Kitchens in most homes are likely to be a focal point for the entire family. Many people have eat-in kitchens with small dining tables that people not only eat at on a regular basis, but can be utilized most anytime of the day such as for family activities, visiting over coffee with a neighbor, or school homework. Not to mention many people, such as myself enjoy cooking, especially when trying new recipes. Therefore the kitchen becomes for many people like an oasis away from everything.
Some of the typical kitchen design mistakes to take in consideration are:
1. Lack of countertops is probably one of the biggest design flaws in kitchens. Countertops have a very functional use in the kitchen, such as in food preparation. Many people have limited space constraints, smaller kitchens as in galley kitchens are most likely not to have enough countertops to accommodate not only all the smaller appliances but many don’t provide enough space in order to prepare food easily. In deciding whether or not you have enough countertops in your kitchen design, think of the uses that your present counters provide and use that as a guide in any future kitchen counter design needs.
2. In kitchen design one must always think of the top three areas in the kitchen, which are the sink, refrigerator and the stove. These areas are basically considered to be the red zones of the kitchen and should not be blocked or obstructed in any way. Think of how you cook, most people use the refrigerator and stove constantly and the sink is always utilized many times during preparation of any meal. Not to mention the sink will most assuredly be the focal point during cleanup as well. Many times in kitchen design the refrigerator is sometimes far away from the stove or sink and sometimes it is even obstructed by a kitchen island, this makes for more steps and sometimes complete frustration for people that do a lot of cooking.
3. Typically another design flaw of kitchens is never having enough storage space. Cabinet space should be maximized due to the requirements of the person that will be using the kitchen regularly. Not to mention kitchen cabinets also provide storage for appliances and food items. In most kitchens, a pantry is also laid out in the design for food storage purposes and perhaps things such as a broom, etc. Storage space should be well thought out to allow for dishes, food, cookware, and small appliances. However in most cases you can never have too many cabinets in your kitchen.
4. Kitchen islands have become increasingly used in kitchen design, however placing it in the wrong location can be a nightmare. They do however sometimes come in handy with food preparation and additional storage. A kitchen island should have a functional appeal to the kitchen in a way such as adding the sink to the island or stove top so that it then becomes a vital ingredient to the three main areas such as stove, sink and refrigerator. By utilizing the island for more than just an obstruction you maybe able to save steps in the kitchen rather than make it an obstruction that you have to work around. Allowing for lots of space around the island is also a necessity so as not to impede movement in the kitchen.
5. Lighting is another common kitchen design flaw. Having too little lighting presents a grave mistake when designing a kitchen layout. Most kitchens should have many different lighting sources that can be utilized as needed. Above the stove, sink and work areas should be a mainstay, however if it is a large kitchen the lighting should fit the room. Usually kitchens have overhead and recessed lighting to light the room along with other concentrated lighting to light the workspace areas as needed.
6. Kitchens should also have a good ventilation system in the design. Cooktops should have good air vents to allow for cooking odors to flow out of the ductwork and out wall mounted or rooftop vents. This will not only cut down on odors and particles trapped in the kitchen but provide extended life to your appliances. I also like a functioning window in a kitchen, this provides fresh air and light while also giving a nice focal point in the kitchen.
7. Another kitchen design flaw is not allotting for garbage and garbage containers. If you have a garbage disposal and compactor that is great, but most people will still need a trash bin of some type in their kitchen. This dilemma should be addressed when planning you kitchen. In more homes recycling has become a regular process and now designing for trash areas has to be thought of more than ever when designing a kitchen.
8. Designing a kitchen can run into major budget constraints, so careful planning and details must be allotted for upfront in pricing. Appliances can be costly but over time efficient appliances can save a lot of money. Of course kitchen design should be visually attractive but one must also take in to consideration what is needed in functional ways as compared to decorative ways. This tip is a cost saving one that will help keep more of your money in your wallet.
9. Don’t use trendy fashions either when designing a kitchen. Color and style are important but if you use the things that are hot and stylish now, will they be the hot and stylish in the years to come. More often than not people tend to see a style and do their kitchen “completely” in that new fashion, however after 15 years have passed, will that look still be in style is what you need to ask yourself. The simple way to look at that, is to remember the avocado green that everyone had back in the 70’s.
10. Kitchen design is relatively easy once you have taking in to consideration all your needs. However the last thing to remember is to stick with your original plan ideas. Changing your mind on kitchen design can waste not only money, but valuable time when designing your ultimate culinary kitchen masterpiece.
Kitchen design is probably to others as it is to me, one of the most important parts of designing a home. When designing a kitchen remember to take in all the specific needs of the individuals that will be utilizing the kitchen and what you can do to give them the ultimate kitchen oasis in which to enjoy for many years to come.
References for this article include: Doityourself.com, Kitchens.com and Kitchen-decor-ideas.com