Post by Stacey Walker. Stacey mostly works behind the scenes for Greenbrook Design, managing day to day operations, marketing, sourcing product and keeping the showroom beautifully designed. Stacey also does interior design & home styling for a select number of clients. Find out more about Stacey here.
The kitchen tends to be one of the busiest areas in the home and over the last year it has become more than just a place to cook food. It has transitioned into a multifunctional place where everyone gathers to do a myriad of tasks. With so much at stake, planning for a renovation requires sufficient thought and well thought out designs. Many designers caution against following the latest trends but there are a few additional design mistakes they encourage their clients to say no to as well. If you are considering a renovation or even a new construction project, here are our top five biggest kitchen design mistakes that look to be avoided.
Plan your kitchen layout
A kitchen layout is one of the most critical parts in planning a renovation or new construction, it dictates the flow and function of the entire space. There needs to be plenty of room to move around especially if there are a lot of people living there without tripping or stumbling into one another. It is also important to utilize the space you have to its fullest potential which means thinking through the area and finding the best layout ensures that your kitchen will be at it’s very best. Appliances, cabinets, and even the pantry placement are key factors when designing the initial layout. The purpose of the kitchen also plays a critical role in the design, take a moment to write down what you will be doing besides cooking.
Hosting large family gatherings
Additional seating area
Workstation for the kids after school
Layout means working through every possible scenario and planning a flow that will accommodate your lifestyle. Think of it as mapping out your day to day routine with your designer and letting them assist you in creating the best route.
Avoid the all white color scheme
White is a timeless color and is always in style, however, choosing to use it as the only color in your kitchen is not encouraged by designers. Some of the reasons they recommend avoiding an all white kitchen are:
Makes the space feel cold
Lacks visual interest
Difficult to keep clean
We don’t deny that white is a beautiful color and it represents simplicity and neutrality, not to mention it is so versatile. It is also bright plus blends with any number of styles and layouts. It is a key ingredient to many of the looks we love like farmhouse and traditional yet making it the sole star of your kitchen can leave it feeling lifeless and even sterile. Color adds warmth and texture to any space, especially the kitchen and provides elegant visual interests. We are not saying that you need to avoid it all together, in fact, white is a popular kitchen color when paired with other shades. It creates a stunning contrast with whatever it is matched with like dark woods, blues, and inviting grays. Choosing to utilize a bold or contrasting color for the kitchen island can help make a statement in your space and add warmth to the heart of the home. Backsplash and countertops are also great ways to bring color and contrast to the kitchen as well. Remember, white is good, but in moderation.
Ignoring the work triangle
The work triangle is a staple design element when creating the initial layout of a kitchen, it ensures that the refrigerator, range, and sink are all within easy reach of each other creating an imaginary triangle. Utilizing the work triangle limits the amount of movement you have to do to cook as well as people needing to get by which minimizes accidents. No matter the size of your kitchen, there is always room to incorporate the work triangle into your design. Some things to keep in mind when planning your triangle are:
Sufficient counter space
Don’t stretch the triangle too far
Never interrupts the flow of traffic
Think through the steps you take to get dinner on the table. Counter space plays a big role in that you need enough open areas to lay out the ingredients and freely move things around or spread out. The work triangle provides functionality to your kitchen and can even have smaller versions within such as baking zones. Extra prep sinks and clear traffic flow are helpful points to keep in mind as well. House Beautiful agrees that life is easier when you utilize the work triangle rule, find out what else they had to say in this article and how it can be blended with another helpful design element.
Lack of storage space
Storage is vital to creating a great kitchen space that is both functional and practical. It also brings a host of benefits to the kitchen including:
Keeping a clean look
Place to store dry ingredients
Adequate storage for larger items
Incorporating good storage into your kitchen layout means there will be sufficient areas to place the many needful things that make up a kitchen. Plates, mixers, platters, baking sheets, utensils, coffee maker, large bowls, and more all need their own spot or things can quickly become cluttered and dysfunctional which leads to increased stress and morning chaos. Having a designated place for everything gives you the ability to keep everything in order and alleviates levels of stress. Also consider where you want certain items and plan accordingly such as breakable glassware should be kept out of reach of children. Kitchen islands and pantries are great ways to gain additional storage for a large array of things and still enable you to have a space that is aesthetically pleasing to everyone. If you don’t take the time to plan for proper storage it inevitably will cause problems and frustrations later for you and your family. Be sure to talk with your designer about the things that will need to be in your kitchen, even paper products and cleaning supplies so they can create the best layout for your heart of the home.
Accessories that are not practical
A renovation or new construction is an exciting thing and it is easy to get carried away when selecting the fun elements for the space such as lighting and hardware but it can also be the most costly. The kitchen is a functional area of the home meaning that the items should be more on the practical side. It does not mean that there cannot be some fun things incorporated into the design but if sticking to your budget is a high priority consider going with more functional choices when it comes to things such as:
While hardware and lighting are meant to be a crowning part of the design, indeed the finishing touch, that does not mean they have to be the most expensive or elaborate. A dark matte pull or brass knob can do just as good a job as an intricately carved piece. The same principle goes for lighting, it does not have to be the biggest or extravagant lighting. This is better suited for areas such as the living room where you go to relax or entertain guests. We are not saying that you can’t, especially if your budget allows for it, but if you are looking for ways to stretch your renovation budget, this is a good category.
Bypassing kitchen design mistakes
You deserve the very best renovation for your kitchen and good planning will play a vital role in giving you a space that is perfectly suited to every member of your family. Visit our 5,000 square foot showroom and walk through our cabinet displays to get a feel for what we can do for your home. We are a short drive from Charlotte, Spartanburg, Tryon, Gastonia, and Greenville. Our experieced design team can help you design a kitchen you will love for years to come so connect with us to get started.