The kitchen, perhaps more than any other room in the house, should be designed with functionality in mind.
While it is important to have a visually appealing kitchen, it is even more important for those who use it for cooking that the design facilitates food preparation. For starters, it should be large enough to move around in and have an easy-to-use layout. You should enjoy working in the kitchen; if you cook in a place you enjoy, the quality of your food will reflect that.
If you avoid these 11 common mistakes when renovating your kitchen, you will end up with a kitchen that you adore.
1. Poor Layout
A kitchen should facilitate your “workflow.” This includes all of the steps involved in meal preparation, from preparing the ingredients to cooking, plating, and finally serving.
As a result, your kitchen should be divided into zones to facilitate the aforementioned workflow. These include areas for storage, food preparation, cooking, and cleanup.
The storage zone, as the name implies, is where your refrigerator and pantry, as well as your ingredients and cooking utensils, are located. This should be near the kitchen entrance to reduce the distance traveled when transporting heavy groceries.
The preparation zone should immediately follow the storage area. The main countertop and sink would be located here because this is where you will be doing the majority of your food preparation, such as cutting and chopping vegetables. The trash can should be placed here so that trash can be disposed of without spilling any on the floor.
The cooking zone should include the hob, hood, and oven, which should be as close to the preparation zone as possible so that you waste as little time as possible transferring food to the stove and risk spilling hot food.
When the meal is finished, your preparation zone transforms into your clean-up zone, where you can discard any food scraps and wash the dishes.
2. Insufficient Countertop Space
The countertop, whether made of granite, quartz or solid surface, is an essential component of any kitchen. More countertop space means more room to prepare food, store appliances, and utensils, and keep your appliances away from the stove — prolonged exposure to the heat of the burners may cause them to break.
By using larger base cabinets, you can ensure that you have enough countertop space. This prevents you from being crammed into one corner while preparing food.
If you still don’t have enough space in your kitchen, consider installing a kitchen island. It is best to install it directly opposite your kitchen stove to reduce the possibility of colliding with family members while carrying hot food.
However, make sure that your island is the right size for your kitchen — having one that is too large will restrict your movement, while one that is too small will be useless.
3. Not Enough Kitchen Storage
Not having enough room to store your pots and pans can cause more visible clutter.
While having enough space on your countertop is essential, having enough space in your kitchen to store appliances, utensils, and crockery is also essential.
The obvious thing to do is to build more cabinets and pull-out drawers, which are great for keeping your kitchen looking less cluttered. Just keep in mind that they should be designed so that you can open them without collapsing another cabinet.
Cabinets, however, are not the only storage option. If you don’t like the look of these traditional methods, how about a kitchen pegboard? Install hooks and rails on a pegboard to hang your utensils in creative ways.
4. Dim Lighting
One of the biggest mistakes that you need to avoid when renovating your kitchen is not enough lighting. Lighting is essential for creating ambiance and mood in your kitchen. A dimly lit kitchen is not only uncomfortable to work in, but it also increases the risks associated with cooking tasks such as chopping and cutting vegetables. If you intend to use your kitchen as a place to entertain guests or eat meals, it must be well-lit.
This is why it is critical to invest in kitchen ambient lighting. The majority of food preparation may be done beneath wall cabinets at times. If this is the case, under-cabinet lighting should be bright enough to illuminate your entire counter, making it both safer and more comfortable to work in.
5. Poor Ventilation
Unless you only eat salads or foods that don’t require cooking, there’s always a chance that the smells from your kitchen will permeate the rest of the house. As a result, it’s critical to have good kitchen ventilation not only to keep odors contained in the kitchen but also to improve air circulation in your home.
A range hood installed above your kitchen stove will help to filter out these odors. Choose one with a quiet motor and replace the filters on a regular basis. Having the windows open will also help with circulation.
If you don’t have a lot of space in your house, try to design your kitchen so that there are separate “wet” and “dry” areas. The wet area should be as close to the outside as possible so that any odors can be whisked away without the use of a range hood.
6. Low-quality Cabinets
Choosing colorful or low-quality cabinets can be an expensive mistake.
Cabinets are typically the most expensive item in a kitchen, and it’s best to choose a versatile design that’s both durable and easy to maintain. After all, it’s not easy or cheap to replace brightly colored designs that haven’t aged well.
If you want a quality, long-lasting cabinet set, you should look beyond the price and inspect the pieces themselves.
It’s important to look for solid wood construction with at least a 1/2-inch thickness, mortise-and-tenon joinery, and well-finished surfaces, which means no imperfections like wood knots or poor sanding.
7. Electrical Outlets in Impractical Places
Having electrical outlets in impractical places can cause your countertops to be covered in wires and plugs.
Most kitchens were designed with large appliances in mind, but not smaller ones. The smaller appliances that people use, such as the blender and toaster, are frequently forgotten about, resulting in cluttered countertops with miscellaneous wires running to the nearest outlet.
Though it can be costly, having outlets professionally relocated may improve the functionality and aesthetic appeal of your kitchen in the long run.
When doing a kitchen reno, it is best to keep that in mind.
8. Empty Space Above Cabinets
One noticeable mistake people make when renovating kitchens is leaving a big space between kitchen cabinets and the ceiling.
Leaving a huge empty space above your cabinets can just lead to dust buildup. It can also make your kitchen feel too empty, not to mention a very tempting spot for people to add a faux plant or basket.
These spaces are hard to clean and serve no real purpose. It is recommended to close the space with a soffit.
A soffit is a decorative architectural feature that can help fill up the empty area in a more purposeful, appealing way.
9. Focusing More on Resale Value Than Personal Style
Another one of the mistakes you should avoid when renovating your kitchen is not making it “yours”! Homeowners frequently enquire about designing for resale value, but a beautiful home always sells. While not everyone has the creative ability to design, people will pay for inspirational design. Homeowners should make bold choices in the right places. Dare to make choices that will make your kitchen unique.
I’ve noticed some fatigue with stainless steel appliances in particular, and a statement range can help create a design focal point.
Incorporate some texture into your kitchen, whether it’s wood, lower cabinets, or woven bar stools. More often than not, kitchens fall flat and cold.
10. Overlooking Your Faucet
A beautiful moment in a kitchen is the faucet. It encourages you to spend a little extra on this item. Nothing beats a stunning new kitchen with a builder’s basic faucet for taking the wind out of the sails.
Low-profile kitchen faucets have a problem with clearance between the spout and the basin bottom. Instead, choose taller fixtures to make large dish and pot cleaning easier.
11. Skimping on the Rangehood
While it can be a more daunting investment, the range hood should be a top priority when designing the space. Not only does it get a lot of use, but the look and feel of this center-stage appliance can either complement or detract from the overall aesthetic. When it comes to countertop surfaces, a similar concept applies: investing in real stone rather than composite will add far more value and longevity to the kitchen. There is no comparison between the natural variation in veining and the beauty of a honed finish.
As you have seen, it is very easy to achieve your dream kitchen by simply trying to avoid these 11 mistakes when renovating your kitchen. It won’t cost any more to pay attention to these small tips. For example, it won’t cost any more if you put the sockets in the right places but it would definitely make a lot of difference to the functionality and aesthetics of your kitchen.