Planning on renovating your kitchen? There are plenty of design mistakes to avoid, especially if you’re a first time buyer.
When we bought our house earlier this year, we were so unprepared for the renovation job we had ahead of us. I don’t think we’d realised how big a renovation was needed. We bought our kitchen second hand on eBay (best decision ever, and I’d seriously recommend it), but we hadn’t really thought things through properly. We just did them. I thought about where the cooker, sink and fridge would go, but not where we might need plug sockets.
When it comes to redesigning houses, the kitchen is often the space that people choose to change first. It definitely was for us. It’s always described as the heart of the home, and although I don’t think this is strictly true (shout out to living rooms), it’s an important room when it comes to the design.
I wanted to write this post to look closely at the top mistakes made by homeowners when it comes to their kitchen.
Realistically, a kitchen is a busy space. You might be trying to fry a steak, whilst keeping an eye on the chips so they don’t catch, you’ve got a small child running between your legs, the cat jumping on the table. It seems like the kitchen is a place where lots of things are happening at once, especially if you have a family.
This is why the positioning of certain appliances is important for your convenience. Many kitchen designers, including Elan, which specialises in luxury kitchens in London, believe in the ‘triangle effect’. This means that your kitchen sink, oven, and fridge need to form a triangle shape. It’s for maximum usability and basically to make life easier for yourself.
If you have a nice big kitchen and you want an island unit, don’t let it block off lots of space. It can ruin the flow of the area. It’s very popular to have a hob on the island unit, and then a sink and fridge behind it, so you can still create the well-needed triangle.
Not Enough Ventilation and Disposal Means
A kitchen can be quite a dirty place (if you don’t stay on top of it). Mould can easily begin to grow if the room isn’t ventilated properly. You’ll need a way of getting rid of the fumes, smoke and grease that are generated by cooking. A lot of systems tend to not have enough power, or they recirculate the air rather than completely remove it. A fully-functioning ventilation system is a must in your kitchen redesign.
You’ll then also need to think about drainage (I know it’s not a sexy topic). You might need to get your drains fixed because of a blocked sink or the lack of a disposal unit. It’s best to prevent potential problems before they appear.
Not having enough storage is one of the biggest kitchen design mistakes. Having enough storage is hugely important in creating a kitchen environment that appears clear and clutter-free. There are plenty of ways that you can tackle these storage issues including adding roll-out trays, drawer organisers, and pot racks, to name a few.
I got quite excited recently about kitchen storage and spent £50 at Lakeland. I wouldn’t recommend this but my kitchen is now a clutter-free zone!
Narrow Work Aisles
This kind of links to my first point about layout, but you need to ensure that isles (if you have an island installed) are easy to navigate. Don’t install an island if you don’t have enough space. I don’t want to hear that you love it, or you’ve always dreamed of having one. If the space can’t take it, don’t put one in. You’ll probably start to dislike it because it takes up too much space, and gets in the way. It’ll also make your kitchen look small and crammed which is not ideal.
Lack of Lighting
This is a faux pas I’ve personally made with my kitchen. We have more than enough light from the spotlights when you turn them on. But because they point down, they create a shadow on your worksurface, so essentially you can’t see a damn thing you’re chopping. Which will probably result in serious injury…
I’d 100% suggest installing recessed lights underneath your cabinets (like in the picture below). I think they make a really nice feature, but also come in handy when you find yourself wielding a knife.
These mistakes are all things other people (including me) have learnt from, so don’t make them yourself! Take my advice and you’ll be fine (I’m sure).