The kitchen and mistakes are not often used in the same sentence. But when they are, it’s usually a cause for concern. This is because the kitchen is the one place that unites people. Whether it’s for meals or some chatter, it’s a place fit for many purposes. For this reason, you’d want beautiful finishes, features, and fixtures to make it unique. This also goes for the function it’s basically made for – cooking and eating. However, not setting up your kitchen will leave you open to some kitchen design mistakes.
Whether you’re doing some first-time designs, working on the layout, or doing some renovations, mistakes can happen. This article will help you take note of 10 of such mistakes so you can avoid them. Great design and layout for your kitchen do more than save you time and resources. But it also means that you’ve gotten it right.
10 Common Kitchen Design Mistakes: Kitchen Owner Should Know
1. Poor Lighting Systems
A kitchen is a delicate place. So, you don’t want to have a situation where you can’t see what you’re doing. When designing your kitchen, get the right lights installed over the countertops. This way, cooking, and cleaning get done in full view rather than in shadows. You can go with dimmer lights in eating areas suitable for family and friends. Such areas don’t require too much focus in terms of lighting.
It’s good to have beautiful pendants, glass, and other light accessories. But your primary concern is how they function without issues. What you can do to make the light shine properly is to fix them right in front of you. This way, you can control the lighting levels and atmosphere. You’re going to cook and chop things, so get bulbs with adequate lighting.
Cooler-toned bulbs are particularly useful for cooking areas. While downlights and pendant lights are good examples of lights, you can use for other vital areas. Have them on separate circuits to help you have more control over the atmosphere. What’s more, adequate lighting will show off your beautiful kitchen designs.
2. Wasting Your Storage Space
The process of designing a kitchen is a great one. However, don’t get lost in the moment by forgetting to make use of the available spaces. Storage spaces can get mismanaged or arranged in a way that gives up many empty areas. You’ll find that after the whole process, there’s less beauty to see. Also, trying to fit in too many shelves will give your kitchen the feel of a library. In all, getting the balance right is essential.
More space means getting your dimensions correct. Ideally, about four feet of space can do between kitchen countertops. This will come in handy when you’ve got a lot of movement through your kitchen. If you have a smaller kitchen, plan accordingly so that your countertops have a bit of distance in between.
Furthermore, you can get a grip on this by making every bit of space functional without overdoing things. For example, spaces under units and above the fridge will come in useful when your kitchen is all set.
3. Inadequate Ventilation
With a beautiful kitchen design to stare at, people often forget one thing – ventilation. It is as important as the spaces you’re trying to manage. The fact is, your whole kitchen isn’t one big oven. Even if it’s winter, you don’t want an atmosphere that makes you feel boxed-in. Further, it might not look like much, but with the kitchen being a cooking area, you don’t want the aroma of some dishes to stick. What’s more, having only food smells to breathe in as oxygen the whole time presents a problem. Ventilation shouldn’t come last when drawing up a kitchen design plan.
A proper ventilation system when designing is essential. Firstly, you’d want air to circulate freely. Also, a well-ventilated kitchen means fewer impurities flying about, coupled with fresh air. Get the airflow right with the right products and equipment to keep your kitchen ventilated. A ducted extractor could offer more in terms of cleaner air. Consider the flower and ceiling space before installing one. So, use an exhaust fan.
4. Failing to Measure Appliances
Okay, this sounds a little bit odd. But it will save you a lot of stress. Many people fail to measure their appliances. They leave out this aspect and simply try to fit everything into spaces after designing. What you can expect is appliances battling with your design and kitchen furniture for space.
For instance, big-sized refrigerators can reduce the space you have, as well as brush against other appliances. Not to mention it pining your cabinets to open fully. Other appliances like your cooking stove will follow suit by making it inconvenient to get stuff done without stains on other items. Your microwave might also seem small at the time of designing but you’re in for a shock. This is because such appliances need a little space without being cluttered.
In your design plans, make out time to measure your appliances. Your microwaves, dishwashers, refrigerators, etc. should fit in properly after measurements. It’s not difficult, simply use a measuring tape. Also, you can have experts do it for you. All you have to do is make it a part of your plan to cover the basics. This way, they know how to go about fitting things in. It’s a bad idea to wait until you’ve mapped out and started the designs.
5. Totally Forgetting Your Workflow
Everyone who has to use the kitchen knows the kind of activities they do there. So, it’s reasonable to keep the workflow in mind when designing your kitchen. Without workflow put into consideration, you’ll have an inefficient space. More so, you won’t feel comfortable. Working in the kitchen is an activity on its own. Adding the stress of figuring out how to beat the traffic in your own space will leave you feeling drained.
You can deal with this mistake in the early stages of planning. Give thought to how you make use of your kitchen. Do you cook often? Use the dishwasher frequently? Or open the refrigerator more times than you can recall? Think of the busiest areas in your kitchen, and let your answers on your workflow inform your design choices. Also, the spots where you’re most likely to stand more is essential. For instance, if you do a lot of work on your feet by the sink, the space around it should be free.
6. Not Getting Enough on the Vertical Wall Space
Whether you have a small kitchen or not, every space counts. This includes your vertical wall. But you’d be making a mistake leaving that thought out or not getting enough on the ‘free’ space. This is because things will look all cramped-up when you force them to fit without looking to your walls for help.
For instance, cupboards can take up about any space on your wall, but some people make the mistake of setting them among other equipment. Then there’s the equipment you’ve got all through the kitchen. Utensils, accessories, and the likes, all need spaces. Getting them a home on your wall is a skill on its own. Thankfully, experts can help you with that, especially if you don’t feel confident about DIYs. Even if you know a thing or two, you want the perfect job.
What you can do is take them high up to the ceiling. This will create more storage space without choking up your kitchen. Also, throw in some open shelves to create a mix of shelves and cupboards. You’ll instantly see the appeal it creates with all your stuff having enough room.
7. Wasting Space with Kitchen Islands
Kitchen islands make your kitchen more unique and beautiful. They help you get things prepared and even serve as a form of a table should the need arise. However, it’ll be a mistake to make one if you don’t have adequate space to fit it in. You’d make an island that you certainly can’t use or get around without hurting yourself or hitting other things on your way. Also, placing the island in the wrong spot is a big mistake. It can affect your workflow, and if you have many people going through your kitchen, expect them to bump into equipment and each other.
If you don’t want to scrap what you’ve done after making such a big mistake, get it right the first time. First, if you must include an island in your kitchen, make sure you have the space that can take it. On the flip side, you can make a rather narrow one that won’t impede your workflow. This way, traffic is not an issue. You won’t have to squeeze through your own kitchen. Most experts recommend having space measuring between 42-48 inches around islands.
Furthermore, your plans on getting a kitchen island depending on what it will contain. Get the calculation right along with the things you want to install, and you’re alright.
8. Not Sticking to the Budget
How much do you want to spend? It’s a question most homeowners can answer. But the trick lies in actually sticking to it. Spending way more than your budget is a bad mistake, especially if you have other things to take care of. Also, being left with designs halfway through, and without funds to finish it up doesn’t bode well. There’s a system that works. It involves not going over 20 percent of the value of your home for a kitchen design. This means you won’t lose when you sell at a future date. Also, a fancy kitchen will go a long way to convince buyers.
When budgeting, give some room for more funds should your calculations prove to be less precise. The fact is, you’re more likely to go over your budget than spend less of what you planned to spend. So, you should have extra money for unexpected expenses that can creep up. Also, paying in advance for services is a bad idea. Sometimes, most people pay upfront for services which leaves them at a disadvantage. They’ll have less flexibility to negotiate for some changes later in the design process. If you must, hold some back, and pay for what you see.
9. No Plans for the Counter Space
Kitchen designs without countertops is a mistake you’ll definitely regret. Of course, beauty goes a long way with excellent decorations and hardware. But you’d want to have a functional countertop as well. So, if you’re going to design your kitchen, give enough space to create ideal ones. This is you can do by considering your workflow, your budget, and the potential for more workspaces. What’s more, you need to consider traffic in your kitchen so that your countertop doesn’t get in the way of functionality.
Draw up a list of the activities you’d like to handle at specific countertop areas. This way, you’ll learn how they can make things convenient, especially if you have more people working in the kitchen. Get suitable materials too. Whether you choose stone, metals, laminates or wood, consider what it takes to get them. The level of maintenance needed to handle them is also essential. Furthermore, you don’t want appliances all over the place. Get some permanently put on the countertops so that you have better control of your kitchen space. Appliances and equipment like food processors, coffee makers, and toasters are appliances you’ll want to give a permanent home on countertops.
10. Not Being Effective with Trash
There’s more about trash than most people are willing to admit. Whether it’s your house or not, trash is a sticking point when it comes to kitchen designs. Perhaps you’re comfortable using a bin underneath your sink or by your door for anything you think doesn’t deserve a spot in your kitchen. Well, things are different now with different methods of recycling trash.
Of course, you still need standard trash disposal or compactor in an area that makes it easy to pick up and dispose of. But you should give more thought to recyclables. This includes glass, aluminum, and plastics which usually take more space. These items can be recycled even if you don’t want them back. You’d better manage your trash when you make provisions for them in your kitchen design.
Furthermore, it’s not all about making bins and boxes easily accessible. You should do your bit to avoid too much clutter in your kitchen. This is where you need excellent organizing skills for your plates, food containers, pots, and other useful items. Take advantage of all the spaces available, including on your doors. Racks and extenders mean you won’t have too much to sort out every day.
With these mistakes pointed out, you now have a fair knowledge of what to expect. Kitchen designs are not easy, but the experience is worthwhile. You get to shape up one of the most critical areas of your home. All these mistakes are avoidable. But don’t be surprised if you still make one or two when you don’t plan accordingly.
You should do stuff the right way to reduce the risks these mistakes create. Also, your home and kitchen become more valuable and efficient. All thanks to a well-thought-out quality from the designs you implement. Additionally, your kitchen is your personal space. Don’t get lost trying to copy trends you’re not comfortable with.