One trend in kitchens that has grown over the years is increased size. The kitchen for years has been the center of all activity carried on in the home, as that is where you would normally find Mom. Over the last two to three decades the family has come to require two incomes in order to live well.
The kitchen has become more important than ever, as that is where naturally all the cooking takes place, the dog and cat are fed, the homework is done as a parent is there to help, TV is watched, and many times social activities are carried on into the evening as well.
In many homes, there isn't a lot of unused nearby space in which to expand the kitchen. This, as well as cost considerations, often cause homeowners to rule out moving walls.
The truth is that size does matter. You simply can't create a functionally up-to-date kitchen in the tiny spaces allocated to older kitchens. But don't panic; there are almost always affordable ways to add square footage. Many people eliminate their under-used formal dining room or living room. Others incorporate the space once allocated to a pantry, entranceway, or back porch. Sometimes a hall can be eliminated or moved to open up more space.
Many times we recommend extending the kitchen into the yard, and this opens up other opportunities to enhance other parts of the home by making it possible to create a great room, library or even a master bedroom suite.