In our business of disaster restoration, we’ve seen plenty of amazing kitchen designs and many not-so-great kitchen designs. Often, when disaster strikes it presents an opportunity to “fix” undesirable features created by kitchen design mistakes. We have learned a lot recovering homes from fire and water damage, and now we have a pretty good idea what constitutes a great kitchen work space. Here are the top 6 kitchen design mistakes we have seen most often…
1 – Ignoring the Kitchen Triangle.
Every kitchen designer will tell you the kitchen triangle is essential – it will never go out of style. The kitchen triangle consists of the refrigerator, the stove/oven and the sink. The lines between these stations should never be obstructed. Yet we have seen designs, created for the wow-factor, where the refrigerator and stove are on opposite sides of the room with an island in between. This makes for bad work flow forcing the cook to walk around the island with every trip to the fridge. More about islands later… The bottom line – Respect the triangle.
2 – Poor Lighting.
Anyone who has tried to cook in a poorly lit kitchen knows the value of proper kitchen lighting. Even if the kitchen is a stunning design, if the lighting is inadequate or poorly placed it suddenly is not as functional as a great kitchen design should be. Also, there can never be too much light or varying kinds of light. Overhead lighting, recessed lighting, under-cabinet lighting can all be used in various combinations to set different moods depending on whether you are preparing the meal or the guests have arrived.
You should consider not just artificial light, but also natural light. So many floorplans today position kitchens in the center of the home or at the back where a screened lanai or porch limits the natural light. If possible, consider a skylight as a way to brighten a kitchen during the day.
3 – Improperly Planned Kitchen Islands.
Kitchen islands are popular for a reason – they can increase counter and storage space and even provide seating for others as the meal is prepared. But if the space is too small to properly accommodate the island or if it interrupts your work flow, you will soon come to hate it.
We have found that you should have 45 inches on each side of the island to avoid feeling cramped. Tape it out and make sure you have adequate space to open drawers, cupboards and appliances. Also, we talked earlier about the kitchen triangle – make sure your island doesn’t interrupt those lines.
We have found that islands that are not in the center of a kitchen, but open to other areas of the home are the most functional and best loved by our clients.
4 – Layouts That Block the Flow.
Cabinet doors, refrigerator doors and drawers can all block the flow of traffic through your kitchen. We realize that sometimes in smaller kitchens this can be difficult to avoid, and including the features you desire may take priority. Most important is to make sure doorways and major traffic patterns are not obstructed.
Before you decide on a final layout consider how each cupboard and every appliance door will open and how that will affect the flow of traffic. Don’t forget the dishwasher – it is often overlooked in this type of planning and will generally block a significant space for extended periods of time.
5 – Not Enough Drawer Space.
Too many kitchens lack significant drawer space. There are so many kitchen objects, gadgets and tools that just don’t work well in any other kind of space.
Being the center of the home, the kitchen is often the place families gather and share more than any other. As such, drawers containing items not intended for the kitchen often get stored there for mutual access – cards, glue, tools, staplers, tape and much more often find their way into a kitchen drawer. In addition, every busy family today has a “junk drawer” where items left on the counter or kitchen table get stashed by mom until claimed by their rightful owner.
You are not limited to the top row of cupboards for drawer space. Many choose to forfeit a cupboard and stack 4 or 5 additional drawers instead. It is important to think about the type of space you need when designing the perfect kitchen. The take away… You can never have too many kitchen drawers!
6 – Not Remodeling.
The easiest and most common kitchen design mistake we see is not remodeling. If your kitchen is 10 years old, chances are it is dated. It is the number one remodeling choice to add value to your home. It is also most likely where more hours are spent by family members than any other space in your home. Finally, it is the area where guests will likely gather. So, rest assured, a great kitchen design is an investment that is worthwhile.
If it is time to look at remodeling your kitchen and you want to avoid the kind of kitchen design mistakes that people regret, contact OneRestore for a free consultation. OneRestore is a disaster restoration company serving Ocala, The Villages, Gainesville and Crystal River. Now offering kitchen and bath remodeling without the disaster.
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