The kitchen is the most important room in your house since it takes up most of the time of your stay in the house after the living room. It is hard to agree on one perfect kitchen because everyone seems to have their own fixed idea of an ideal kitchen. A poorly designed kitchen is, however, not an option for any homeowner, which is why everyone needs to avoid these ten common kitchen design mistakes. They may appear simple, but they make the difference between your dream home and a total disaster.
A kitchen plays a vital role in establishing the value of your house. If the resell value is not your primary concern, then you have to consider your safety and that all the valuable appliances and utensils in your kitchen. Most importantly, proper kitchen design makes each trip to the kitchen faster and safer, which is why you need to avoid each of these mistakes.
Here is a look at the mistakes to avoid when designing your kitchen
10 Common Kitchen Design Mistakes: Every Kitchen Owner Should Know
1. Poor Choice of Floor Material
Do you need ceramic, marble, wood, or good old limestone on your floor? The choice of floor material determines the look of your kitchen for a long time. Naturally, most people choose to use the cheapest material available, and the result is a stained scarred floor after one year of installation. Slippery tiles used on the floor can also turn your kitchen into a constant slip hazard.
While choosing the color that matches best with your wall design, it is also important to evaluate what that material will look like after a few spills and stains. You also have to ensure that the tiles in heavy traffic areas are not prone to cracking as it makes your kitchen look old and harder to clean shortly after installation.
It is always advisable to choose the most stain-resistant material you can find. Wood is not always the top choice by some people, but modern wood floors are durable, customizable to almost any plan, and renewable, which is not the case for other materials like plastic and some ceramic. Your floor, even if installed on a tight budget, should be easy to clean and comfortable to stand on. You should also consider water resistance since the soggy floor ages and discolors quickly.
2. Poor Ventilation
Ventilation in the kitchen is worth everything as it comes in handy for both safety and comfort. Proper ventilation helps improve Internal Air Quality in your kitchen, which is every homeowner`s dream. The primary ventilation tool is the kitchen hood, which is essential in preventing smoke and other fumes as well as odors from accumulating in your kitchen. Your ventilation system should be both modern and space conscious. Updraft systems take up more space, so they may not be the best option for a small kitchen. It is more convenient to install a downdraft system in a small kitchen.
Investing in a modern powerful kitchen exhaust fan may be expensive, but it delivers the fastest and cleanest way of freshening up the kitchen after cooking. Sufficient ventilation also ensures convenient removal of steam, smoke, and fumes reducing grease on the walls. A cracked or louvered window is also crucial in bringing in enough fresh air. We also encourage a wide clear window that brings in enough natural light. The ventilation system is the most important feature of your kitchen and hence reflects directly on the property value.
3. Poor Work Station Design
This is an issue that shows up in almost all kitchens. The kitchen counter features including the width, height, material, and color affect every activity in the kitchen. The standard height for the counter is 90cm, while the breadth is 40 to 50cm, depending on the amount of space available. If placed too low, it becomes tiresome to work since you have to stoop over for a long time while working, which puts more strain on your back. If the tables and counters are too high, they also become uncomfortable to work with and eventually lead to poor kitchen experience all the time.
It is important to be present while your worktops are being designed. You can choose the right stainless material that is both appealing and easy to clean and also have a say on how comfortable you feel with each measurement on the installations. Your kitchen counter should also leave enough space for critical appliances and movement around your kitchen.
The counter space is also an important storage and decoration aspect of the kitchen. The counter acts as temporary and permanent storage of everything that is not on the shelves or in the cabinet. Enough counter space also gives you more room for working, which is a welcome addition to a busy kitchen. Kitchen counters and tables located in your paths causes you to hit toes and arms every time you turn or pick something. You should also have enough space for storage under the table and the counter as it makes the perfect spot for keeping heavy packages that could break your shelves and cabinets.
4. Ignoring Kitchen Work Triangle
When designing your kitchen, you need to remember that necessary actions should become your top priority, meaning picking, cooking, and washing have to be close to each other. This is what designers call the kitchen work triangle.
The Sink, the cooker, and the fridge should be within three feet of each other and have a clear path between them for movement. This makes it easy to perform your primary activities in the kitchen quickly and safely. Failure to prioritize these key appliances make a kitchen difficult to navigate.
5. Poor Lighting
The most important source of light for a kitchen during the day is natural light, as it is gentle on your eyes as you work. Designers also recommend having at least two sets of bulbs in your kitchen, namely general light bulbs and task bulbs. You can also add accent lighting to give your kitchen more class. Task lights on tables, inside cabinets, near the cooker, over the counter, and under tables make it easy to handle specific tasks and find small items.
Proper lighting makes it easier to handle detailed tasks, which also makes it safe to use sharp objects. Kitchen switches should also be designed to be more resistant to water and stains since you may not have the time to wash your hands and dry them before touching each switch.
Proper natural ventilation and window design determine the amount of natural light that enters the kitchen during the day. You need to make it as transparent and open as possible for enough lighting that helps you handle every detail of your meal preparation efficiently. Your choice of kitchen bulbs should also rhyme with your kitchen design to avoid color clashing in the kitchen. You should also ensure that the main light is not too far away from your work triangle to prevent shadows and dim lighting in the areas where you perform essential tasks.
6. Insufficient Storage Space
There are many complaints in design, but no one ever complains about too much space in the kitchen. It is always better to have more room in the kitchen than getting it too squeezed. This is because the kitchen carries the most valuable items in the house, and the more appliances you install in your kitchen, the easier your work becomes. A kitchen that doesn`t have room for the food and the appliances coming in is nearly impossible to plan and even harder to clean, which undermines the primary role of any kitchen.
Most kitchen designs fail to account for the space needed to accommodate small but essential appliances such as cutlery, spices, vegetables, and small electronics. After installing your key appliances, you need enough room for everything you need to get food ready. Your grocery size may also fluctuate, which is why you need to have room for a time when you may have to buy more groceries to avoid confusion.
If you don’t have enough space, you will be forced to mix up and stuff items on shelves and drawers, which is never good for the kitchen. The greatest advantage of a kitchen is that you can always create space anywhere from extra shelves under the counter to drawers close to the ceiling. It is, however, easier if you install everything beforehand.
7. Choosing Appliances Last
You need to consider the most important items coming into the kitchen at the very beginning of the design. It is very common to walk into a kitchen where a microwave in stacked on top of the cooler. Sometimes. You are forced to store some appliances outside the kitchen only to be sought out when needed.
The moment a kitchen is unable to contain its essentials, its value is highly diminished, which is why you need to spare enough room for the basics. This tends to happen a lot when the designer had no idea which appliances would be installed in the kitchen and what their sizes are. The end result is a kitchen that has no proper work floor plan and no room to maneuver multiple tasks concurrently.
You also need to install sufficient plugs in the right places for the appliances. Plugs for light movable electronics such as kettles and pots should be easily accessible above the counters while the wall should be fitted with the plugs for the primary appliances such as the cooker, fridge, and the dishwasher. The cost of making more room for appliances or installing a socket every time you bring a new item in the kitchen can be a nuisance.
8. Wrong Storage Design
You have to look at your kitchen storage like a bank; you need space for precious, delicate items, and easy access to items you need to use frequently. The trick is always balancing your open shelving, closed drawers and cupboards. Open shelves are a great option for regular wash and reuse tools but a great disadvantage to brittle appliances, food and spices. The attraction to open shelves is their cheapness and ease of cleaning, but they tend to cause more breakages than any other storage. Open shelves also expose all the items to splashes, smoke, and grease, causing them to age faster if you don’t clean regularly.
Most food items need a warm and dry place to store. It is always advisable to store food in a swing door cupboard, which offers sufficient security for the food and keeps it clean. Once a kitchen doesn`t have enough closed space to store food, spices, and other cookware, you will be forced to squeeze them on open shelves and inside drawers. Drawers are essential for storing your most valuable kitchenware that you don’t have to pull out all the time.
9. Poor Planning for Trash Disposal
The traditional kitchen only needed one giant trash can, and everything would go in there without an issue. Times have, however, changed, and every kitchen will need at least two garbage bins- one for organic waste and another for recyclable waste. It is wise to create room for three so that plastic waste can be disposed of separately from glass and ceramics. If the kitchen doesn`t have enough room for all the trash you need to collect, you will have to make lots of trips now and then to get a place to dispose of, or else the kitchen will be messy.
Having garbage bins all over the kitchen makes it hard to move. You could also hit them frequently causing a mess in the kitchen. We also recommend installing a bin that has a paddle for an opening rather than having to lift the lid every time with your arms to dispose of waste. The bin should, however, not take up storage space or block your heavy traffic areas.
10. Overspending on Trend
It is always great to modernize your kitchen as much as possible, but you need to remember that trends don’t last forever. Themed kitchens with great painting and beautiful art make the kitchen pretty for a few days. After contact with steam, heat, and smoke, they gray away, making your kitchen look older than it would if you didn’t have them in the first place.
When installing expensive stoves, bulbs, and other long-term appliances, you also need to be universal rather than trendy. When someone comes to evaluate the value of your kitchen, they will be more impressed by an energy-efficient stove than an expensive stove that will be selling for half its price in a few years. It is also wise to just paint the kitchen rather than installing lots of wall art and themes that may require frequent replacements.
A perfect kitchen is the product of good design and investment. The investment should, however, come after the design, and while picturing out your dream kitchen, it is normal to want something you won`t need or miss something that you can`t do without; Either way, your kitchen will be ruined. To turn your kitchen space into a perfect space worth your investment, it is important to look at the mistakes people have made and avoid falling victim. Before doing your kitchen renovation, make sure you avoid these ten common mistakes.