Five Common Mistakes in Kitchen Design

common mistakes in kitchen design

Designing a kitchen can be exciting and a lot of fun when you work with the right home builder or designers but it’s about more than beautiful granite countertops and trendy light fixtures. We recommend that home buyers/remodelers have a firm idea of what they would like their new kitchen to include while the builders focus on serving the main need of their client; functionality. It can be easy to get caught up in the details, overlooking small issues that may turn into big problems in the future, but these mistakes can be avoided by following simple space planning rules. If you want a new kitchen that’s as functional as it is attractive, avoid the following common design mistakes. Below are the five most common design mistakes made in the kitchen with solutions that offer an easy fix.

1. Poor Traffic Flow

A whole family are busy in the kitchen of their home. The mother is feeding the baby while the father does the dishes. The older girl is using a smartphone and her brother is watching the baby get fed.

One of the most common issues we see in kitchens, is the lack of space to move around comfortably. Whether you have a small or big kitchen, proper circulation needs to be a priority in your design plan and the overall layout. 

This mistake in kitchen design will restrict the number of people who can use the kitchen at once and can make the space feel cramped. The key to providing adequate space for circulation is to include four feet of space between countertops and the island. For smaller kitchens, try to allow for at least 3.5 feet of space or as much space as you are allotted. 

2. Dismissing the Golden Triangle

Four bar stools ready for dining at kitchen island

The kitchen work triangle is essential in establishing the flow of your kitchen for functionality. The triangle is composed of the three most important fixtures in the kitchen: the sink, stove and refrigerator. A kitchen designed with these three fixtures forming a triangle will improve movement and speed up meal preparation. The triangle connects the cooktop, sink and refrigerator so that the flow between these spaces is seamless. 

The goal is to have each side of the triangle (space between appliances) measure between four to nine feet. This layout will allow you to cook, clean, and store items in your kitchen easily. The purpose of the triangle is to remain open and not be a place of common traffic through the house.

3. The Wrong Cabinets and Appliances

Closeup details of grey and white contemporary classic kitchen designed in modern style, all furniture doors and drawers are open

Ordering the wrong sizes of appliances and cabinets is a common kitchen mistake that is difficult to fix after the fact so most people learn to live with it. Oversized or undersized refrigerators, ovens, dishwashers, cabinets and microwaves are too often ordered in the wrong size. This mistake results in discomforts like not being able to open the refrigerator all the way and not being able to unload the dishwasher while someone else is using the stovetop. 

In order to avoid these mistakes, measure the space properly and choose the appliances well in advance. Then double and triple-check the dimensions to make sure everything fits in the kitchen layout. Don’t forget to account for when these appliances are in use, i.e., when refrigerator, oven and cabinet doors are fully open.

4. Improper Lighting

Updated contemporary kitchen room interior with white counters and dark wood cabinets fitted with luxury stainless steel appliances.

The lighting plays a big role in the usability of your kitchen and should be considered during the design process. The perfect kitchen can be made difficult to operate in without adequate lighting whether natural or installed.  Poor lighting comes in a variety of forms but the two most common are overbearing light and not enough lighting. 

Getting the right lighting in your kitchen should be a priority. Look for lighting that complements your kitchen's color palette so you have good visibility at any hour without a harsh glare. Pendant lights have become popular above the kitchen island for task lighting while under cabinet lighting and recessed lights help to add extra visibility. 

5. Not Utilizing Vertical Space

spacious large modern contemporary recently renovated white kitchen recently updated with high-end appliances, hardwood floors, picture windows, and white cabinets

Not maximizing on the vertical space is another commonly seen mistake in kitchen design. Small kitchens will especially benefit from utilizing vertical space for additional storage options.  Vertical space can provide valuable storage in your kitchen, not utilizing the space could be the result in an organized or a cluttered kitchen. 

Consider installing open floating shelves or overhead cabinets to create more room for storage in your kitchen. By having your cabinets or shelves reach all the way to the ceiling, you will maximize on audible space while also creating visual interest in the kitchen. 

A Visionary Kitchen

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Mount Vista Model Home

Looking for more kitchen inspiration? Schedule a private tour through one of our model homes, check out our article on styling open shelves or request a visit into one of our design studios for dream kitchen inspiration. If you are ready to get started on building your dream home or have questions about Visionary Homes please fill out the form below or call (435) 228-4702.