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  • Writer's pictureVera Blouin

The 7 Most Common Mistakes When Designing a Kitchen

So you have this kitchen that is in desperate need of updating, however, you don't know where to start? Kitchens of today are more demanding, they are multifunctional spaces, that ask what can I do for you today? Designing a modern kitchen is no small task, it requires careful planning and considering various factors to create not only a beautiful space, but one that is also functional. Before you get started on your journey let's discover some of the common mistakes when designing a kitchen that even the most experienced designers make and help you to hopefully avoid doing the same. By sharing some of these pitfalls, the goal is that you will be able to turn your kitchen into a space that enhances your cooking experience and the lives of those in your home.


Transitional kitchen design with high backsplash


1. Inefficient Layout

One of the biggest factors that can lead to a kitchen that is inefficient or sustainable, is neglecting to take the time to properly plan the layout. Before we were told to stick to the work triangle, but with kitchens being bigger and serving more than one purpose it is important that the work triangle simply become a guide to help us optimize traffic flow, location, and movement between the range, fridge, sink, and other appliances.


2. Inadequate Storage

Even for the minimalist kitchens, when you don't have the right amount and types of storage it can turn a kitchen into a nightmare. Plan for ample cabinetry and do a mix between drawers, pullouts, and shelves. Take into account each cabinets functions; What will be going inside? How big are the items? Do you need special storage solutions? Don't forget to factor in using the vertical space and even incorporating open shelving or glass door cabinets.


3. Incorrect Material Selections

It can't be emphasized enough how important it is to make certain you are selecting the right materials for the correct use. There is a famous architect who will go unnamed, but when touring one of his homes I noticed cork was used on the shower walls. I can't begin to go down the reasons why that was the worst material to use given its purpose. The wrong materials can impact the health, durability, functionality, and overall aesthetic of your kitchen. Make certain to ask yourself, how are you going to use it, where will it go, how durable is it for its intended function, what kind of maintenance will I have to do etc.?


4. Poor Lighting

Lighting is probably the most overlooked aspect when designing the kitchen, but next to the cabinetry it is pretty high up there on the list of most important things. No one wants to cook or eat in the dark, so having adequate lighting is key. Just like any other room in your home, the key is to incorporate a combination of ambient, task, and accent lighting to ensure proper visibility and create the right atmosphere. In creating your design don't forget to use the natural light that flows into your space as well.


5. Not enough outlets

Ever had that experience where you need to plug in an appliance only to discover no available plug is in site, then you have to walk to some unknown location, or use an extension cord to gain access? An insufficient amount of electrical outlets can disrupt your kitchen's flow and functionality. Make certain you are planning for the correct number of outlets throughout your new kitchen. Consider adding USB/C outlets and possibly countertop pop-ups if needed.


6. Ordering the wrong size appliances

So you found this really cool fridge, only for it get into the space and suddenly you realize it won't fit. Getting the correct size appliances goes hand in hand with the cabinet layout and sizes. At minimum every kitchen should be designed for standard sized appliance unless otherwise noted. Keep in mind the most common standard widths are as follows; diswasher 24", fridge 36" 42" & 48", range 30" 36" 48", microwave 24" 30".


7. Lack of Countertop Space

Not having enough countertop space where you need can negatively affect your cooking experience. Make certain to prioritize the countertop and having open space. If possible, consider adding a kitchen island or peninsula, they work as additional prep space, but also a place for family and friends to sit around and gather.


Desiging or re-designing your kitchen is one of the biggest tasks you can take on in your home, so you want to make sure it counts. Making certain to avoid some of these common mistakes when designing your kitchen can ensure that you get all you want our of your newly designed space. Above make certain you are having fun and enjoying the journey. Happy designing!


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Transitional kitchen design with high backsplash


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