can cause a mess. Ask your cabinet specialist about this option.

16. Install sliding spice storage – Again, a neat kitchen is a happy kitchen. Organize all those spice bottles by installing a narrow, slide-out spice rack. It can be put in that weird void between the stove and cabinet where it will be handy whenever you need the rosemary or thyme!

17. Consider mismatched cabinets – Though it may sound weird, more and more modern kitchens include cabinets that don’t match. You can choose different colors or styles for the base cabinets and the upper cabinets. It makes the room look interesting and contemporary!


18. Line the sides of your drawers – Normally, when you pull out your drawers you just see boring wood. But if you line your drawer sides with removable wallpaper of interesting patterns or textures, it’ll add to that modern kitchen feeling.

19. Create a plant shelf – Want to add more greenery and earthiness to your modern kitchen? Ask your cabinet experts about a simple plant shelf. It looks especially nice over the window and acts as a secondary window treatment.

20. Add under-cabinet shelving – If you find that your small kitchen is short of shelf space, consider vinyl racks that hang under your shelves or cabinets. They are great for items like cups and mugs or even small dessert plates.

These are just a handful of ideas you can employ to make your outdated space look more modern and organized. Our cabinet professionals at can offer even more options to modernize your kitchen without breaking the bank. Call us today for a consultation!

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