Kitchen Design Mistakes and How to Fix Them
Hello, everyone welcome back to my Blog, I’m Max and i am so excited to announce that we are rolling out a brand new series. It’s the common design mistakes series and how to effectively fix them I’ll be showing you the top design mistakes. I see made time and time again and offer my solutions on how to effectively fix them to get you going in the right direction.
I made a top 8 design mistakes video early on, and i asked if you wanted to see this video in a series format room by room. I followed up with the bathroom design mistakes, video and the feedback was astounding. I mean you guys definitely wanted more. So here we are, this series will cover everything from the kitchen to the bedroom, to the living room, dining room and home office.
That’s all i have planned for now, but i film these videos weekly, if there’s any room that i didn’t mention and you wanted to see common design mistakes for make sure you drop me a line in the comments section below.
So, let’s get started on kitchens
kitchens are my favorite rooms to design, because it’s the room in your home that gets the most use, it’s the heart of the home and for good reason. It’s a place that you come to gather and socialize. It’s the place that you come to cook your heart out for your friends and loved ones. Designing your dream. Kitchen can be one of the most rewarding tasks that you undertake in a home remodel, but since the kitchen is filled with endless design decisions, i know that the task can also be really daunting to those who are unprepared in order to save time money stress and to get the most out of your dream kitchen: try to avoid making these costly mistakes.
This article is going to be a doozy, it’s very comprehensive and i pretty much cover everything i could think of when I’m designing kitchens for my own clients so grab some water. Steep some tea pour yourself a glass of wine and, let’s get to it, I’ll, be breaking this video up into four parts, we’ll start with the function and space planning, then move on to logistics and choosing your appliances following with storage and customization and finally ending up With the style, how to choose the right materials and finishes for the space face planning is bar none.
The most common mistake that i see made in kitchen designs. You always want to start with space planning. You measure the layout in the floor plan that you have to work with for your kitchen remodel and then we’ll go from there make sure you first take measurements of the available floor space, and then you can decide where everything goes.
You’ll figure out your optimum work triangle and then we’ll start to order appliances. One of the most common design mistakes i see made in kitchens is clearance issues, issues that have to deal with doorways and walkways doors at least need to be 32 inches wide and swinging doors should interfere with appliances, cabinets or other doors and impede the walkway hang Doors, so they swing out rather than in, especially in a small space for correct clearance.
Passageways through the kitchen. The one without doors should be a minimum of 36 inches wide or larger. If you’re standing in front of your refrigerator or stove walkways should at least be 42 inches wide for one cook or 48 inches for multiple cooks, poor design of a work triangle, you’re, probably asking what is a work triangle every experienced designer knows that in order to Design, a truly functional kitchen, you have to take into consideration the work triangle.
The work triangle might not be common knowledge to those embarking on a remodel. So here are the details. The idea is that the work triangle improves a kitchen’s functionality by minimizing walking distance between the most used appliances for comfort and safety. The sum of the three distances should be no more than 27 feet, and each stretch of the triangle should measure between four and nine feet, no matter the size of the kitchen, if two or more people cook at the same time, plan triangles for each cook.
These triangles might share one leg, meaning they are located right next to each other, but they should not cross each other core design. Workflow can be very impractical to a functional kitchen when these are the three main features that you use daily. Maybe the refrigerator is on one end of the kitchen, the sink on another and the stove top is so far away that you’re making loops around your kitchen just to cook a simple meal. The next design mistake i see made is lack of countertop space when designing a kitchen.
I recommend at least 150 inches of usable countertop space. This includes lower cabinets that are at least 24 inches deep and has a clearance of 18 inches above it before placing your upper cabinets. The countertop space could also include islands. Here are the minimum spatial requirements for countertop space next to appliances? Don’t worry about remembering all of this I’ll pop a caption out, so you can take a screenshot 24 inches next to one side of the sink for prep work: 18 inches on the other 15 inches of countertop, beside the refrigerator, usually on the handle side or either Side, if you have column refrigerators or french doors, 12 inches of counter top on one side of a cooking surface and 18 inches on the other.
If you have more room than that, that’s great! These are just the minimum requirements for a fully functioning kitchen.
That’s designed! Well, for kitchen layouts with island appliances, make sure you at least have nine inches on both sides of the burner for a separate oven include at least 15 inches of countertop. On one side you have a tiny kitchen, but you insist on an island. You saw your dream kitchen online somewhere and you’re dying to have that huge, massive island right in the center of it.
COMMON DESIGN MISTAKES
While kitchen islands definitely increase your preparation area, they take up a lot of room. So if you already don’t have that room, don’t make the mistake of trying to squeeze in an island in the middle of your kitchen, make sure you have at least 36 inches around the island for passage, or it might be better to leave it out of your Design altogether, my own kitchen is not that huge after i measured 36 inches away from all the base cabinets. I realized that i only had a really small square feet of usable space left the solution.
I purchased a rolling cart with a stainless steel top that not only had extra storage underneath it for my pots and pans. It acts as an extra surface for preparation, and i gained that usable countertop space. The thing i love best about it is that it’s a moving piece of furniture. If i need extra prep surface, i just roll it right up to my countertop space and then when i don’t need that surface I’ll, just move it right back into the center.
Another common design mistake is choosing furniture that doesn’t fit your kitchen when a countertop island doubles as a seating area. A 30 inch wide space per stool is the most comfortable. Sometimes i see people jammed right next to each other and like your knocking elbows, and that is just not a comfortable space to sit in.
You also need to make sure you include sufficient leg room when designing a bar area plan for 15 inches for 36 inch counters, which is considered counter height and 12 inches of leg space for 42 inch counters, which is bar height. This space allows you to kick your legs and dangle freely underneath the counter space without hitting the cabinets in front of you. You also want to make sure that you specify the right height stool for that space as well.
If it’s counter height choose a counter stool, if it’s bar height choose a bar stool, it’s a super, simple concept to remember, but i see people get it wrong all the time so measure first and always make sure that you’re shopping with these measurements in mind. Speaking of bar stool and seating locations, another common mistake is when there’s not enough clearance to push your stool out behind you.
You want to allow 36 inches behind the stool, so you can push it in and out with ease and people can still walk back and forth behind you moving on to choosing your appliances and the electrical requirements, a common mistake i see is not prioritizing the appliances. First after i draw the dimensions of the floor plan and i figure out the spatial layout, the next thing i do is choose appliances.
Why do you need to choose appliances? First, choosing the appliances first and locating them within the confines of the kitchen will allow you to custom fit all of the cabinetry. That’s happening around it. Knowing the exact measurements of each unit will allow you to fit your cabinets around your appliances, giving you a seamless custom, look that is well thought out and maximizes every square inch of space.
A common mistake is that people usually leave this task for last then realize nothing fits and then they wasted a lot of valuable space. The appliances list includes the refrigerator, the cook top, the hood, the sink, the dishwasher and microwave, or anything that is built in and requires electrical water or gas line to operate neglecting your electrical needs. All receptacles, servicing countertop areas requires a gfci.
That means it needs a ground fault circuit, interrupter protection. This gfci outlet is designed to shut off electrical power in the event that it faults to prevent electrical shock. Once you know where your appliances are located, you can then start to strategically place your outlets to account. For them, a kitchen should have at least one wall switch controlled light with a switch placed at the entrance. If your home is app controlled like mine, is, you might not want to bother with the placement of those switches but for resale value?
You’ll need to consider where you place these switch outlets. If your kitchen only has one point of access, you’ll want to drop in a wall, control switch there if it has two points of access one on each side, while we’re talking about electrical needs, you don’t want to make the mistake of not including enough power plugs. Not only do you need plug sockets for your everyday appliances, like your microwave, your toaster, oven or a kettle. You also want to take into consideration those less often used items, maybe like a blender and absolutely plan for your tablets, your phone and some sort of charging station.
You can also hide wireless chargers right inside the cabinet, so all you need to do is plop your phone right on the worktop and then it’s charged. Another common mistake is forgetting to ventilate your appliances. An outdoor venting ventilation system is crucial in any workhorse type of kitchen. The last thing you want to do is plan this beautiful kitchen and then all of a sudden, every time you cook all those smells linger in the air and you can’t get them out of the house.
This is especially true for Asian households, because you know that fish sauce can linger for days plus excess moisture can also lead to mold, so make sure you plan for a hood with an extractor fan, with an exhaust rate of 100 cubic feet of air per minute. This design will help you avoid stale odors hanging in the air. I prefer ducted extractor range hoods.
These carry airborne particles outside versus microwave hood combos, with a ductless design that recirculate the air through a carbon filter. I find that they never remove. All the cooking smells that well, but whatever you choose, make sure that you install the hood at least 30 inches above the cook top or per your manufacturer’s instructions. If a microwave is placed below a countertop, make sure that the bottom of the microwave is no more than 15 inches off the floor, you also want to allow at least 15 inches of clearance above a refrigerator for proper ventilation.
Another common mistake i see is poor locations of the interior fittings. This portion is more about storage and organization than it is about the actual design of the space, but it’s imperative to plan ahead. If you are customizing interior, fittings of drawers and cabinets pots and pans on the opposite, end of the stove trash can too far from the fridge and sink a two small prep sink that you can barely wash a large head of lettuce. The solution for that is to plan ahead.
Lastly, for this portion, it is poor communication with your builders. You will always encounter some sort of mistakes that are made during a remodel the more mistakes i make with the previous design, the better my chances of success with the next one most of the time. This always comes to a lack of communication with your builders to ensure everything runs smoothly, agree to weekly schedule of work, details before construction starts and speak to your builder on a regular, if not daily basis, you’ll be able to catch any problems before they arise.
This way, detailed drawings are a really big help, so you might want to hire an architect or an interior designer to help you draft up these plans. When i design kitchen layouts for my clients, i make sure that i print out the floor plan and every single elevation and i tape them on the walls. Usually the wall where that elevation is, i talk to the builder or the project manager or even the team leader i make sure that they understand this is the drawing that correlates with what needs to be built out.
Pictures speak a thousand words. So definitely don’t neglect. Those detailed plans – these are the common mistakes i see made when it comes to storage and custom interior fittings. Let’s talk about the pantry. The first mistake i see made in the kitchen is underestimating how much storage you need. Everyone wants more storage in their kitchen, whether or not it’s cabinet space, drawer, space or pantry space.
It’s easy to miscalculate, just how much you’ll need. Just like your closet. I advise clients to take inventory of everything. You’ll want to store, in your new kitchen from pots pans shopping boards to a coffee machine, tea accessories, even a kitchen aid, make sure you allocate a place for everything before you start planning your space.
If you’re designing for a small kitchen take advantage of vertical wall space with wall mounted pegboards, you can also install long rods and bars. I love to look to see how ikea devises clever ways to increase storage capacity in a small kitchen.
If you have leftover space on top of your kitchen, you can also plan for a tall, pantry cabinet right above that it’s a great solution to put away your seasonal items, really large party, platters or even an area where you can stash preserved food. It’s a great way to keep all of your supplies organized and in reach. When you need it, you can even plan for a full height pantry cabinet.
If you have a little space left over where you have an upper cabinet, a lower cabinet and a countertop, i would simply redesign that area and plan for a full height pantry cabinet. Instead, so you get more storage, not paying attention to detail, choosing the cabinets, those fancy finishes and hardware for the design is usually what people do first for the kitchen, but don’t forget about what goes inside your cabinets and drawers drawer, dividers, pull out trays and corner Drawers or lazy susan carousels are essential for a fully functional kitchen, just a few.
The smart storage solutions that will help keep your kitchen organized and maximize every nook and cranny. If the interior fittings are in custom design, when you design the cabinets and drawers, you can also look for removable inserts that are sold separately. Another design mistake i see made for the kitchen and honestly, one of my biggest pet peeves is not making room for hidden trash receptacles, never forget to plan a place for your trash bins. I like to place trash receptacles, either nearby the sink or the refrigerator design.
A built-in bin that recesses inside your cabinetry this keeps the smelly trash inside the cabinets and it takes up way less floor space than a freestanding trash bin. I designed my own trash receptacle with a double bin, one for general waste and one for recycling. Finally, we are at that portion of the video where it’s the common mistakes that i see when it comes to style. Don’t make these common mistakes when it comes to your materials and finishes. I just want to reiterate that it is not a design mistake when your selections are intentional, so just keep an open mind when I’m talking about mistakes, i see made with materials and finishes faucets and hardware matchy matchy everything makes your dynamic kitchen look like it’s one.
Note and gets really old really fast. It doesn’t have to be super loud in your face contrast, but remember that mixing metals is okay and actually encourage just remember my rule of thumb. The same function, the same finish, picking the wrong design for your lifestyle. Let’s talk about countertops, a common design mistake, i see made, is not choosing the right countertop for your functional needs. Think about your lifestyle and the people who live in the home. It’s a sad fact that some designs look incredible in a showroom or pinterest, but in reality they just aren’t compatible with your day-to-day lifestyle.
This is especially true for floors and countertops. Do you have kids? Do you need a workhorse type of culinary style, kitchen love, marble but afraid that it stains and you can’t maintain it – choose a durable and budget-friendly porcelain slab instead that mimics the look of your favorite marble, veining love the hardness of granite, but want something non-porous and Low maintenance try quartz for a modern look with uniform color if you’re having trouble, choosing a countertop and make sure you refer back to my previous video, how to choose a right counter top for your kitchen. I share a lot of professional insight on the different types of countertops and how they function in your space.
Don’t forget a backsplash. Every kitchen needs a quality kitchen backsplash. They protect walls from wet spills, make it easier to clean up messes from cookers and countertops and adds color pattern and personalized design to your kitchen. If you choose a tile, make sure you source matching grout that blends in unless that’s your design, intent for high contrast be prepared to clean all those grout lines.
If you specify smaller tiles, i actually prefer a seamless look for my backsplash with a full height slab, but if you don’t go the full height and span the distance between your base cabinets and your upper cabinets, you need at least three inches of backsplash for easy Cleanup another common design mistake is opting for impractical, finishes, intricate designs carved or even three-dimensional tiles look fabulous in any type of showroom kitchen, but when it comes to cleaning around all those nooks and crannies, i mean it could be a nightmare to get all that grease Off for preparation and cooking areas.
Look for durable materials that are easy to wipe down, preferably with a flat or non-textured surface picking, poor quality paint you absolutely have to prime the walls before painting, or else the heat and humidity in the kitchen will peel that top Layer right off make sure that the product you choose is resilient to the daily wear and tear that kitchens endure, store, specialty paint that is resistant to grease and will withstand regular, washing and wiping anything with a slight sheen like satin or eggshell or semi-gloss will be A lot easier to wipe down than anything with no sheen like flat or matte.
Moving on to flooring, you lay down the wrong floors.
Kitchens are a busy high traffic wet area, so you want to specify a finish. That’s durable and has an anti-slip finish. Thin and cheap materials can’t bear the weight of heavy appliances, so you need to look for something tough. Super smooth tiles will be slippery once you spill water on it, look for waterproof or water resistant, resilient flooring. I’ve installed engineered hardwood, laminate and even luxury vinyl planking in a kitchen before and I’m sure, you’re wondering which one is the best and which one should you choose over the next. The newer types of engineered wood and laminate all come with a water resistant finish.
So if you’re trying to choose between lvp or engineer, hardwood or laminate, look to the manufacturer’s labels to help guide you, another common mistake i see is going overboard with open. Shelving open shelving can look stunning in a kitchen, especially if you have some impressive dishware to display, but having visual access to everything can also look cluttered. Plus your kitchenware will easily gather dust. If you don’t use it every day, include a mixture of open and close storage, so you can parade the porcelain and put the sippy cups in a drawer.
I actually learned that from kelly wersler, while i was working for her another common mistake i see made is overspending on the things that you don’t see before undergoing a kitchen remodel, see if you can reuse anything, take a look at your base, cabinets and see if They are in good shape, a lot of the times base cabinets are still structurally sound, but the face or the door panel is a little bit dated or more traditional than you’re going for. In this case, all you need to do is custom, make new door panels or look for prefabricated doors in the sizes that you need.
This will give you a completely new look for a fraction of the cost buying without trying requesting samples is an absolute must before you commit to a major design in your kitchen, especially if you’re shopping online. Ideally, you need to see all of your finishes together. So you can make sure that the colors, the textures look exactly like you want it in your space finishes, can look a lot different in a showroom versus your own home, especially when the surrounding lighting and all of your furniture changes up.
The look another common mistake is following trends or going too bold. It’s a good idea to stay on top of trends, so you can see what’s out there, but kitchen renovations are so expensive. I mean most people only remodel or renovate their kitchen, maybe every 7 to 10 years. You want to design it in a way that is classic timeless and you won’t get bored of it too soon. If you want to incorporate the latest finish or a really bold, dramatic color, it’s safest to add them through accessories and small home appliances, which you can then swap out really easily, if your style changes on the flip side, don’t play it too safe either.
Everyone loves a bright white airy kitchen, but white can look really sterile really fast. In order to jazz up that plain white kitchen, you can look for a statement making, countertop or backsplash think about the fixtures and hardware to inject a little bit more personality into the space. Don’t forget those finishing touches.
You’ve planned out your workspace. You figured out your traffic flow and now you know exactly all the stores you need, but don’t forget those finishing touches that will transform your kitchen from something really practical and functional into a living space that becomes the heart of the home. Artwork and accessories are an easy way to inject color and personality.
The seating area in your kitchen is also a place that you can cozy up to so choose upholstery wisely, choosing impractical hardware, it’s a common mistake to choose trendy hardware that looks cool but doesn’t operate like we need them to. This includes tiny knobs. That may not be ergonomic to open with ease sleek handles that look streamlined but they’re difficult to maneuver, with wet hands, reserve stylish hardware for standard cabinets that open easily and install pool handles that you can latch onto for drawers and panel-ready appliances that require a bit More effort to open, i definitely want to include my own impractical hardware mistake in this list. In my black and white classic kitchen.
I definitely knew that i wanted brass handles. I saw these really chic European pools on pinterest and i knew i had to have them. The one thing that i neglected to consider and is still my biggest regret, is that the handles are open-ended. You can see from the handles that there’s a central area where i can put my fingers through to easily open up the drawers. I have a whole bunch of tops that have holes in them because it constantly gets stuck in these handles. So am i going to replace it out? No, they were expensive, so i really just have to live with it for now, and the next kitchen renovation I’ll know exactly what to specify, leaving the lighting to less. It’s also imperative to have layers of lighting in a kitchen.
You want to look for something versatile and stylish to add personality to all the standard appliances in the space, an overhead pendant or chandelier as function and style, spotlight task lighting like recess leds, are good for preparing meals under cabinet lighting to light the countertops and work Surfaces accent lighting within the cabinets to show off your dishware and displays and don’t forget about softer mood lighting for adjacent dining areas placed on dimmers for optimum control.
This type of layered design balances, ambience and functionality and ensures that your kitchen will be well lit and visually appealing choosing the wrong window treatments. We all crave that beautiful natural daylight for our kitchens, but intense sunlight, can create harsh hot spots. Throughout the day, i like shades or woven, blinds over a kitchen sink since they’re easy to clean, and it rolls up and out of the way if you have full privacy in your kitchen window. That looks out into your yard.
A simple tailored balance can add softness to the window without obscuring the view. And finally, let’s talk about the biggest mistake that you can make going over. Budget kitchens are expensive and these little costs can rack up really quickly. It’s important to set a realistic budget from the beginning and try to stick to it. A good rule of thumb is to not spend more than 20 percent of your home value on the kitchen renovation. A third of that should go to the cabinets. It’s also wise to leave at least 10 of your budget aside for contingency, you never know.
What’s going to happen once you open up those walls, getting a selection of quotes from licensed contractors will allow you to bargain and ensure that you get the best price before we wrap up. I want to talk to you about the design mistakes that I’ve made. In my own kitchen, aside from that handles fiasco, there are a few things that i wish i planned for. One of the biggest mistakes that i made is the height of my backsplash.
I love a big fat backsplash. I mean instead of the typical three inches or going all the way up to the base cabinets. I made it a really hefty and sizable eight inches high. While i love the look, i think it’s really fabulous and really chic against my black countertops. What i neglected to plan for was the height of my plugs and sockets. I could easily plug in a standard size plug, but some of my appliances have those bulky like battery size plugs. I either have to flip that plug over, but now it’s upside down or plug it into an extension cord in order for it to fit another mistake is my lack of storage. I am dying for our pantry right now.
Kamari’s treats and snacks are like all over. My countertops and for me, I’m so organized that i hate to see that clutter. I thought it just looked fabulous. I mean it was a really great way to display my personal items as well as the functional items that we use on a day-to-day basis, but i took up an entire wall to install this open shelving and now i’m feeling like i’m going to cut it down And maybe install some more upper cabinets or a full height pantry cabinet on the side of my refrigerator, for my growing storage needs, so the moral of the story.
You really can’t plan for these design aspects, if you don’t foresee them in the future. It’s a good idea for you to take inventory of your existing kitchen figure out what works and what doesn’t work. So you can plan for your dream kitchen in the future. The kitchen is the most expensive, complicated and stressful room in your home to design with all of the endless decisions you need to make. If you don’t have the budget for professional design advice.
Consider this planning guide to be the next best thing to help you make design decisions down the line, but if you have the budget for it, consider hiring a designer at the start of your process. So it takes the stress out of the whole remodel. Hiring a designer can also save you money in the long run, because they’ve thought of design aspects that you didn’t even consider.
Remember that your contractor is not your designer. They are builders by trade. So if you’re, looking for a second opinion on colors, finishes fixtures or appliances, ask your friends for referrals, ask your family members or even go online and read reviews coming up next week. We are tackling those bedroom design mistakes. If you like this type of content – and you sat for the whole way through, please give this article a thumbs up, comment below and let me know what other rooms you want to see for the common design mistakes series, thank you so much for reading i’ll, see you in the next one you…