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Modern Kitchen Design Vs Mid-Century Modern Kitchen Design: How Are They Different?

Modern Kitchen Vs Mid-Century Modern Kitchen

Modern kitchen design & mid-century modern design are both gifts the 20th century gave us and many people often use these terms interchangeably. But if you ask a design aficionado, you will get to know that these are not the same and in fact, the differences are not very subtle either!.

Yes, the periods during which their rise took place do overlap, but modern kitchen design & mid-century modern kitchen design are quite distinct in all the major factors considered when designing a kitchen. So we’ve done some reading and come up for all the points you would like to know if you choose either of these designs for your kitchen. So read on to get your answers!


The modern kitchen design burst onto the scene in the late 1800s, inspired by the rise and fame of the modern art movement. But it really gained steam in the 1930s and 1940s. The current “modern” kitchen design is a contemporary version of this style, with small allowances made overtime to keep up with the quick-paced 21st century. The mid-century modern kitchen design arrived later, post World War II and was a raging hit up until the early 1970s.


Since it was inspired by the modern art deco movement, the modern kitchen design is a proponent of minimalism and purity. On the other hand, the mid-century kitchen design brings to mind a fresh, optimistic vibe with the earthy tones displayed. Another nature for the whimsical textures and color palettes is the introduction of a plethora of design and technologies during that era.


The modern kitchen design does not promise the kitchen’s cohesion with the house. For simplicity and to respect the core concept of minimalism, the cabinets and hardware are all fashioned in horizontal lines.

On the other hand, the mid-century kitchen design chooses to make the transition from the main rooms to the kitchen as smooth as possible. This is why they take advantage of sloping ceilings or French windows, to maintain the architectural flow.


Modern kitchen designs prefer restrained lighting- preferably under the cabinets some fixed over the countertops. This helps achieve the purity and austerity desired.

On the other hand, the comfortable and cozy mid-century design prefers natural lights and lamps that will flood the place with brightness and warmth.

Cabinet style

This is where the difference between the modern kitchen design & mid-century modern kitchen design is really subtle, but still present.

Both the designs demonstrate good use of flat panel cabinets for a spartan look and frameless cabinets for easy accessibility. If you scour the internet properly, you will get a hundred online stores that sell cheap kitchen cabinets of either style!

Modern design kitchens use a variety of materials, whatever makes the whole setup more sleek and tidy. So if you want to use this design, be on the lookout for some cheap kitchen cabinets of different materials like wood veneer or stainless steel.

On the other hand, mid-century design tends to lean a little more on wood, with wooden sliding cabinets being a famous feature!


Because of modern needs, modern design often includes breakfast bars with broad countertops and high wooden stools. It suits the current pace of life as most people just grab a bite and rush most of the time.

The mid-century design harks back to the time when meals were a gathering of all family members. In this case, a dining table is present in the kitchen to make the whole affair convenient and cozy. This is where you can exercise your imagination and go for ornamental tables and velvet-backed chairs.


No other aspect of modern kitchen design & mid-century modern kitchen design is in as much stark contrast as this. While the modern design sticks to monochrome, the mid-century design uses a fusion of many prints and colors.

The modern design kitchens often opt for conservative colors like white and steel. Some may even be wood-paneled.

However, the mid-century kitchens may bring in wild colors like green and orange to spruce up your kitchen and have printed wallpapers and cheap kitchen cabinets having different pops of color to make a statement.


The accessories in a modern design kitchen are as simple as the lighting and color. Monochrome chairs, glass-faced cabinets, and stainless steel counters often serve this purpose well.

On the other hand, the mid-century design allows you to decorate your kitchen with an eclectic mix of crockery and cutlery!


Simplicity is the ultimate word in the case of modern design and the conformity of the textures all over the space proves this.

However, this is not the case for the mid-century style. You may see exposed brick on a side and a backsplash with textured tiles on the other. It is unpredictable but equally beautiful and soothing for the eyes!

Among the modern kitchen design & mid-century modern kitchen design, you can choose the one that best goes with your personality! Do you prefer minimalism with sleek finishes or a cozy place with pops of color and light? Choose freely, because rest assured, both of the designs are timeless and will be in vogue for a long time to come!

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