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Considering a Kitchen Remodel? Plan Ahead and Avoid These 9 Common Kitchen Design Mistakes

A kitchen remodel is an excellent investment both for the present and the future. It increases the value of your property and provides an essential functional environment for what is considered the heart of the home. Yet without proper consideration for the smaller details, a kitchen remodeling project can go awry.

It’s incredibly easy to get caught up in the visual design aesthetics when designing any room. However, for a kitchen that serves multiple purposes like cooking and entertaining, functionality needs to remain a primary focus. With this in mind, we look at the common kitchen design mistakes to avoid when remodeling your new dream kitchen.

1. Forgetting the All-Important Work Triangle

Visualize in your mind a triangle connecting your cooktop, sink, and refrigerator. This important space is what is known as the “kitchen work triangle,” a tried and tested design concept used to create efficient kitchen layouts. When the concept is neglected or forgotten, the functionality and visual appeal of a kitchen can suffer.

According to the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA), each leg of the triangle should measure between 4 and 9 feet for optimal results. Doing so allows home chefs to reach their cooking, cleaning, and food storage areas quickly and easily.

2. Lack of Counter Space

A lack of kitchen counter space can cause all sorts of frustrations and problems. When designing your new kitchen, make sure there is plenty of surface space for different tasks. For example, there are typically three stages of the cooking process: preparation, cooking, and cleaning. Ideally, it’s good to have three or more separate and suitably sized counter spaces for each stage to ensure efficiency throughout the entire process.

Modern kitchens are also multifunctional spaces where families congregate. It’s not uncommon to use a laptop or tablet at the counter, either during the cooking process or while working from home. Do you need your counters to function with additional seating? Are you a baker and need counter space for cooling racks or rolling dough? Consider how you might use your counter space for different purposes, including when friends visit.

3. Lack of storage

Underestimating the amount of storage space that you will need is another common kitchen design mistake. A lack of storage can lead to overcrowding which can impact both the visual aesthetic of your kitchen and minimize your counter space for food preparation. With so many wonderful storage options, including appliance garages, there’s really no excuse for a lack of storage, even in a small kitchen.

From built-in kitchen island storage features and lighted glass-door display spaces to corner pull-out shelving and walk-in pantries, and so much more, there are storage solutions big and small for every conceivable kitchen design, size, and style.

4. Choosing Low-Quality Cabinets

Kitchen cabinets are one of the first features your family and visitors alike will see. They define the style and ambiance of the space, making them such a vital aspect of the kitchen interior to get right. Quality cabinetry is not cheap, but it would be a mistake to choose low-quality cabinets just to save money.

The best cabinets are made from solid wood and are durable and easy to clean and maintain. They are free of imperfections and support the aesthetics of the kitchen as a whole. These days you can order quality cabinets in a wide range of colors and designs.

5. Not Utilizing Vertical Space

Another common kitchen design mistake is forgetting to make good use of the vertical space. This is particularly valuable for small kitchens where ground-level storage space might be minimal.

Overhead cabinets or open shelves add both extra storage space and visual interest to a kitchen interior. Floating shelves can be fitted on either side of a fridge or range hood. Hooks and rails can be attached to the walls and even the ceiling to store pots, pans, and even potted herbs and plants. There’s enormous potential with some intelligent planning.

6. Poor Lighting Design

It’s surprising how often lighting becomes an afterthought in the home remodeling process. Poor lighting design has negative consequences for any space but for the kitchen, where safety and functionality are so important, it can actually be harmful. As such, lighting design needs to be a priority focus when redesigning your cooking environment.

It’s essential to consider the different zones of the kitchen when designing the placement of lighting. Some areas need focused lighting for specific tasks, aptly known as task lighting, while ambient lighting illuminates more general spaces. The placement and number of electrical outlets are also important factors to consider.

7. Lack of Ventilation

The smell of delicious home-cooked food can be lovely in the moment, but you don’t want cooking smells lingering and wafting throughout the rest of the house. Poor ventilation is another common kitchen design mistake that can ruin the enjoyment of dining and hosting guests.

It’s important to choose a good kitchen ventilation hood that complements the overall kitchen design aesthetic. A nice hood can act as a focal point, bringing the rest of the space together. There are many different hood designs that come in various materials, colors, shapes, and even placement options, including above a central kitchen island.

8. Choosing a Design That will Become Dated Before It’s Time

A new kitchen is designed to last for a long time. Therefore, it’s important that the design survives the test of time both when it comes to functionality and visual style. From the rustic 70s kitchens with overhead beams to the oversized white kitchens of the 90s, identifiable trends come and go, and it’s wise to make your kitchen as future-proof as possible.

Consider using mixed materials that help prevent a thematic look. Mix and match styles according to functional requirements, technological advancements, and your family’s unique blend of style. An experienced and professional design team will help you create a tasteful bespoke design that will never look outdated.

9. Not Seeking Out a Qualified Design-Build Contractor

Talking of professional design teams, another common kitchen design mistake is hiring the wrong professionals to remodel your home. Or giving in to the temptation to do it yourself. As a space with significant functional and safety requirements, including complicated wiring, plumbing, and ventilation systems, it’s always best to work with fully qualified design and construction experts.

In the long run, it’s a lot more cost-effective to invest in professional design-build services where the project is carried out to the highest of standard from beginning to end.

Your Kitchen Remodeling Team in Lafayette, Indiana

Riverside Construction, founded in 2008, is the go-to professional design-build team that has earned the respect and confidence of discerning homeowners in the Lafayette and West Lafayette areas.

With an award-winning team of highly skilled and experienced professionals in a range of fields, we excel at listening to client ideas and then translating those dreams into reality. We can help you decide on a direction, provide guidance on pandemic-related remodeling issues, and be with you every step of the way to ensure your dream home is achieved.

Contact us now to schedule an initial conversation about your upcoming kitchen remodel. We’ll be happy to answer your questions, listen to your ideas, soothe your worries, and work with you to finalize your plans.