Designing a kitchen isn’t just about beautiful countertops and dazzling light fixtures. If it doesn’t serve the needs of your client, then it hasn’t ticked off one of the most important qualifications of a good kitchen: functionality.
Kitchen design mistakes can be easily avoided by following a few simple space planning rules. It also helps if you’re equipped with a professional kitchen design software that will guide you through every single step of your planning and design journey.
Here are the 5 most common kitchen design mistakes and solutions that offer an easy fix.
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1. Poor circulation
There’s nothing worse than not giving your client enough space to freely move around in their kitchen. Whether the kitchen is big or small, proper circulation should be a priority in your design plan.
This kitchen design mistake can make a kitchen feel cramped and will most likely restrict the number of people who can use it at the same time. If you want to provide adequate circulation, include 4 feet of space between countertops/island. If your client’s kitchen is small, allow for at least 3.5 feet of space – basically as much as the space allows.
2. Ignoring the work triangle
As you may have learned in your interior design training, the kitchen work triangle is essential for a good workflow. The triangle connects your client’s cooktop, sink and refrigerator so that the flow between these spaces is seamless.
Each leg of the work triangle (the distance between each work area) should measure between 4 and 9 feet, allowing your client to cook, clean and store items easily. The triangle should of course never be obscured, and no major traffic (other than the person(s) cooking) should cross through that area.
3. Ordering wrong size appliances & cabinets
One of the most common kitchen design mistakes is ordering wrong size appliances and cabinets. Oversized or undersized refrigerators, dishwashers, ovens, overhead cabinets, microwaves – you name it, it’s happened too often.
In order to avoid these mistakes, measure the space properly and choose the appliances well in advance. Then double and triple-check the dimensions to make sure everything fits in the kitchen layout. Don’t forget to account for when these appliances are in use, i.e., when refrigerator, oven and cabinet doors are fully open.
4. Inadequate lighting
Lighting has a tremendous impact on the kitchen. You can design the most perfect kitchen, but if it doesn’t have adequate lighting, your client won’t be able to perform tasks as comfortably as they should be.
Providing ample lighting in the kitchen is a priority. Pendant lights that function as task lighting above the kitchen island are a great addition to any kitchen. You can also opt for undercabinet lighting and recessed lights for extra visibility. Just remember - overhead lighting can be harsh and can create unwanted shadows, therefore opting for task lighting is a better option.
5. Not utilizing vertical space
Another kitchen design mistake that can easily be avoided is not maximizing on vertical space, especially in smaller kitchens. Vertical space can provide valuable storage for your client, and wasting that space will create a dysfunctional kitchen.
You can install overhead cabinets or open shelves to give your client a little more room for storage. Make sure the cabinets and shelves reach all the way to the ceiling instead of leaving unusable space at the top. You can even mix closed cabinets with open shelves to add visual interest in the kitchen.
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