6 Things to Consider When Updating Your Kitchen

Designer Cynthia Spence Shares Her Key Elements for a Spectacular Kitchen

Six Things To Consider When Updating Your Kitchen | Interior Design by Cynthia Spence | Photography by Kathryn MacDonald | Modern Sanctuary | Kitchen | Kitchen Remodel | White Kitchen | Contemporary Kitchen | Dining Space | Contemporary Dining Space | Lighting
Photo by:
Kathryn MacDonald

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As the New Year begins, you may be thinking about renovating outdated rooms in your home. For many people, a kitchen update is at the top of their renovation list.  A kitchen remodel can bring much better functionality, create a family gathering space and increase the value of your home. Because it can have so much impact, it’s important to get it right! And that’s why we asked design expert Cynthia Spence of Cynthia Spence Design to give us her top considerations when embarking on a kitchen update.

I believe that today’s world has become increasingly noisy, thereby necessitating environments that provide solace and restoration. My goal is to collaborate with clients in the overall scheme and realization of timeless interiors—beautifully designed to resonate with their individuality and rigorously edited to invite calm.  Cynthia Spence

Photo by:
Kathryn MacDonald


“When it comes to cabinetry finish selection and hardware, always look forward, not back. You’ll want something chic yet elegant that will withstand the test of time and retain its value if you’re looking to sell your home down the line. An interior designer, real estate agent, or top shelter magazines are great resources for determining what’s in and out.”


“Don’t forget to look up. For this kitchen ceiling, we selected a high-gloss finish for a subtle shine that completes the space.”

Photo by:
Kathryn MacDonald


“When designing dining areas, take your lifestyle and daily routine into consideration. For families who like to enjoy casual meals together, breakfast nooks with banquet seating are a great solution. Kitchen islands are a great place to enjoy a quick breakfast together without the formality of a sit-down meal.”


“When it comes to design, I believe that playing with contrast is key. Accent elements—such as a contrasting island base or hood—can add interest to any kitchen. A space conceived in all the same tones can read as drab.”

Photo by:
Kathryn MacDonald


“For countertops, you must consider your lifestyle. If you have kids or are looking to start a family, you’ll need to select a durable material that can withstand wear and tear, such as a stone quartz option. When designing for empty-nesters or couples without children, I like to choose more precious materials such as Calcutta or Carrara marble for a more elevated look.”


“With its eye-level location, a kitchen backsplash is high-impact real estate. The difference in price between ordinary and more unique tile typically won’t break the bank and the cost of labor is the same. The additional tile spend is definitely worth the money to create a bespoke kitchen.”

Thanks Cynthia! We agree that by basing design choices on these six considerations, we are sure to create timeless and functional kitchens.

Sanctuary Seekers – based on your experiences, do you have any additional do’s and don’ts for kitchen remodels?

Meet the designer Cynthia Spence of Cynthia Spence Design

Prior to starting her design business, Cynthia Spence held marketing and management positions in prominent entertainment and tech companies. Although an unlikely path, the experience gained in relationship marketing, creative services, project management and out-of-the-box thinking has helped shaped her business acumen and hone her creative skills.

For more a decade, Cynthia Spence Design has completed full-service residential and commercial projects in the greater San Francisco Bay Area with an emphasis on the South Bay. The firm has collaborated with hundreds of families and companies to create unique environments carefully tailored to their lifestyle or work needs in San Francisco, Palo Alto, San Jose and beyond.

With offices in San Francisco and Campbell, Cynthia Spence Design guides clients through the creative process from design conception to completion. The firm’s services include but are not limited to space planning, CAD layouts and renderings, architectural detailing, lighting plans, selection of finishes and furnishings in addition to accessories and art.

Copy by
Cynthia Baxter
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