A kitchen remodel that includes the addition of an island and new storage can utterly transform the look, functionality and workflow of the space. Taking a outdated, cramped kitchen and giving it an open, modern layout with improved storage and prep space makes for one of the most dramatic and worthwhile home renovations.


Kitchens are often the heart of a home, where family and friends gather to cook, eat and spend quality time together. However, many older kitchens feature small, closed off layouts and limited storage and countertop space. These cramped, outdated kitchens can be frustrating to cook in and don’t allow for easy entertaining.

Reconfiguring the layout, opening up the space, adding an island and maximizing storage are phenomenal ways to update a kitchen. By carefully planning the remodel and selecting the right materials, the new kitchen can better suit the needs of the homeowners for years to come.

Below we will look at an incredible before and after kitchen remodel that added a large island and increased storage. We will analyze the problems with the original kitchen, how the new design solved these issues and ways you can adopt similar changes in your own kitchen remodel.

Analyzing the Before Kitchen

The before photo shows a dated kitchen with a number of problems impacting the functionality of the space:

  • Closed Off Layout: The kitchen features an enclosed layout, with barriers separating it from the dining room. This closed off design limits natural light and makes the space feel dark and confined.
  • Poor Workflow: The work triangle between the sink, stove and refrigerator is disjointed. This requires excessive steps when prepping and cooking meals.
  • Minimal Countertops: With a small L-shaped countertop and no island, the existing kitchen offers very limited prep and serving space. Appliances take up most of the countertop area.
  • Inadequate Storage: The kitchen lacks sufficient storage space. The limited cabinetry and small pantry don’t provide enough room to organize cooking essentials and small appliances.
  • Outdated Styling: Heavy wood cabinets, outdated floors and old school appliances make the kitchen feel dark and dated. It lacks the light, modern feel of a contemporary kitchen.

While the existing kitchen meets the homeowners’ needs, an updated, spacious design would better suit a growing family and make cooking and entertaining more convenient.

The New Kitchen Design

The transformed kitchen perfectly resolves the issues with the original layout and aesthetics. Here are the key changes made in the remodel:

Open Concept Layout

The walls enclosing the kitchen were removed to create an open concept floor plan. This visually expanded the space and allowed natural light to reach all areas of the kitchen. Opening the layout improved traffic flow between the kitchen, dining and living areas.

Functional Island

A large, centered island was added to dramatically improve prep space, storage and workflow. The island contains lower cabinets for closed storage and an extended countertop that serves as a breakfast bar. The prime island location intersects the new work triangle.

Perimeter Cabinets

The perimeter of the kitchen was outfitted with beautiful white shaker cabinets and modern metal hardware. Upper cabinets provide ample storage while the lower cabinets create a seamless look.

Quartz Countertops

Durable, low-maintenance quartz was selected for the countertops. This provides a sturdy and stylish surface for meal prep and entertaining. The light-colored quartz complements the new white cabinetry.

Subway Tile Backsplash

A classic white subway tile backsplash was installed. The backsplash adds interest and protects the walls from splashes and stains. The light subway tiles enhance the airy look.

Stainless Steel Appliances

The remodeled kitchen features sleek stainless steel appliances that align with the modern aesthetic. Durable stainless steel pairs nicely with the crisp white cabinetry.

Wood-look Porcelain Tile Flooring

Large-format wood-look porcelain tile flooring was used to mimic hardwood floors with added durability. The wood-toned floors contrast nicely with the bright white cabinets for visual interest.

Benefits of the New Layout and Design

The kitchen remodel transformed a cramped, closed off space into a stunning, highly functional kitchen that meets all the homeowners’ needs. Here are some of the biggest benefits of the redesign:

  • The open concept floor plan makes the kitchen feel airy and spacious. Removing walls improved traffic flow between rooms.
  • The large island provides ample additional prep space and storage. It also serves as a casual dining area.
  • Perimeter shaker cabinets offer sleek, modern storage to organize cooking equipment, appliances and pantry goods.
  • Durable quartz countertops and white subway tile backsplash are both stylish and low-maintenance.
  • Stainless steel appliances deliver an updated look with commercial-grade performance.
  • Wood-look porcelain tile flooring provides the warmth of wood with added durability.
  • New layout improves the work triangle so cooking and cleanup tasks require fewer steps.
  • Ample countertops and improved storage allow the kitchen to handle a busy family’s needs.
  • Open design and modern elements create a bright, contemporary space perfect for entertaining.

The renovated kitchen succeeded in transforming an outdated, inefficient space into the stunning family kitchen the homeowners desired. Their new kitchen is beautiful, highly functional and suits all their cooking, storage and design needs.

Keys to Success When Remodeling Your Kitchen

If your own outdated or cramped kitchen needs a makeover, there are several important tips to follow:

  • Involve a designer – Consult with an experienced kitchen designer or architect to help plan the new layout and select materials.
  • Focus on workflow – Think about how you use your current kitchen and how to improve the work triangle in the new design.
  • Open the space – If possible, consider removing walls to create an open concept kitchen for more light and flow.
  • Include an island – Adding an island provides many benefits including more prep space, storage and seating.
  • Maximize storage – Use a mix of tall pantries, deep drawers, Lazy Susans and pull-out shelves.
  • Choose durable surfaces – Opt for low-maintenance quartz, granite or solid surface countertops and backsplashes.
  • Update lighting – Use pendant lights, undercabinet lighting and recessed cans to illuminate all work areas.
  • Add visual interest – Incorporate materials like stone or brick, accent lighting and glass cabinet doors.

Planning is key when undertaking a major kitchen remodel. Visiting showrooms and design centers can help narrow down selections for cabinetry, countertops, tile and finishes based on your budget. Invest in quality materials that will last, focus on improving functionality and create a cohesive look for a kitchen you’ll enjoy for years to come.

Before and After Pictures

Before and after photos can provide an invaluable look at the scope of a dramatic kitchen remodel. Here we will examine before and after pictures of the kitchen redesign focused on in this article:

Before Kitchen

The before photo shows a closed off kitchen with dated cabinets, limited counters and poor workflow. The space appears dark and cramped.

After Kitchen

The after photo showcases the open concept design with a large central island. The space is filled with natural light. White perimeter cabinets and quartz counters provide a light, airy look.

Before: Facing the Cooktop

The old kitchen had minimal counter space around the wall ovens and cooktop. The limited counters were cluttered with appliances.

After: Facing the Cooktop

The same view after the remodel shows expanded quartz countertops providing ample prep space. The centre island also adds critical counter space.

Before: Facing the Sink

The original galley-style kitchen had an inefficient work triangle. The sink area was cramped and disconnected.

After: Facing the Sink

Facing the sink, you can see how opening the layout improved workflow. The work triangle is now efficient and unified.

Before: Corner View

The old corner view shows limited cabinetry and poor use of the available footprint. Bulky walls made the space feel boxed in.

After: Corner View

The transformed corner outlook is now spacious and filled with natural light. Floating shelves provide open storage.

These before and after photos provide an invaluable visual understanding of the remarkable changes achieved through this kitchen remodel. Every angle was opened up and improved.

FAQs About Remodeling Your Kitchen

Many homeowners considering a kitchen renovation will have common questions about the process. We’ve compiled answers to some of the most frequent inquiries:

How much does a kitchen remodel cost?

A major kitchen overhaul costs $20,000 to $50,000 on average. High-end remodels can exceed $100k. Factors impacting cost include layout changes, materials used and the inclusion of new appliances.

What is the most popular kitchen layout?

The L-shaped layout is the most common. It provides ample counter space and allows for efficient workflow. Island kitchens are also popular to maximize prep space in open floor plans.

What size should a kitchen island be?

Kitchen islands should be 24 to 48 inches wide to allow enough room for meal prep and seating. Allow for at least 36 inches between the island and other surfaces.

What are the best materials for a kitchen remodel?

Quartz and granite countertops provide durable and stylish options. For cabinetry, painted wood, two-toned styles and white shaker designs are on-trend choices.

Should I remodel the kitchen myself?

Kitchen remodels involve complex design considerations and require skilled trade expertise. Work with experienced contractors or make more minor DIY updates like painting cabinets.

Can a small kitchen be remodeled to feel larger?

Yes, strategies like removing walls, adding mirrored surfaces and installing glass cabinet doors visually expand a small kitchen. Good lighting and neutral colors also make small kitchens feel more open.

What are recent kitchen remodelling trends?

Open concept layouts, two-toned cabinetry, black stainless steel appliances, industrial and modern designs, quartz countertops and statement lighting are among popular trends.

How can I stay within my kitchen remodel budget?

Have a clear budget upfront and stick to it. Allow contingencies for unexpected costs. Get multiple quotes and focus on big impact changes rather than small upgrades.


Reconfiguring layouts, opening up walls, adding islands and maximizing storage are fantastic ways to transform outdated kitchens into highly functional showpieces. As shown in the incredible before and after kitchen remodel examined above, even the most cramped, dated kitchen can be opened up and taken to the next level with the right design approach and materials. Keys to success include proper planning, focusing on workflow and selecting durable surfaces and quality cabinetry. With strategic remodeling guided by an experienced professional, your kitchen can reach its maximum potential for beauty, utility and enjoyment for years to come.