Beautiful and Functional Kitchen Mistakes to Avoid

By: Olivia Anderson

Forget about the living room or game room—the kitchen is the center of the house with many daily activities starting and ending there. So naturally, you want to design this space to be flawless, serving all your cooking and cleaning requirements. There are a few mistakes to get out of the way before you start designing your own space, so we collected them here for you to always keep in mind.

Ignoring the work triangle

Creating a good kitchen work triangle is crucial for the flow and functionality of your kitchen. The sides of this triangle connect the kitchen cooktop, sink, and fridge, and the flow between these points should be unobstructed. The distance between each station should be between 4 and 9 feet, which allows easy movement. Putting anything in this kitchen work triangle will ruin the flow and make your space frustrating to use.

Squeezing in an island

Having a nice island is very popular today, but just because it’s popular, it doesn’t mean it’s a good idea for your kitchen. Many homes have a kitchen footprint that’s not big enough for an island. And even if you can’t squeeze one in, it might not do anything to improve your kitchen from a functionality standpoint. So, instead of having a kitchen island, you can go with an alternative that will make much more sense for your layout. For instance, in order to maximize both flow and storage, you can opt for a peninsula. This will also give you enough kitchen counter space and seating, but it will free up the center of the kitchen and make it more practical for cooking.

Poorly positioned cabinets

If you place your cabinets and drawers in the wrong spot, they can end up blocking the walkways, appliances and doorways when they are opened. The solution to this is planning. Before you say yes to the layout, imagine the way the cabinets and drawers will open, including the fridge and the dishwasher. Does it interfere with the way people move through space?

Investing in huge stoves

Having a stovetop with six burners might look attractive, but unless you cook for a family of ten every day, there’s no reason for such an investment. A huge stove will not only cost a fortune, but also take away from your precious counter space, so if you struggle with size in your kitchen, opt for something smaller. If you’re into burners, you can grab a small double gas burner perfect for the preparation of all sorts of different foods. These are suitable even for large woks! But they also take up so much less space, leaving you with room for counters, gadgets and decoration. Always go moderate with appliances because they do pile up and can end up smothering your kitchen to death.

Not utilizing vertical space

This one goes out to all the small kitchen owners. If you have a small kitchen, you know that every little bit of space is important, including your walls. To maximize storage, make your cupboards reach the ceiling. Feel free to mix closed and open shelving to create a more attractive layout than just rows of closed-door cupboards.

Lighting as an afterthought

It’s amazing what difference lighting can make in a space. In the kitchen, lighting can make or break your efforts to create a cooking space that’s practical and useful. For a functional kitchen, it’s necessary to both general and task lighting, as well as ambient lighting. This way, you can see when you chop, clean and add spices, and provide people around you with a pleasant experience. Overhead lighting can benefit greatly from dimmers, so you can create a soft atmosphere when entertaining or grabbing a glass of water at night. And don’t neglect proportions. If you have an island, divide it into two, three or four to determine pendant placements. And make sure to keep your lighting just high enough not to hit your head yet low enough for focused task illumination.

Cluttering the counters

When you watch cooking shows and TikTok videos, you might see that these chefs all use blenders, mixers, pressure cookers and air fryers. Sure, they are useful for meal preparation, but they all take up so much space. Plus, there’s nothing more cluttering than a display of gadgets and appliances on your counters. To prevent this design mistake, you can include small appliance garages in your kitchen. Appliance garages can be very attractive and useful. If you don’t forget to put electrical outlets in there, you can simply take out the appliance, turn it on, use it, and shove it back into its garage after.

Pay special attention when designing your kitchen and give yourself enough time to go over each of these points. A mistake might cost you a lot of money and time to fix. Good luck with your design ideas and hopefully, you’ll spend a lot of time enjoying your creation.

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