10 Kitchen Layout Mistakes You Don’t Want To Make

A lot of home activities — cooking, cleaning, eating, drinking, and socializing — take place in the kitchen. That’s why it needs to be both beautiful and functional – organization and layout are essential, regardless of the style of your kitchen. Here are 10 mistakes to avoid in practical and elegant kitchen design.

1. Breaking the Kitchen Triangle

Specialists refer to the sink, stove and refrigerator as the kitchen triangle – the area of greatest activity that requires careful planning and unobstructed access. Of the three, the sink typically sees the most action – it should have easy access to the stove and refrigerator as well as your work space.

Your sink needs to be near the plumbing, and sometimes, because of the placement of the pipes, sinks end up badly placed. If this is the case in your kitchen, consider hiring a plumber to relocate plumbing to accommodate the best placement for the sink.

Regardless of your kitchen’s size or layout (L-shaped, galley, U-shaped or island), the sum of all the legs in a work triangle should not be less than 300cm or greater than 760cm. If the work triangle is too small, people will be tripping over each other. And if it’s too large, food preparation could be a tiring task.

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2. Not Planning for Storage

Kitchens typically contain lots of stuff, and items often kept inkitchen cabinets like food processors or stand mixers can be oddly shaped and require a lot of space. Finding a home for your appliances while keeping them easily accessible can be tricky.

Because built-ins are expensive and the overall size of the area may be limited, one big design mistake is not including enough storage. Almost every kitchen has wasted space, but this can be minimized with adequate planning and forethought.

If your kitchen is small, consider installing extra-long upper cabinets with molding for extra storage space, and use lighting or greenery to draw the eyes up. Always install cabinets over the refrigerator – this area is perfect for storing large or seasonal kitchen items. Finally, install shelves across the backs of the lower kitchen cabinet – this could add up to 4 square feet of storage space.

3. Too Little Work Space

One of the biggest complaints about kitchen design is the lack of counter space. Considering all the activities that require a countertop, as well as appliances permanently placed there, you want to fit as much open flat space in a kitchen as possible. You can do this by adding an island or breakfast bar to an L-shaped kitchen.

4. Bright, But Not Right

The kitchen is one room where poor lighting won’t do. Beyond design and atmosphere, it involves safety when it comes to handling sharp knives and tools. And the more light you, the better you can showcaseits design.

Rooms generally need three types of lighting: general, task and accent. For your kitchen, evaluate the work areas and provide each spot with the light it needs. Consider adding lighting directly above all the main work areas.

Use pendant lights or a series of mini-pendants to enhance the kitchen’s beauty. Pendants look great above kitchen sinks, while a series of mini-pendants work well over breakfast bars and islands. Install under-cabinet lighting so counters have enough lighting for common tasks.

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5. Not Splashing on the Backsplash

With a new kitchen or remodel of one, the backsplash often slips to the end of the list –sometimes, it’s left out of the plan altogether. This may save you money in the short term, but cost you a lot of time and effort later.

Think about all the steam, water and grease in the kitchen, and you’ll see why it’s smart to install a backsplash above the cooktop and counters. It is much easier to clean grease off a backsplash made of tile, metal or plastic than off paint or wallpaper.

6. What's the Smell?

The best kitchen design fades to a bad smell. Walk into a house with last night’s fish lingering in the air and you’ll smell the importance of good ventilation.

Mediocre hoods simply circulate dirty, stale air. A good ventilation system will improve the quality of your air and also help keep your kitchen clean –it will also help extend the life of your appliances.

Although it can be a hefty investment, a good ventilation system will make life easier and more pleasant, especially if your kitchen opens to a living area or family room.

7. No Man Needs the Same Island

With kitchen islands, we generally think of additional storage, preparation and serving space. But kitchen islands can in fact waste a lot of space. Choosing the wrong island or placing it badly can be a disaster, especially in a work area that can get cluttered.

Islands that obstruct the flow of traffic to and from the sink, refrigerator, stove and primary workstations will create bottlenecks. An island should be at least 120cm long and 60cm deep, but it also must have room for people to move and work around it. Specialists say that unless your kitchen is at least 240cm deep and 365cm long, you shouldn’t even consider an island.

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8. Receptacles for Recycling

As recycling has become more prevalent, dealing with trash in kitchen design has gone beyond sticking a bin under the sink. Be prepared to manage your trash efficiently — incorporate sorting bins for recyclables into your kitchen design.

9. It's Hip to be Square

Although not necessarily mistakes, the latest kitchen trends and high-end equipment may not be the best choices. Trendy colors and designs have a short half-life, and you may never see a return on your investment in the latest kitchenware. Look for timeless kitchen elements and appliances.

10. Not Consulting the Experts

Taking on kitchen design yourself to save money is a common mistake–you might end up spendingeven more money, time and energy. Professional designers have the latest ideas and information, and they can help you identify your needs and translate them into an efficient plan that fits your taste and budget.