12 Most Common Kitchen Layout Mistakes to Avoid
Author: Julia Ellison
For many families, the kitchen is the most important room of the house. Along with it being the place where food is stored, it is also the room where families gather and spend quality time together. Usually, families will discuss their day with each other while eating dinner or help their children with homework at the kitchen counter. Therefore, this space needs to be comfortable and well designed. Here’s a list of common layout mistakes and how to avoid them.
Table of Contents:
- 1. Picking Cabinets That Are Outdated
- 2. Choosing Cabinetry That’s Too Small
- 3. Failing to Install a Backsplash
- 4. Not Picking the Right Countertop Material and Style
- 5. Not Lighting Up the Right Spots
- 6. A Lack of Kitchen Storage Space
- 7. Not Considering the Workflow
- 8. Choosing Appliances Last
- 9. Picking the Wrong Island
- 10. Forgetting About the Budget
- 11. No Landing Space
- 12. Improper Planning
1. Picking Cabinets That Are Outdated
When choosing cabinetry, you may have a style that speaks to you, but as with hairstyles, it’s easy to get into a similar routine of liking something that’s outdated. To ensure that your cabinets are trendy and in style, consult with an interior designer and ask their opinion on which cabinets go best in your kitchen.
Also, check out home magazines to look for some inspirations. Magazines such as Good Housekeeping and Better Homes and Gardens always display current home design trends.
2. Choosing Cabinetry That’s Too Small
With cabinetry, you may find it tempting to select small cabinets to add more space to your kitchen; however, that’s a mistake. You need ample storage space for glasses, cookware, food and any accessories and don’t want to end up running out of room to store essential items for your kitchen.
Choosing large cabinets will ensure you have an adequate amount of storage space and they won’t end up making your space appear smaller than it is. Before installing new cabinets, it’s important to determine how you’d like them configured so they flow well with the rest of your kitchen.
3. Failing to Install a Backsplash
A backsplash may seem like a minor aspect of your kitchen design; however, it can add a lot of design and originality to your room. With several different designs to choose from, you should carefully pick a style that coordinates with the rest of your kitchen. You can make it as simple or intricate as you desire, based on your design preferences.
When coming up with an idea for your backsplash, you should have it include colors that are dominant in your kitchen. Also, make sure that it matches the design theme of your space, such as modern, vintage, etc. The right style of backsplash can add variety to your kitchen and act as a focal point.
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4. Not Picking the Right Countertop Material and Style
When designing your kitchen, it’s essential that you choose a countertop material that’s not only durable but also matches well with the rest of your space, such as your floors, cabinets and wall color. Often, people select a countertop material that doesn’t match their lifestyle, or they select a color that doesn’t go well with the rest of their kitchen.
To avoid this from occurring, you should always consult with a professional for their design advice. They will let you know which material and style matches perfectly with your kitchen and will have the countertop stand out as a highlight for your room.
5. Not Lighting Up the Right Spots
Since the kitchen is a very high traffic area where people are constantly eating and socializing, you need to make sure it’s well lit. Your room will appear more welcoming and engaging with some decorative lighting fixtures and high hats.
No one wants to strain their eyes while eating. Also, a dim or poorly lit room drives people away and makes them less likely to want to enter the space. A functional and decorative kitchen should have lighting that brightens up your space but doesn’t make it overbearing.
6. A Lack of Kitchen Storage Space
When people start planning a new design for this room, they often neglect how much storage space they need for food, cookware, plates, glassware and small appliances. Instead of finding out after the fact that you’re short on storage space, you should plan ahead. Think about how much space you need to adequately store all the important items in your kitchen.
7. Not Considering the Workflow
Most kitchens are designed based on a person’s workflow and how they move throughout the room. The ends of the triangle are the cooktop, refrigerator and sink. For the most optimal workflow, make sure that the space between each of these work spots remains unobstructed.
When the kitchen has a complicated workflow, it’s difficult for everyone to navigate throughout the room. To avoid this from happening, you should plan out your work triangle and discuss with a design expert how you feel your kitchen should be structured for optimal use.
If you set your goals and do the work in phases, you won’t get as overwhelmed. It’s nice to see progress, and each item you cross off your list motivates you to do the next.
8. Choosing Appliances Last
Often people get caught up in planning which material to select for their countertop, cabinets and floor, and they forget about their appliances. It’s essential that you select the right size dimensions for your appliances and pick brands that are decent in quality.
Also, ensure that they’re placed in areas of the room that make sense and are easy for you to access. Appliances such as your refrigerator, freezer, microwave and oven should be in locations that are very accessible. You’ll be using them daily, and they should flow well with your room. You don’t want your refrigerator so close to another appliance that you can barely open the door to access food.
9. Picking the Wrong Island
An island allows you to have extra space for cooking or socializing with guests. However, when choosing an island, you should make sure that it’s not an obstruction and is positioned so that people can freely walk around it. You don’t want to have a stunning island that ends up ruining your workflow.
The design solution with an island is to get one that fits into your space. A recommended island size is 1200mm. Feel free to install a stovetop or a sink in your island if doing so creates a more efficient work triangle. If you don’t intend to install a sink or a stovetop in your island, then get a smaller one that measures 600mm. This will give you enough countertop space. If you are unable to find an island that’s the proper size, take steps to commission or build one that is.
10. Forgetting About the Budget
It’s very easy to get caught up in the excitement of redecorating your kitchen and completely neglecting your budget. You should style your kitchen so it’s decorative but also affordable. You may have your heart set on a high-end appliance or an expensive brand of cabinets; however, it’s not worth going in debt and having to pay it off for several years. Accept that you may need some time to save up enough money to decorate your kitchen to your heart’s desire.
11. No Landing Space
A kitchen needs landing areas next to the sink, stovetop and refrigerator. When redesigning the space, make sure that you have a place to set things down. It is a practical feature, one that lets you free your hand from something that you’re holding.
Without a landing space, you’ll end up reaching too far for the things you need to cook. You’ll also wind up holding onto things that are heavy, cold or hot for a longer time than necessary.
Resolve the issue of no landing space by making sure that you have 12 inches to 15 inches available next to the stove and refrigerator in addition to 18 inches to 24 inches of empty space next to the sink when redesigning the area.
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12. Improper Planning
Some homeowners will try to save money by remodeling their kitchen themselves. However, this will end up costing you more money in the long run since you don’t have the experience or qualifications to properly redesign your kitchen. A professional knows how to properly plan for your kitchen remodel and understands the dimensions of each part of your space as well as the proper way to install every aspect of the room.
They often have many years of experience in the home design field and know which styles are popular as well as how to ensure the whole process flows smoothly and meets your expectations. You’ll end up much more impressed by the results if you hire a professional to plan and handle all the key aspects of your kitchen design.
For most families, the kitchen is one of the most popular rooms since it’s where they eat their meals and entertain family and friends. Before redecorating your kitchen, you should carefully think about your goals as well as how you envision your kitchen looking after the project is completed.
By spending the extra time planning your kitchen ahead of time and making sure it meets your needs and budget, you’ll avoid wasting any unnecessary time and will be pleased with your new space. I hope you find this article helpful. If you do, please share it on your Facebook page so others can benefit from it as well. Thanks in advance!