How To..., Interior Design

The kitchen is the heart of every home. For the gourmet chef and the master host or hostess, having a kitchen that functions while looking beautiful is an absolute must in design. Recently, we have been getting requests for modern kitchen design. Modern kitchens are everywhere. Their sleek design prioritizes functionality, sustainable materials, and durability for today’s hectic lifestyle.

What we find, however, is that interpretation of “modern” can vary. Today, we are sharing some examples from our portfolio and our own perspective on how to design the modern kitchen.



Modern is a term that is misunderstood to be exclusively mid-century modern or contemporary. In reality, a modern design can contain elements from both of these styles. We believe the modern kitchen should have a simplified, pared down style with clean lines and little adornment. It should be functional with:

  • Simple hardware
  • Modern appliances
  • Minimal decoration in millwork and furnishings
  • Clean lines and flush connections

The kitchen in your home should be the epitome of your style. While these are typically the cornerstones, your kitchen should contain all the functional comforts you need to cook fabulous meals and entertain effortlessly. That is the definition of a true modern kitchen.


For those of us that are parents, the kitchen can be a place of extreme chaos. For those of us that work long hours, the kitchen can be a place of hasty meals. And for everyone in between, the kitchen can be another space to clean at the end of long day. The modern kitchen hopes to alleviate all of this through design.


Kitchen Design in University Place by Laura U Design Collective.

We love working with local artisans to create unique moments for our clients. Here we worked with Segreto to create a custom plaster vent hood.

Mercer Kitchen

We reworked the millwork of the existing island, transforming it into a waterfall island with an apron front sink. We painted the cabinets white, while creating depth and contrast by painting the underside of the island a darker hue.

Geometric mosaic tile backsplash in the kitchen pantry

The fun, geometric Ann Sacks mosaic tile backsplash was carried through to the Butler’s Panty.

For our University Place kitchen remodel, we did not alter the original layout, however we did rework the island, cabinetry, and countertops. We replaced the existing subway tile with Ann Sacks mosaic tile for the backsplash in the kitchen and butler’s pantry. Beneath the backsplash are Silestone countertops by Constentino. Above the backsplash are repainted cabinets with satin brass finish Emtek knobs.

We reworked the millwork of the existing island, transforming it into a waterfall island with an apron front sink. This structure better accommodates the seating arrangement. Above the range is a custom plaster vent hood by Segreto. Instead of simple wire-base bar stools, we added Fritz rope counter stools in fog white from Palecek, one of the homeowner’s favorite brands. These were upholstered in a custom Haze color Cordova pattern fabric. We painted the underside of the island in Black Fox from Sherwin Williams to create contrast and depth


This modern kitchen is designed with functional cabinetry, and airy space by LauraU, Houston.This Friar Tuck kitchen is all about functionality and style with an airy and breathable space. The black & white texture adds a contemporary look to this sleek kitchen by LauraU.The glass doors on either side of this Friar Tuck kitchen allow the natural air and sunlight to pass.

This modern kitchen is all about trendy decor, advanced fixtures and the dramatic backsplash

The dramatic color of the barstools contrast well with the overall black and white interiors.

The Friar Tuck kitchen gets its bold and contrasting look with the timeless combination of white and black with a hint of Ferrari red. The stunning backsplash, with Kelly Wearstler for Ann Sacks tile, catches the attention immediately. The kitchen island completed with a speciality stone gives this contemporary kitchen an elevated appeal.

The huge glass doors allow for a free and easy passage of sunlight, giving a reflective quality to the marble counters and acrylic chairs. We selected the transparent material to eliminate any visual color, focusing on the high-contrast.

The white lacquer cabinetry, completed by Poggenpohl, one of the best kitchen design brands based in Germany. Poggenpohl has been improving kitchens since 1892, delivering the highest quality designs with meticulous craftsmanship and technical expertise. For our discerning client, no other vendor would do. She specifically requested the brand for their reputation and European style.


This Regentview modern kitchen is designed in the shades of purple by LauraU Design, Houston.

The purple barstools add a contrasting touch to the light mauve and white walls and countertop

This modern kitchen is all about purple barstool, white countertop, brown cabinets & black pendant lights

The fancy pendant lights add a contemporary style to this Friar Tuck kitchen

While designing this sleek kitchen in the Regentview Home, we kept in mind the owners’ love for purple. From aubergine to lavender, the client insisted that purple was a neutral. And we tend to agree!

The Caesarstone countertop is an effortless addition to this modern kitchen. Caesarstone offers high-grade quartz, which means the material is over 90% natural stone and usually of the largest slabs to reduce seams. That literally seamless look is essential to the modern kitchen. Also, the qualities of quartz lend itself to heavy use for modern design lovers: it is non-porous and easy to clean.

The sleek gun metal pendant lights, from Troy Lighting, add a touch of industrial style. In addition, the chrome drawer pulls add a contemporary touch to this flawless kitchen. The charcoal and wood finishing on the cabinets add warmth to the kitchen interiors.

Benedettini cabinetry blends well with the contemporary style of this kitchen. Benedettini has been manufacturing custom-made cabinetry for the last twenty years. One of the coolest features in this kitchen, is the way the doors open. One push to the corner, and they hitch up much like a garage door for ease of use.


Hidden appliances, horizontal and sleek lines define this modern kitchen as designed by LauraU, Houston.

This Dunstan kitchen is a perfect example of a contemporary and modern kitchen – functional and airy

These cactus-colored chairs from Lawson Fenning and our Dunstan project are another gorgeous set.

These cactus-colored chairs from Lawson Fenning and our Dunstan project are the perfect set of bar stools.

The Dunstan home clients sought a comfortable and open space in their kitchen. They wanted a functional space for both quick meals after work and fun gatherings with friends and family. Keeping their preference in mind, we designed an open space kitchen with subdued and neutral shades that invoke the feeling of warmth and comfort.

The silver chrome faucets and drawer pulls match the appliances for a cohesive look. The cactus-colored leatherette barstools give the white walls and cabinets the desired contrast, balancing the more monochrome palette. An adjoining butler’s pantry hides all the messy items that come with good cooks.


Black, brown and white kitchen interiors look extremely modern in this greentree kitchen by LauraU

This Greentree Kitchen was done with black, brown and white colors depicting the owners” style.

Highly functional modern and sleek kitchen with built-in storage cabinetry in this greentree kitchen

Appliances are kept hidden behind this highly functional kitchen cabinetry

Functional cabinetry, hidden appliances and matching interiors are the elements of this modern kitchen

Appliances are hidden but still reachable in this functional and modern kitchen

The mid-century architecture of the Greentree kitchen is honored in this updated space. The backsplash is completed with an Ann Sacks tile for dimension and contrast. The shimmering quality of the grout aids in the dynamic nature of the tile, putting a modern twist on the mid-century shapes.

Stunning Poggenpohl cabinets show why the brand is the oldest and most respected in the world. Modern design is often mistaken for being cold and that simply isn’t the case here. The warm stain of the cabinets is inviting for home cooks. In addition, the absence of door pulls makes the clean lines so obvious and striking.


With many of us finding ourselves at home more, we find that our kitchens do so much in keeping our families healthy. Not only that, a good meal means baking with our kiddos, holiday dinners, even cocktail hour with friends. It’s so important to have a kitchen that works well, flows perfectly, and looks gorgeous.

If modern is your kitchen style, keep these in mind:

  • Warm-stained wood for sleek cabinetry
  • Brass or chrome fixtures and hardware
  • Quartz countertops
  • Backsplash with visual interest
  • Hidden appliances


Head over to this post on the blog for more inspiration.