Many of our activities at home (cooking, cleaning, eating, drinking, socializing) take place in the kitchen. That is why a beautiful and functional kitchen is so important. Regardless of your kitchen design style, organization and layout are key components. Take a look at these 10 renovation mistakes to avoid and design tips to try so that you end up with a practical and stylish kitchen design.
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1. Kitchen triangle obstructions
Kitchen design professionals refer to the sink, stove, and refrigerator as the kitchen triangle. It’s the busiest area, so designing a kitchen triangle requires careful planning and unobstructed access. Of the three, the sink typically has the most action, though your triangle should also have easy access to the stove and refrigerator, as well as countertop workstations.
Obviously, your sink should be close to the plumbing. Sometimes due to the location of the plumbing, kitchens are designed with the sinks in a poor location. If this is the case in your kitchen, consider hiring a plumber to relocate the plumbing to accommodate the best location for the sink.
Regardless of the size or layout of your kitchen (L-shaped, kitchen, U-shaped, or island), the sum of all the legs in a work triangle should be no less than 10 feet and no more than 25 feet. If the work triangle is too small, people will trip over each other. If it is too large, food preparation can be a tiring task.
2. Wasted storage space
Kitchens often contain many things. Not only that, but items hidden behind kitchen cabinets can be oddly shaped and require additional space; think of food processors or stand mixers. Finding a home for your appliances and keeping them easily accessible can be tricky.
Because built-in items are expensive and the overall size of the area can be limited, a big design mistake is not including enough storage. Even small kitchens have wasted space, but this can be minimized with smart kitchen renovation planning.
If your kitchen is small, consider installing extra-long top cabinets with trim for additional storage space. Place lighting or greenery along the trim to lift the eyes. Always install cabinets above the refrigerator. Not using this area is a waste of storage space for large or seasonal kitchen items. Finally, install shelves at the back of the lower kitchen cabinet. This could add up to 4 square feet of extra storage space in the kitchen.
3. Not enough counter space
One of the biggest complaints about kitchen design is the lack of counter space. Considering all the kitchen activities that require a countertop, as well as the appliances that are permanently located there, you want to place as much open horizontal surface area in a kitchen as possible. An easy way to do this is by adding an island or breakfast bar to an L-shaped kitchen.
4. Bad lighting
The kitchen is a room where you cannot afford poor lighting. It is not just a question of good design and atmosphere. Proper lighting for kitchen tasks is important when it comes to handling sharp knives and other kitchen tools. Also, the more light you have in the room, the better you can display your design elements.
Rooms generally need three types of lighting:
General lighting for general lighting
For your kitchen, evaluate the work areas and focus on providing each corner with the light it needs. Consider adding lighting directly over all major work areas.
Use pendant lights or a series of mini pendants to enhance the beauty and functionality of the kitchen. Pendants look great over kitchen sinks, while a series of mini pendants work well over breakfast bars and kitchen islands. Install under cabinet lighting to make sure counters have enough lighting for common kitchen tasks.
5. Skip the splash guard
When budgeting or designing a new kitchen or remodel, the backsplash sometimes slides to the bottom of the list. Or worse yet, it’s off the plan entirely. This can save you money in the short term,