Mid-Century and Modern Kitchen Cabinets: Similarities and Differences

Are you trying to choose between mid-century and modern kitchen cabinets?

Mid-century kitchen cabinets are from the 1940s when clean lines and pop colors were on the rise. As a result, you get a sleek and more vibrant kitchen interior with mid-century kitchen cabinets. However, modern kitchen cabinets are a production of ‘today’. It denotes the era we are currently living in. These cabinets compliment your kitchen as well as other home elements. The colors are warm and aesthetically appealing, and the surrounding has a clean, minimalistic look.

There are various similarities and differences in both mid-century and modern kitchen cabinets. We have discussed where to buy modern kitchen cabinets and differences below, read on.

Here’s What You Need to Know About Mid-Century and Modern Kitchen Cabinets

There are many similarities in modern and mid-century kitchens, such as sleek designs, soothing interiors, etc. However, there are a few important differences as well, which can help you make the right interior decision. Check out these dissimilarities:

  1. Style

In mid-century kitchen cabinets, you will find sliding doors. These frameless cabinets with sliding doors are the true essence of sleek, flat, and seamless mid-century designs.

On the other hand, modern kitchen cabinets are also similar, but the material is different. In mid-century kitchens, you would see a lot of wood and sometimes, glass. But, in modern cabinets, various types of materials are used, such as stone, fiberglass, etc.

You can use frameless modern kitchen cabinets in durable material for a compact kitchen.

  1. Finish

Externally, both mid-century and modern kitchen cabinets look the same in sharpness and finish. The finish of both these types gives a smooth appearance. But, in mid-century kitchen cabinets, you get various textures and types of exterior finishes. For instance, backsplashes, wooden grains, exposed brick, etc. are the features of mid-century.

In modern kitchen cabinets, you would get sleekness in designs and finishes as well. These textures and finishes are consistent. These cabinets are not devoid of finishes and textures. You can use a patina finish for a deeper visual look and design.

  1. Structure

Both mid-century and modern kitchen cabinets don’t have ornaments. This is more prominently seen in modern kitchen cabinets. The design here is clean with many horizontal lines and fittings. In mid-century kitchens, you have arches and slopes, which create better synchronization with the entire kitchen.

  1. Color

In modern kitchen cabinets, you will find neutral colors dominating the market. Monochrome shades, such as black, grey, and white are widely popular in contemporary and modern cabinets. In the past few years only, we have seen the rise of pop colors in combination with monochrome. So, you still get prominent greys and whites with other colors.

Mid-century cabinets are vibrant and lively with lime green, orange, browns, and blues. In the mid-century, even the wallpapers of the kitchen were bright prints, so the cabinets naturally synchronized.

  1. Lighting

Similar to the colors, contemporary styles have more in-cabinet lights. These cabinets have space for fluorescent lights that give a minimalistic look to the entire kitchen. Additionally, due to the extensive use of whites and greys, these cabinets reflect more light, so even with natural light, your kitchen looks brighter and shinier.

In mid-century cabinets, lighting is also more vibrant and playful. The pendant lights are popular in mid-century cabinets in different shades as well. For instance, green, blue, orange, and red are famous lighting options. You can also get bubble lamps to complete the look.

  1. Layout

The layout of the kitchen is also imperative in deciding the cabinet types.

If you are getting modern kitchen cabinets, then prefer breakfast bars. The number of cabinets and storage units are reduced in this case. You can get a comfortable, neat kitchen in this manner.

In mid-century style, there’s an in-kitchen dining room. Here, you need more space in the kitchen with more storage. Hence, the number of cabinets increases in this case to accommodate your cutlery and other essentials.

Currently, breakfast stools or corners are more in line with the trend than in-kitchen dining.

  1. Accessories

Even in accessories, the modern kitchen cabinets are decent and consistent. You can get matching chairs, elements, and everything minimalistic. These accompaniments are more on the basic and simpler side.

In your mid-century kitchen, everything is lively and funky, such as ceramic pots and huge jugs for water. You can get wooden chairs and utensils. You will see more wood in a mid-century kitchen and less of it in a modern kitchen.

The accessories accompanied by modern kitchen cabinets are simpler and necessary elements. But, the accessories with the mid-century kitchen are extra and vibrant.


From a distance, both mid-century and modern kitchen cabinets may look similar. However, these small differences in their making and design can help you decide the interior of your home in a way you like. Just remember to look for high-quality vendors when searching “where to buy modern kitchen cabinets’. Only the right quality of mid-century and modern cabinets can give you a premium and luxury look.