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4 Elements of trending modern kitchens

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Tali Wee is a blogger who writes about home improvements, interior design and finances for Zillow and other partners.

Want a kitchen that's more modern? Here are 4 elements of the latest design trends.

The kitchen is one of the most expensive spaces to remodel in a home. Upgrades add up quickly, including pricey appliances, stone slabs and specific plumbing. When homeowners are ready to tackle their kitchen remodels, they must be certain their upgrades will be both functional and fashionable. To ensure the final product is exactly as desired, owners should research trending designs that appeal to their styles.

1. Clean lines

Clean lines

Photos credit: Westend61/Getty Images

Modern design is characterized by streamlined, polished and simple geometric elements. Modern kitchen designs should be clear of clutter and excessive countertop appliances. Long, monochromatic counters in black, white or organic material set the tone for a trending space. Consistency helps lines appear clean and elongated. However, avoid evenly blocked designs that dull the modern look. Asymmetry is a prominent feature of modern design, welcoming off-centered appliances, odd numbers of shelves and irregular lights, stools and art.

2. Varied materials

Varied materials

Photos credit: Zillow Digs

Industrial materials — such as concrete, natural wood, steel and brick — all lend themselves to the organic feel of modern spaces. Mixing metal with exposed brick, cables or stone adds texture and dynamism to the kitchen. Consider incorporating trending styles, such as open shelving to display neatly organized glassware. With all the varied textures, be sure to keep sleek lines and lacquered finishes throughout.

3. Statement color

Statement color

Photos credit: Ariadna De Raadt/Hemera/360/Getty Images

Modern designs are widely known for monochromatic hues with a couple of striking accent colors. Begin with the natural tones of metal, wood and/or stone and then choose a neutral color, such as white, to finish out the space. Add one or two statement pieces to increase interest and draw attention to a focal point. A popular and variable way to accent a kitchen is with a vase of vibrant flowers or a bowl of fresh fruit. Other bold statement pieces include artwork, bright stool cushions, painted cabinets, colorful dishes on open shelving or a prominent teapot.

4. Pendant lighting

Pendant lighting

Photos credit: Chuck Schmidt/E+/Getty Images

Another major feature of modern kitchen design is pendant lighting. Sufficient lighting is most important in the kitchen, where many tasks require sharp knives or hot stoves. Beyond necessity, pendant lighting adds an artistic element to a room's design. Pendant lighting comes in countless geometrical shapes and sizes to suit any kitchen style. Consider the clean lines and polished finishes of the materials in the space and select lighting that complements and exaggerates those elements.

Homeowners should design their kitchen with the looks that most appeal to them. Before finalizing upgrade plans, think about how the remodel will work with the existing home design and how functional the space will be for cooking and cleaning. If modern design is preferred, incorporate simple shapes, clean lines, mixed materials, artistic lighting and bold accents.

For more design inspiration, visit Zillow to check out staged homes on the market >>

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