The kitchen is a hub for excitement in any home. Whether a meal is being prepared, homework is being done, or friends are being entertained, the kitchen is the prime location. By avoiding these common mistakes, you are one step closer to achieving your dream kitchen.
Mistake #1: Improper Layout
When interacting within a kitchen, everything needs to be accessible and ready. The most annoying feeling is needing utensils, but you can’t open the drawer unless the oven is open! Now you have to take an extra step because of the improper layout. This bad design causes headaches and makes it difficult to navigate the area.
According to experts, a kitchen must-have is a well-orchestrated flow. They say the three main elements of the kitchen- stove, fridge, and sink– should somewhat form a triangle. No leg of that triangle should be less than four feet away or more than nine feet away from each element.
Mistake #2: Improper Logistics
Another important element is the logistics in the kitchen. Are there enough drawers? Outlets? And are these items placed in the appropriate areas? Many people also forget to account for the garbage can. It is most handy by the sink, and if forgotten, can end up in an inconvenient location.
Counter space is also a need for a functional kitchen. Professional designers say a good rule of thumb is to leave at least 24 inches of space on either side of the stovetop or sink. This gives more than enough room for dishes or prep, and the more space, the better.
Lastly, don’t add an island to add it. Some homes do not have the correct space, and it restricts and limits movement within the kitchen. If the kitchen is huge and you don’t entertain often, then an island might be perfect. Some advice is to always consider the amount of space you have and the intended function of the product.
Mistake #3: Relying Too Heavily on Pictures
Although pictures in magazines are inspiring, most of the designs don’t appeal to many people. Of course, you want a trendy, beautiful kitchen, but proceed with caution. These pictures often only appeal to a small number of people, so be aware of the resell value when choosing these unique inspirations.
Many people hop on trends that they see online or in magazines, but most of them don’t actually apply to busy families. For example, open shelving in kitchens is a huge trend right now. The pictures in magazines show beautifully displayed china set aside freshly-picked flowers, displaying everything on the shelves.
In reality, most families don’t own priceless china or expensive glasses to show off on shelves. Even if they do, it’s intimidating to display, especially if there are children in the home. Open shelving is great – in moderation. One open shelf rather than the entirety being open makes a huge difference, and that one area now becomes a conversation piece.
Mistake # 4: Choosing the Wrong Updates
Kitchen renovations are massive, and you want to make sure you get the best bang for your buck. The kitchen is also an area that can make or break the sale of a home, so it’s important down the road in case you decide to sell. Places in the kitchen design that are appropriate to designate funds to are the cabinet, countertops, and appliances. These are the three main features of the kitchen and have a high impact on the amount of space available.
Rather than going all-out on the main three, designers suggest choosing conservative options to apply to potential future buyers or in case you change your mind down the road. Although marble is beautiful for countertops, it is very impractical for a busy family. They stain and etch easily, becoming damaged and dull in a couple of years.
Granite countertops might be a better option, lasting upwards of ten years when treated properly, and are known to be stain-resistant. Slate floors are interesting and trendy but produce excessive dust that can get into food. Instead of top-shelf floors and counters, consider bringing in elements like accessories, wall paint, or interesting furniture and accents.
Stainless steel appliances, like the refrigerator, add a crisp, clean look. White cabinets can open up the kitchen space. By adding a backsplash or colorful accents, homeowners can make their kitchen look high quality.
Lighting is another element that is often overlooked when a kitchen is remodeled, but it makes a huge difference. Home improvement stores offer easy conversion kits to convert the lighting to something more updated. Lighting that doesn’t add a yellow hue adds warmth and opens the space up.
Mistake #5: Choosing the Wrong Cabinets
Cabinets are going to be one of the biggest price tags to pay for in a kitchen remodel. Although spendy, they are very important considering they hold the contents of the kitchen. While there may be a few reasons to skimp on cabinet space, designers always say to never give up cabinet space in a renovation unless you are certain you have enough space.
Now that space has been established, it is time to choose the right cabinets for the kitchen. Good advice is to always ask questions, whether doing the project DIY or through a hired contractor. The two most important things to focus on when it comes to cabinets are the qualities and the performance. Because a large amount of money goes into the cabinets, it’s important to learn about the differences in different types.
Renovators should compare wood and laminate cabinet finishes when deciding, and ask how the wooden ones are made. The most high-end cabinets are created using multi-step processes such as sanding, sealing, staining, and finish coating. After choosing the desired cabinets, make sure all measurements are accurate for what you are ordering.
One of the most important steps is measuring the available space in the kitchen and looking over the configuration of the room. You want to choose the cabinets that are within budget, are functional, and match the chosen aesthetic.
Last, but most important, is to order the cabinetry. Cabinets are like legos; they are made of hundreds of pieces and need to be pieced together correctly. Failing to order even the smallest piece can push the installation back days or weeks.
An example of this would be if you ordered the wrong cabinet base. Now, the countertop can’t be put in and the microwave and cooktop can’t be installed. Remembering to order every little piece and asking for help when needed is vital for a good remodel.
Mistake #6: Choosing the Wrong Flooring
One of the main focal points of the kitchen is the flooring. You want a floor that accents the kitchen but isn’t overbearing or functional. The main goal is to have a new floor that is low-maintenance and is affordable.
Low-maintenance flooring like hardwood or vinyl are leading options; they are easy to clean and last over a long period of time. Laminate is another popular option due to its water resistance and resiliency.
It is also important to understand the qualities of the flooring before making such a large decision. Hardwood is a classic choice, but wood can warp around water. Although leaks are rare in a kitchen, it’s something to account for. Scrapes and dents can also happen with hardwood, but the wood can be refinished if needed. Engineered wood is a comparative option, but you can’t refinish it.
Another timeless option is to use tile. Being water-resistant and durable, it is a popular contender when deciding what to go with. The potential downsides include chipping when dropping pots and pans and not having any insulation potential. The tile can get very cold, and in the winter it doesn’t add any insulation.
Vinyl is a flooring material that has come a long way since the 70s. The luxury vinyl planks look like real wood and are waterproof and durable. Being both affordable and luxurious-looking, vinyl is a top option for hardwood flooring.
Some of the worst options for kitchen flooring are marble, laminate, and carpet. Marble scratches and stains, so pets and children will damage it. Being in the kitchen, food will fall on the floor and this would stain it. Laminate is more practical, but still has it’s downfalls. It warps easily, and cannot be refinished.
Companies that create laminate stop specific lines within two years, so it’s hard to find replacement boards. The last bad flooring option is carpet, for so many reasons. Carpet soaks up liquid, stains, and smells. Dropping anything would cause inconvenience.
Mistake#7: Not Doing your Homework
Going into a renovation with no knowledge is a bad idea. One lawyer stated that they saw more divorces from major renovations than from infidelity. Sitting down and brainstorming ideas can make a huge difference. Make sure you set your budget when you begin, so you can research based on what you can afford.
Magazine pictures are fun to look at, but consider what is practical and what isn’t; you won’t be able to afford everything you see in magazines. Research companies and their services before signing any contracts. And remember- have fun achieving your perfect dream kitchen!