Uncategorized November 29, 2023

Kitchen Design Blunders: Are You Making These Common Mistakes?

People spend about 400 hours a year in their kitchens. For many, the kitchen is a central part of the home, and it’s a room that guests often spend time in during a visit. Therefore, it’s understandable that you want your kitchen to look nice, but what if it’s missing the mark? Are design mistakes in your kitchen keeping it from its full potential? 

8 Common Kitchen Design Mistakes 

Take a look around your kitchen to see if you spot any of these common design mistakes. Luckily, if you do, most of them are easy and inexpensive to fix. If you’re planning to design a new space, use this list to know what to avoid in your kitchen.

  1. Too Much Clutter on the Counters

Kitchens are busy places, and they aren’t just for cooking meals. For many households, the kitchen is also command central for things like homework, conversations, and meal planning. Your kitchen might double as your home office or an arts and crafts station for the kids. 


All of these activities mean lots of stuff ends up in the space. Plus, if you cook a lot (or even if you don’t), your counters might look like a store display for small appliances. But cluttered counters are a big mistake because they don’t look great and reduce your kitchen’s functionality. 


Take time to tidy up the counters, put things away, and keep kitchen surfaces clear. Unless you use an appliance every day, it needs to go in a cabinet, pantry, appliance garage, or other hidden storage spot.

  1. Poor Lighting

Your kitchen needs to function well, which means good lighting is essential. But a mistake many people make in their kitchens is not paying attention to the light. Typical kitchen lighting is an overhead light and maybe a single light above the sink, but this isn’t enough. 


It’s important to add task lighting and accent as well. Think under cabinet lighting to make it easier for things like prepping ingredients and chopping. Are their lights positioned above the island or table? Is the light above the sink offering adequate light or is it too dim? 


Are you taking advantage of any natural light in the space or blocking it with dark, heavy curtains? Assess your kitchen’s lighting and make sure you have a variety of lighting from different sources.

  1. Ditching the Details

Your kitchen may be a utilitarian type space, but this doesn’t mean you need to skimp on stylish details. Pay attention to things like cabinet hardware, lighting and plumbing fixture finishes, and accessories.  


For example, place a comfortable, padded rug or mat by the sink to ease tired feet. Add a cute lamp on the counter where you do your meal planning. 


Also, pay attention to functional details. A hands-free faucet, a soap dispenser, a pot filler, or other features might make all the difference in your kitchen depending on your lifestyle. The details matter.

  1. Not Considering Your Style (Or Lifestyle)

Design magazines are full of beautifully styled kitchens that look amazing and make you dream of whipping up gourmet meals (even if you don’t cook). But if you design your kitchen to look like a magazine or like your best friend’s new renovation, this is a mistake. (Unless it happens to match your style perfectly.) 


Incorporate your style into your kitchen to make it a place you want to be. The one caveat here is if you plan to sell your home within a few years.  


If you have a unique style, it might make your kitchen less appealing to the majority of buyers. Therefore, use elements that are easy to change when it’s time to sell (like paint colors, a backsplash, or accessories, instead of trendy cabinets or countertops).

  1. Insisting on an Island

If your kitchen doesn’t have enough room for an island, then don’t force it. So many people try to cram an island into their kitchen because they think they “have to” or that it will make their kitchen look more on-trend.  


However, if you don’t have the space, it looks cramped and makes the room less functional. If you need extra prep or counter space, consider a small pop-up table or rolling utility cart. Another option, depending on your kitchen layout, is a peninsula instead of an island.

  1. Tile Countertops and White Grout

Using tile for countertops might be a more cost-effective way to get the finish you want, but it adds grout (and more cleaning). If you plan to use tile, choose a darker option with a darker grout that won’t show stains and dirt as much as white and light colors.

  1. Not Utilizing Deep Cabinets Appropriately

Who wants to spend extra time dragging a bunch of things out from the abyss of deep cabinets? And if you pile a bunch of stuff in front of the things in the back, you need to pull everything out to reach what you need. This is a mistake. 


It doesn’t mean you can’t have deep cabinets, but you do need to set them up well. Use slide-outs, lazy susans, or drawers to organize deep cabinets more efficiently.  


At the very least, get bins that fit in the cabinets to corral objects in the front. Then you can easily pull out one bin instead of a bunch of separate items to access the back of the cabinets.

  1. Losing All the Upper Cabinets for Open Shelving

Shelves instead of upper cabinets seemed to be all over the place only a short while ago. Every home magazine, Pinterest board, and kitchen renovation showed people tearing out upper cabinets in favor of open shelving.  


This might make things feel more open, but it’s not practical and ultimately many people feel like they made a mistake. When you use open shelves, you need to be more careful with what you display in your kitchen. You start to realize your dishes don’t look as great as you thought.  


And, boy, is there a lot more dusting to do now. Upper cabinets provide much-needed storage in a kitchen. Therefore, don’t pull them all out. If you want some shelves, limit it to one corner or one spot in the kitchen instead of everywhere. 

A Kitchen That Cooks and Learns from Its Mistakes 

If you’re planning to redo your kitchen, avoid these design mistakes to make your kitchen look and work its best. If you already see some of these things happening in your space, you have some ideas to fix them. You spend a lot of time in your kitchen, so it’s worth making it the place you want and need it to be.