Modern kitchen design is all about combining style and utility, balancing aesthetic tastes with practical cooking needs.
While the concept of concrete countertops isn't exactly new, it's starting to become more popular. They can look however you want because of the malleability of concrete when it's originally poured. Anything, including metal, pebbles or seashells, can be added to it. You can customize and personalize it with built-in drain boards, knife slots, or even a little built-in stream. The only drawback to concrete is that it's permeable to stains, even with a coat of sealer on top.
Having trouble choosing between a gas range and an electric? Why not choose a duel-fuel range so you can cook with more controllable and precise gas and use the more efficient electricity for your oven? You'll have to install gas or electricity if you only have one or the other, but otherwise you're good to go. To be even more efficient, try induction burners, the most "green" cooking option.
Environmentally friendly kitchens are becoming increasingly popular. You can use bamboo for butcher blocks and countertops, and IceStone (a mix of recycled concrete and glass) makes great counters as well. Look into cutting surfaces that don't contain formaldehyde, and try to make your kitchen more energy efficient, for example by using the heat created by your fridge to heat the water in your dishwasher.
Hiding appliances by enclosing them within cabinet doors, making them retractable or building them in, will make your kitchen look sleeker.
But the coolest new kitchen trend is high technology. Not only can you buy high-tech appliances with built-in TVs and Internet-connected displays for your recipes, but get this: The new Connect Io (intelligent oven) can actually be controlled via your cell phone or Internet. If you're going to be late getting home from work, just call your oven and tell it to turn on and preheat! Kitchens sure have come a long way in the last few years.