A spacious updated kitchen is the dream for many homeowners. With open and airy spaces, plenty of storage solutions, and modern appliances, an updated kitchen design can transform your cooking and entertaining experiences. This article will explore the key elements that make up a spacious, updated kitchen along with tips to achieve this look in your own home.

Benefits of a Spacious, Updated Kitchen

There are many advantages to remodeling your kitchen to make it more spacious and up-to-date:

More Elbow Room

Removing walls and opening up the kitchen to adjacent rooms creates a feeling of openness. A spacious kitchen provides more room to cook, clean, and navigate around the space. No more bumping elbows or stumbling over each other.

Entertaining Friendly

A large, updated kitchen layout allows for multiple people to work and mingle comfortably. When hosting parties or family dinners, guests can gather in the kitchen without getting in the way.

Storage Solutions

New cabinetry, drawers, and organizational tools provide places for everything. No more clutter on the counters or hunting for pots and pans. An updated kitchen maximizes every inch of space.

Modern Aesthetic

With contemporary countertops, backsplashes, sinks, faucets, and appliances, your kitchen will look clean and sleek. The latest trends create an inviting space you’ll be proud to show off.

Increased Home Value

Remodeling your outdated kitchen can greatly boost your home’s value. Real estate agents report that updated kitchens help sell houses faster and for more money.

Improved Workflow

A smart layout and quality appliances help streamline meal preparation. Updated kitchens allow you to cook efficiently and make the most of your time in the kitchen.

Elements of a Spacious, Updated Kitchen

If you’re looking to remodel your kitchen to make it more open and modern, there are several important elements to consider:


For a spacious feel, opt for an open concept kitchen that eliminates walls between the kitchen and adjacent dining or living areas. An efficient work triangle between the sink, stove, and refrigerator helps reduce steps. Islands and peninsulas create more usable counter space and room for stools.


Clean-lined cabinetry makes the space feel new. Standard cabinets now extend all the way to the ceiling for max storage. Opt for a lighter color to open up the space. Glass front doors give a view of contents while closed.


Quartz and granite countertops are popular updated options. Marble can give a timeless, sophisticated look. Tile is an affordable choice. Consider a accent wall or backsplash of tile as well.


Stainless steel appliances have a sleek, uniform look. Upgrade appliances to energy efficient models with modern finishes and technology. Hide small appliances in drawer microwave, cabinet depth fridges.

Sinks and Faucets

Deep sinks provide more functionality. Choose a sleek metallic, white, or colored sink for contemporary appeal. Faucets come in polished chrome, black, bronze, and more. Add a high arc faucet for ample clearance.


Updated kitchen flooring ideas include hardwood, tile, stone, and high-end vinyl planks. Change just the flooring to update the look instantly. Area rugs add warmth and texture.


Proper lighting makes the space feel bright and airy. Pot lights, pendant lights, under cabinet lighting and natural light from windows create a well-lit workspace.


A kitchen hood over the stove captures steam, grease, and odors. Ducted or ductless vents come in various styles to match your decor. Upgraded ventilation improves air quality.

Kitchen Layout Ideas for Open Spaces

The layout of your remodeled kitchen can greatly impact how spacious it feels. Here are some popular updated kitchen layout options:

Open Concept Kitchen

Removing the wall between the kitchen and living room creates one large open area. This layout allows easy flow for cooking and interacting with family and guests. Leave a 6+ foot opening with no visual separations.

Peninsula Layout

A peninsula attached on one side adds seating space and divides the kitchen slightly from living areas. The attached counter can function as an eating bar or food prep station. Keep clearances wide enough for traffic flow.

Island Layout

Including an island provides even more counter space and seating. An island can separate work zones or become the main food preparation area. Allow at least 4 feet around all sides for proper circulation.

U-Shaped Layout

A U-shaped kitchen has cabinets and counters on three sides. The open end allows access. Appliances and the sink can go in the base of the U with countertop workspace on either side.

L-Shaped Layout

An L-shaped kitchen design has cabinets and counters on two adjoining walls. One leg of the L shape can include appliances with a wide expanse of countertop along the other leg.

Galley Kitchen

Galley kitchens feature cabinets and counters lining two parallel walls. This traditional layout works well in smaller spaces by stacking functions efficiently. Opt for light colors to keep it feeling open.

Maximizing Storage in an Updated Kitchen

You likely have more stuff than you did when you first installed your kitchen. All the new gadgets and appliances we acquire need a home. Smart storage is key for keeping spacious updated kitchens organized and clutter-free.

Drawers & Pull-Out Shelving

Drawers and pull-out shelves provide easy access to items that get lost in deep cabinets. Use shallow drawers for utensils, deeper drawers for pots and pans. Add dividers and organizers.

Appliance Garages

Hide stand mixers and other small appliances inside specially designed cabinet compartments. Close the door to conceal the clutter when not in use.

Pantry Storage

Walk-in pantries with shelving store bulk items and overflow. Consider narrow pull-out pantries between cabinets. Add racks for spices, utensils, and baking sheets.

Cabinet Organizers

Use the vertical space inside cabinets with tiered shelving, racks, and dividers. Install utensil trays on the back of cabinet doors. Turntables allow access to items at the back.

Under Cabinet Storage

Mount wire shelves or baskets under wall cabinets to utilize all available space. Great for storing kitchen towels and rarely used items.

Islands & Carts

Kitchen islands or carts provide storage and surfaces for food prep. Opt for models with shelves, cabinets, and drawers to stash servingware or small appliances when not in use.

Deep Cabinets

Replace standard 24″ depth cabinets with 30″-36″ depth cabinets to increase holding capacity. Use deep drawers for large pots and pans.

Blind Corner Storage

Take advantage of hard to access corner cabinets with specialized pull-out units or hinged pocket doors that make items easy to see.

With some creativity and well-designed storage components, you can have a spacious updated kitchen that also hides away the clutter.

Modern Kitchen Appliances

Appliances account for a big chunk of any kitchen remodel budget. The good news is technology advancements make today’s appliances more functional and energy efficient than ever. Here are some popular options:

Ranges & Cooktops

  • Induction cooktops heat immediately for fast results. They are energy efficient and easy to clean since the surface doesn’t get hot.
  • Gas ranges allow precise temperature control and instant adjustment. Great for serious cooks.
  • Dual fuel ranges combine gas cooktops and electric ovens for flexibility. Many pro chefs prefer this setup.
  • Electric ranges have improved heating elements and oven performance comparable to gas. Smoothtop electric ranges are common.


  • Double ovens provide extra oven capacity. Use both at once or keep one set at a different temp. Stacked double ovens conserve space.
  • Wall ovens place the oven at eye level. Good for the mobility impaired. Eliminates bending.
  • Steam ovens cook with a steam circulation system. Great for cooking veggies, seafood, gently reheating.
  • Convection ovens use a fan to circulate hot air for fast, even baking. Convection microwave ovens combine features.


  • French door fridges have double doors with a freezer drawer below. Provides wide interior storage.
  • Counter depth fridges sit nearly flush with counters. Great fit for small kitchens. Storage capacity is reduced.
  • Side-by-side fridges have the freezer and fridge compartments next to each other. Provides narrower footprint.
  • Smart fridges connect to wi-fi. View inside via app. Features like cameras and touchscreens.


  • Drawer dishwashers feature an upper and lower pull-out drawer with independent wash cycles. Good for small spaces.
  • Quiet dishwashers insulate against noise. Work great open floorplan kitchens where noise carries.
  • Built-in dishwashers install flush with cabinets for a seamless look. Geared for serious cooks with heavy loads.
  • Top control dishwashers put controls on the top edge of the door. No visible external control panel.

Other Appliances

  • Microwave drawers stash the microwave in a drawer. Gain countertop space.
  • Undercounter refrigerator installs below the counter with custom paneling to match cabinets. Keeps drinks and snacks handy.
  • Warming drawers keep food at a set temp like an oven. Also proof bread dough.
  • Undercounter ice machines provide added cold drinks storage without taking refrigerator space.
  • Second dishwasher makes quick work of large parties. Run both dishwashers simultaneously after gatherings.

With smart planning, you can include all the functional appliances your family needs in your new spacious kitchen.

Contemporary Kitchen Countertops

The counters see a lot of abuse, so choosing the right updated kitchen countertop material is key. Here are some of the most popular contemporary options:

Quartz Countertops

Quartz counters are composed of ground quartz blended with resin for a durable surface. Benefits include:

  • Highly resistant to stains, scratches, heat
  • Low maintenance
  • Non-porous so less likely to harbor bacteria
  • Available in wide range of colors and patterns
  • Does not require regular sealing

With unique veining and pattern options, quartz brings the elegance of stone with more durability. Brands like Ceasarstone, Cambria, and Silestone offer many design choices.

Granite Countertops

Granite is a natural stone valued for its:

  • Heat and scratch resistance
  • Available in many colors and patterns
  • Can be highly polished for shiny surface
  • Prestigious, timeless material

Downsides are granite is porous and requires yearly sealing. The high cost also limits accessibility for some. But for beauty and prestige, granite still reigns supreme.

Marble Countertops

Marble offers a high-end refined look, perfect for traditional kitchens. Pros:

  • Elegant aesthetic
  • Stays cool naturally
  • Softer surface good for pastry and doughs
  • Withstands heat well
  • Large uniform slabs possible

However marble stains easily, requires frequent sealing, and can crack under pressure. Use marble for low-traffic kitchen areas or as an accent.

Concrete Countertops

For an edgy industrial vibe, concrete counters are a trendy choice valued for:

  • Highly durable and heat resistant
  • Stains can be sanded out
  • Mottled color tones and finishes
  • Can be stamped or stained to achieve different looks
  • Comparatively budget friendly

On the downside, concrete is porous and needs yearly sealing. The heavy material also requires cabinet reinforcement.

Butcher Block Countertops

Butcher block offers a warm, natural look. Benefits include:

  • Softer surface won’t damage glassware
  • Easily sanded out if scratched
  • Adds rustic character
  • Budget friendly option

Butcher block requires oiling to prevent staining and drying. Not the best choice for heavy prepping. Use wood sealant regularly.

The right counters can make your kitchen look spectacular while withstanding years of use. Consider the pros and cons of each material for your lifestyle.

Backsplash Ideas for Updated Kitchens

The backsplash provides an opportunity to add color, texture, and personality through your choice of material and design. Backsplashes protect the wall behind sinks, stoves, and countertops from water damage and stains. Materials like metal, glass, and tile make for great contemporary options.

Metal Backsplashes

Metal backsplashes lend an elegant, contemporary look through materials like:

  • Stainless steel – sleek and modern
  • Copper – warm and inviting
  • Tin – rustic appeal
  • Aluminum – industrial vibe

Metals come in tile, sheets, or shingles. Use metal alone or combined with other materials.

Subway Tile

Subway tiles are rectangular ceramic tiles designed to look like actual subway tiles. Benefits:

  • Classic, timeless look
  • Budget friendly option
  • Easy to install

Jazz up plain white subway tile with contrasting grout colors or alternating patterns. Subway tile backsplashes suit both modern and vintage kitchens.

Stone Tile or Slabs

Tile or slabs of materials like marble, granite, travertine, limestone, or slate create a high-end backsplash. Considerations:

  • Heat resistant
  • Range of colors and patterns
  • Can be polished or tumbled for different looks
  • Natural material requires sealing

Stone backsplash options work well with countertops of the same material for a cohesive look.

Glass Tile

Glass tile allows you to incorporate color, sheen, and texture through materials like:

  • Frosted or clear glass
  • Recycled glass tiles
  • Glass/stone mosaics
  • Metallic glass

The reflective surface increases light in the kitchen. Use glass tile alone or in combination with stone or ceramic.

Patterned or Handmade Tile

For a more artisanal backsplash, look at materials like:

  • Handpainted ceramic
  • Cement tile
  • Terra cotta
  • Patterned porcelain

Distressed textures and bold patterns make the backsplash the focal point. Keep the rest of the design simple to let the tiles stand out.

The backsplash provides the opportunity to showcase your personal taste through creative design choices.

Modern Kitchen Sinks and Faucets

Kitchen sinks take a lot of use and abuse in busy family kitchens. Quality sinks and faucets aren’t just pretty to look at – they need to stand up to years of hard daily use. Fortunately, today’s options deliver both form and function.

Contemporary Kitchen Sinks

Some top modern sink choices include:

  • Stainless steel – Durable, easy to clean, won’t chip or stain
  • Composite granite – Heat and scratch resistant, sound-deadening
  • Fireclay – Glossy porcelain, can be very deep, stylish drainboards
  • Copper – Antimicrobial, adds warmth, but requires careful cleaning
  • Acrylic/Solid surface – Seamless, nonporous, integrated drainboards

Additional features like deep bowls, tight-radius corners, and sound-dampening pads make sinks even more functional. Undermount, apron-front, and tile-in styles provide different built-in options.

Updated Kitchen Faucets

When selecting your kitchen faucet upgrade, look for:

  • Pull-down/pull-out sprays – Greater reach, helpful for cleaning or filling pots
  • Higher arc – Allows filling of larger pots and provides clearance
  • Motion activation – Hands-free activation convenient when hands are messy
  • Touch controls – Change flow and temperature with a touch
  • Built-in filtration – Filter out water impurities and contaminants

Featured finishes like polished chrome, brushed nickel, matte black, and bronze complement contemporary designs. Look for solid brass/stainless internal construction for longevity.

Secondary Sinks & Faucets

For additional convenience, consider adding:

  • Prep sink – Located in kitchen island to keep mess contained
  • Bar sink – Allows for easy clean-up of glasses during entertaining
  • Filtered water tap – Dispenses clean drinking water. Reduce use of plastic water bottles.

The sink area is one spot where investing in quality pays dividends over the life of your kitchen. Durability and functionality are key.

Flooring Options for Updated Kitchens

The flooring sets the tone for your whole kitchen design. It needs to be beautiful, yet durable enough to withstand heavy appliance use, spills, tracked in dirt, and high traffic areas. Here are some of the best flooring options for updated kitchens:

Engineered Hardwood Floors

Hardwood adds warmth and timeless style. Engineered wood made up of plies offers strength and stability. Benefits include:

  • Many options – oak, walnut, maple, hickory
  • Customizable colors and finishes
  • Durable and scratch resistant
  • Easy to clean

Save money by only installing hardwood in high traffic areas like work zones. Transition to tile or linoleum in peripheral spaces.

Porcelain & Ceramic Tile

Tile floors provide a sleek, contemporary look. Consider:

  • Durable, water resistant surface
  • Range of colors, textures, shapes, and patterns
  • Stain proof and easy maintenance
  • Naturally cooling on feet

Use large format tiles for a seamless look. Include tile backsplashes for a pulled together design.

Natural Stone Tile

For an elegant floor, natural stone tiles like marble, travertine, limestone, or slate exude luxury.

  • Timeless, investment-