Modern Kitchen Design

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Forum topic by tyskkvinna posted 02-04-2011 05:26 PM 2953 views 0 times favorited 34 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1310 posts in 3042 days

02-04-2011 05:26 PM

Topic tags/keywords: modern

I’m working on designing a new kitchen, and I could use some inspiration pictures to help mull over designs. I have two desires:

1- Extremely clean, modern design
2- Wood

I’m thinking slab-style fronts, much like you see at IKEA. But, you know, with real wood and a little more soul than that.

I’m leaning towards either poured concrete or sheet aluminum for the counter tops, to give you an idea of where I’m going with this. And I’m basically planning on doing this myself, because I can’t find anything “ready made” that really fits my taste.

I poured through a few dozen pages of “modern kitchen” searches here on LJ but found it hard to do because there were so many irrelevant things popping up due to the weird search algorithm. (If somebody had a “kitchen” project on the adjacent page of “modern end table”, it showed up)

So- anything come to mind? I would really love to see some cool examples!!

-- Lis - Michigan - -

34 replies so far

View Bertha's profile


13529 posts in 2749 days

#1 posted 02-04-2011 05:36 PM

Your ideas sound good. Basic cabinet doors, especially with euro hinges, will go up quickly and are very clean appearing. I’m a big fan of poured concrete counters. I also really like zinc. I’ve seen some modern kitchens incorporating glass tile mosaics that were pretty striking. I’m sure you’ll get some excellent ideas here but alas, I’m more of a traditional kitchen type, brick, cast iron & copper, etc. Good luck.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View Peter Oxley's profile

Peter Oxley

1426 posts in 3930 days

#2 posted 02-04-2011 05:39 PM

Solid wood slab doors have a tendancy to warp, so you might want to consider some cross-grain support. Breadboard-end doors can pull off a modern look if done in the right wood. Maybe a really white maple with aluminum pins?

-- -- --

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Peter Oxley

1426 posts in 3930 days

#3 posted 02-04-2011 05:42 PM

Another thought – I have also been ocassionally frustrated by the search system on LJ. Try this: go to and type “ modern kitchen” as your search string (without the quotes). Then you get a Google search that is limited to the LumberJocks website. Might get better results.

-- -- --

View tyskkvinna's profile


1310 posts in 3042 days

#4 posted 02-04-2011 05:51 PM

From a warping standpoint, would plywood be better than solid wood? Or is the risk of warping basically the same for either?

-- Lis - Michigan - -

View CampD's profile


1696 posts in 3542 days

#5 posted 02-04-2011 05:54 PM

Peters right about solid slabs. Another way if you want that look is do veneer over MDF.
If you went breadboard ends for the doors, its leaning more towards rustic.
Poured concrete is pretty cool, you can change the stones to get a different look.
Aluminum for the counters. its harder to keep clean, maybe in a few areas (dont know what you have for a layout) Maybe modern aluminum hardware.
Modern is typically bright and clean.

-- Doug...

View IrreverentJack's profile


727 posts in 2899 days

#6 posted 02-04-2011 06:43 PM

Lis, I’ve been doing a little kitchen mulling too.
Click for details: finished office Vonhagens desk knocked me out. Facing kitchen cabinets like this is on my “list”.
I once finished cabinets covered in rough-sawn strips of chestnut by taking the “fuzz” off with fine sandpaper followed by about 8 coats of poly. That left an interesting, easily cleaned surface. If you can get a sealer that won’t kill you, concrete counters are great. An end grain tumbling block counter top would be fun too. As far a design inspiration this link might be frustrating. I have been looking for this guys hardware to come out for years. Usable cabinet shelves up to the ceiling-wow. That would change a few kitchen designs. Maybe someone here can explain how to make the hardware. Good luck. -Jack

View bunkie's profile


412 posts in 3203 days

#7 posted 02-04-2011 06:57 PM

Hej Tyskkvinna,

I’m still working on my kitchen done is a modern Scandinavian style. Here’s a link to my blog which has photos:

I am almost finished with the lower cabinets.

I had problems with warping doors. I think the primary reason is that I did not seal the backs of the doors. However, I mad the mistake of buying my maple plywood from one of the big-box stores and I’m disappointed in the quality.

I finished the doors with spray-on lacquer and rubbed the finish out with automotive wet-dry sandpaper going from 400 to 2000 grit and then using automotive compound to get the final high gloss.

I would say that aluminum is too soft for a countertop. It will dent and scratch easily. The alternative is to do what my father did back in the 1950s which is to have custom stainless steel countertops made. He was a professional chef and had a friend who ran a professional kitchen supply company so it was easy for him to get this done.

I’m planning to install beech butcher-block countertops. They are on sale at Ikea right now and the price is right. I just can’t see spending the money on granite or other expensive stuff that will eventually go out of fashion.

-- Altruism is, ultimately, self-serving

View dbray45's profile


3320 posts in 2832 days

#8 posted 02-04-2011 07:10 PM

I would not use aluminum for the countertop. Any acid – fruit juice, vinegar will turn it black with oxidation. Aluminum also has some interesting electrical properties that my not be desireable as well. Stainless steel may be a better option.

-- David in Damascus, MD

View tyskkvinna's profile


1310 posts in 3042 days

#9 posted 02-04-2011 08:58 PM

If I go with metal I’m going to cover it in a cast resin, so any of the concerns about that are not an issue. I didn’t feel it necessary to go into detail about it because I’m asking about the cabinets. ;)

Bunkie- those are really impressive for being big box plywood! Wow!

-- Lis - Michigan - -

View canadianchips's profile


2602 posts in 3053 days

#10 posted 02-04-2011 10:04 PM

When I started cabinets all the doors were made from plywood. (Just before the raised panel took off). We always spaced our doors to keep them 16” width or narrower. (Other than over fridge and under sinks) I know design has changed dramatically since then. One of the plywood cores I really liked was called solid core.
I made those kitchen, bath ,laundry cabinets from ash veneer with solid core . They were probably the nicest I ever done. Sorry I have no photos, (Hmmm ,did I even have a camera back then ?)
I would consider aluminum backsplash, not sure I would want it as a surface material.
Their are great programs out there to do this properly (I no longer have access to one )

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

View Brian Havens's profile

Brian Havens

196 posts in 3162 days

#11 posted 02-04-2011 10:55 PM

When designing a kitchen do not forget to consider work flow. It is a workshop just like any other in that regard. I find work flow the most neglected and underestimated aspect of designing a kitchen.

-- Brian Havens, Woodworker

View CharlieM1958's profile


16276 posts in 4274 days

#12 posted 02-04-2011 11:00 PM

Here is a page with some interesting concepts:

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View meestajack's profile


33 posts in 2727 days

#13 posted 02-04-2011 11:26 PM

View John Ormsby's profile

John Ormsby

1288 posts in 3793 days

#14 posted 02-04-2011 11:51 PM


Here is a link to my website. In it you will see a kitchen I did a few years ago. The wood is lacewood and ebonized lyptus. The backsplash was done in strips of stainless. I took a couple of sheets of stainless to a manufacturer and had him cut and bend the pieces. They are 5/16” x 3/4” x 5/16” U shaped channel. I then filled the channels and applied them to the backsplash area like any tile. This was cost effective and also allowed me to have them made full length without breaks. I just gave the manufacturer a list of lengths.

-- Oldworld, Fair Oaks, Ca

View tyskkvinna's profile


1310 posts in 3042 days

#15 posted 02-05-2011 04:44 PM

thanks for the suggestions, all! :)

-- Lis - Michigan - -

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