Common Kitchen Mistakes and How to Avoid them

Discover some of the most common mistakes people make when designing their kitchens, so that you can avoid them when you're renovating your own.
Common Kitchen Mistakes and How to Avoid them

Last update: 29 October, 2018

Do you know what the most common mistakes are when designing a kitchen? Sometimes we make mistakes without even realizing it. This room is becoming more and more important, so as well as being stylish, it also needs to be practical.

If you want to create the perfect kitchen, the most important thing is to make the most of all the available space, and not ignore those easily forgotten corners or high up spaces. Often, the problem is that we don’t give these spaces the importance they deserve.

In this article, we’ll give you a list of some of the most common mistakes we make when designing and installing our kitchens.

Poor layout

Firstly, we can’t overemphasize the importance  of having the right layout of furniture and appliances. Among other things, you’ll need to think about where the water supply and light switches are. This will determine where you place the rest of the furniture.

You need to be realistic. If you don’t have space for an island, don’t buy one. Otherwise, you’ll just make moving around your kitchen more difficult.

Another really common mistake is not thinking about how the doors and windows open. That’s why we sometimes end up not being able to open a drawer and a cupboard at the same time, or the fridge door and the kitchen door.

We have also seen cases where you can’t open the window without it hitting the faucet in the sink, or fridges or washing machines that are far smaller than the space they were meant to fill.

It's easy to make these common kitchen mistakes if you don't plan properly.

So, you need to focus on getting a practical and functional layout. At the very least, a minimum of two or three people should be able to move around your kitchen comfortably.

Don’t forget that when the kitchen door is open, it will reduce the amount of  available space (by about 10 square feet.) If your kitchen is already a little on the small side, it might be worth choosing a sliding door. That way, you’ll gain more space.

Finally, make sure you leave some space on the counters. You’ll probably be using them a lot.

Work triangle

In relation to this last point, we now want to talk about the work triangle, something which is fundamental in any kitchen.

The work triangle is an invisible triangle linking the fridge, sink and cooking area.

So far, we’ve seen that it’s important to get the right layout, and put everything the right distance apart. There should be a minimum of 4ft between each element, and a maximum of 9ft. The triangle shouldn’t be any longer than 25ft in total.

Plus, you’ll need to have room for preparation space between these 3 areas.

The importance of kitchen storage space

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: storage space is essential. One good option is to buy multi-functional and portable furniture.

You might want to place shelves high up in your kitchen, and use them to store utensils and equipment you don’t use very often. That way, you can use the lower areas for storing things you use on a daily basis.

Also, don’t forget to use the corners. You might want to buy made-to-measure furniture to fit the corners.

Use boxes, glass jars (for things like pasta and pulses), cutlery trays, hooks for towels and cloths for any of the smaller useful objects that we use on a daily basis. You might also want to consider buying some IKEA furniture, as they offer a whole range of useful options.

Finding a kitchen with hardly any cupboards, and everything simply thrown in drawers is common. Often, we don’t measure the space accurately, and then later, once we’ve got all the furniture in place, we find that there was actually space for more furniture.

Not having enough kitchen counters to prepare food is a common kitchen mistake.

Poor lighting and ventilation

In reality, this could apply to any room in the house, although we’re still focusing on kitchens. When all is said and done, kitchens are work areas, and they need to be in good condition.

The first thing you need to do is try to maximize the natural light in your kitchen. If, for whatever reason, this isn’t possible, try to compensate with artificial light. The ideal thing is to buy lights which allow you to adjust the intensity to your needs. That way, you’ll be able to create different work spaces or zones, depending on the different things you’ll be doing in each one.

As for ventilation, this is essential. Smoke and bad smells can easily spread through your whole house. If there are no windows in your kitchen, make sure you buy a good extractor hood. You have no idea how important it is to choose the right extraction system. Again, you can find extraction hoods at IKEA.

Now you know some of the most common kitchen mistakes people make when designing their kitchen, you’ll be able to avoid them no problem. You’ll be able to make the most of your space, without hitting any snags.