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After ruling the roost for decades, open-plan kitchens may now be on the decline. Yahoo reports that only 38% of homeowners are opening up their kitchens in 2022, compared with 46% two years ago. Apparently, after the pandemic, we appreciate the value of a kitchen that we can close off from the world!
While trends in kitchen design come and go, there are some crucial no-nos in designing a kitchen that everyone should be aware of. Design blunders that homeowners make time and time again and then regret the moment the builders leave.
Let’s take a look at a few simple things to avoid in your kitchen design.
Limited Space for Storage
We have never asked so much of our kitchens in terms of storage.
We’ve got industrial-sized blenders, stand mixers, air fryers, and food processors all jockeying for space. Not to mention enough food to see us through months of lockdown.
Make a list of everything you need to store in your kitchen. Be sure to include:
- Appliances (include all, from large to small)
- Plates and other serving ware
- Pots, pans, and baking dishes
- Food staples
- Spices and condiments
Your large appliances should form the starting point when designing a kitchen. Next to each appliance, write down where you are going to position it or store it.
Next, think about your pots and pans. They take up a lot of space and you need to be able to access them easily. Stacking them in a cupboard is rarely the best solution.
Consider alternatives such as creating open shelving either on the wall or as part of an island for easy access. A hanging rack or hanging pans on hooks under shelves can also create a great aesthetic – if you’ve got nice pans, that is.
Write down everything from spices to Tupperware before you start your kitchen design. Refer back to the list frequently during the design process to ensure that everything is accounted for.
Using the Wrong Type of Paint
For even the tidiest cook, food preparation can get messy at times. Tomatoes squirt when you cut them and one wrong move and you’ve got pasta sauce all over your walls.
It pays to make your kitchen as easy to clean as possible. Stainless steel undermount sinks are one great option, as is washable kitchen paint for your walls.
Regular paint is not going to cut it. It’ll quickly start to fade as you wipe away splashes and it’ll stain if you don’t get to them in time.
Kitchen paint is widely available, relatively inexpensive, and comes in a huge range of colors. It’ll keep your kitchen looking great and will resist grease. You can wash it down every day and the color won’t fade.
Not Utilizing Vertical Space
Unless you live on a boat, you’ve probably got a lot of vertical space that could be utilized. Rather than wasting that space, make the most of a small kitchen by taking your cabinets right up to the ceiling. Add crown molding to create a timeless, finished appearance.
If you’re worried tall cabinets will be oppressive, another option is to mix up cabinets with open shelving. This can add a wow factor to your kitchen and makes the extra cleaning worthwhile.
Choosing the Wrong Lighting
Getting the lighting right in the kitchen isn’t just about aesthetics, it’s about safety too.
If you don’t have enough light when you’re preparing food, you’re more like to cut yourself. Those industrial-feel pendant lights might look great, but if they don’t direct light where you need it, they’re not right for your kitchen.
Instead, add lighting to your kitchen design that is slightly in front of you while you’re working in the kitchen. That will allow you to see what you’re doing and won’t shine into your eyes. Make sure the bulbs are bright enough so that you can see what you’re doing.
Doing Everything on Your Own
The kitchen is probably the most complicated room in the house to design. You need to factor in plumbing, electrics, circulation space, room for appliances, and ventilation all within a single space. That’s why when you design a kitchen yourself without expert guidance, things often go awry.
There’s no shame in asking for expert help and it will prove to be money well spent. They can suggest creative storage and layout solutions. They’re also familiar with options like stainless steel undermount sinks that you may never have thought of.
It’s wise to work with a specialist kitchen fitter, who has experience with fixtures like stainless steel undermount sinks. They know how to follow through on designs and achieve a quality finish. They also work with the required trades to ensure that everything meets building and planning regulations.
Choosing Designs that Won’t Last
Are you tempted to go for a Fuschia pink kitchen or invest in one of the deep green tones that’s hot right now? Take your time and choose wisely. In a couple of years’ time, you may find yourself stuck with a dated kitchen that’s expensive to replace.
When you take an objective look, it’s clear that some colors and designs will only enjoy a very brief moment before fading well and truly into the past. As a kitchen remodel is something we don’t do every year, think about the future. Timeless classics are your friend – especially if you’re planning on selling in the near future.
Forgetting About the Function
Beauty is important in a kitchen, but your dream kitchen will soon become a nightmare if it doesn’t function well.
Kitchen designers often talk about the working triangle – the ideal relative locations of your sink, fridge, and stove. They need to be in easy-to-reach locations and there needs to be good flow between the three.
Good ventilation is not the most exciting element of kitchen design but it’s crucial for keeping smells and humidity at bay. It’s worth investing a little more in an extraction system that mechanically removes stale air from the kitchen. Some basic hoods just trap grease and smell in filters and are not an effective solution.
Designing a Kitchen That Will Stand the Test of Time
Designing a kitchen can be a lot of fun when you get some expert help. Kitchen designers can help you to maximize your storage space and create a kitchen you’ll love for years to come.
For more kitchen inspiration, check out our range of stainless steel undermount sinks and more today!