Your kitchen is where the action is. Other than a home office, perhaps, it's where most of the work in a home happens. Designing your kitchen is no small task. Here are five of the most common design mistakes so you'll know what to avoid.
Mistake #1: Not Enough Storage Space
Storage is more important than it seems during the design phase. Most people set aside ample room to store items, but eventually end up needing more. Cookware, containers, and small appliances quickly consume the available space. So always provide more space than you think you need. Make sure there's space for pots, pans, plates, and other items.
Mistake #2: Failing To Plan For Traffic Flow
Your kitchen should be designed for optimal efficiency. Part of that equation involves recognising how people will travel through it. Another part involves ensuring they don't cause obstructions and impede meal preparation. Traffic flow will be dictated, in part, by layout. Is the room L-shaped, U-shaped, or is it open? Ideally, the traffic lanes should completely circumvent the work triangle. The triangle represents an area that connects the refrigerator, stove, and sink. That's where most of the work is done.
Mistake #3: Placing Too Many Small Appliances Near Each Other
The space on your countertops is limited. There's not enough room to keep all of your small appliances in plain view. Doing so would make it seem cluttered and overcrowded. Decide which appliances to keep out in the open and which ones to store away when they're not in use. Base your decisions on how often you use them. For example, do you use your blender every morning, but only use your electric can opener once a week? If so, store the latter in a cabinet. You'll save room on your benchtops and give the space a cleaner, more organised look.
Mistake #4: Neglecting To Plan For Lighting Needs
Lighting has several purposes in your kitchen. It provides illumination; it showcases key features; and it influences mood and atmosphere. It's important to design the space with a sound lighting plan in mind. Task lighting should be used to brighten countertops and areas where food is prepped. Ambient lighting should be used to make the environment warm and welcoming. Accent lighting can be used to highlight decorative plates or other unique features. Layering the room with different types of lighting creates a workspace that doubles as a place to relax with friends and loved ones.
Mistake #5: Letting Design Overshadow Function
As important as design is in the kitchen, function is doubly so. After all, the space serves a practical purpose. It's where food is prepared and family members congregate. Unfortunately, many homeowners allow form to eclipse function. They focus so intently on the appearance of their cabinets and the style of their backsplash that they neglect to consider whether the space is designed for efficiency.
The work triangle was mentioned earlier. It offers a useful guide when it comes to design. Each point on the triangle represents the location of the sink, refrigerator, and stove. As a general rule, each leg should measure between 4 feet and 9 feet. In addition, the triangle should remain undisturbed by traffic flow.
Designing a kitchen that is both efficient and visually pleasing can be challenging. The first step is to become familiar with the most common mistakes made by homeowners. That alone will help you to create a kitchen that is as attractive as it is functional.