- Insider spoke with interior designers to find out the biggest mistakes people made when designing and decorating a kitchen.
- Sometimes one of the biggest mistakes is choosing colourful cabinets that are difficult and expensive to replace.
- Leaving a huge empty space above your cabinets can just lead to dust buildup.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Kitchens are often one of the most used rooms in a home, and when it comes to designing and decorating them, there are a few faux pas you may want to avoid.
Here are some of the biggest mistakes people make when designing and decorating a kitchen, according to experts.
A poorly planned layout can lead to a dysfunctional and odd-looking kitchen.
Jessica Lagrange of Jessica Lagrange Interiors said that a strategic layout was crucial for the functionality and visual appeal of any kitchen design.
“The placement of appliances and cabinets is critical and must suit the way you prep, cook, and clean,” she told Insider. “It takes a lot of soul-searching and good organizational skills to figure out a kitchen layout, especially if it’s for someone who entertains a lot.”
When designing or renovating a kitchen, you might want to map out the space and all of your most used appliances on a piece of paper first.
Choosing colourful or low-quality cabinets can be an expensive mistake.
According to Lagrange, cabinets are usually the most expensive item in a kitchen, and it’s best to go with a versatile design that’s both durable and easy to maintain.
After all, it’s not exactly easy or affordable to replace boldly coloured designs that haven’t aged well.
She also told Insider that when you’re looking for a quality, durable cabinet set you should look beyond the price and examine the pieces themselves.
“It’s important to look for solid wood construction at least a 1/2-inch thick, mortise-and-tenon joinery, well-finished surfaces, meaning no imperfections such as wood knots or bad sanding,” Lagrange added.
Not having lighting where you need can be both drab and dysfunctional.
Gail Barley, the principal designer at Gail Barley Interiors, told Insider that a kitchen couldn’t be functional or live up to its full potential without proper lighting.
“Inadequate lighting will cause frustration when trying to prep dinner every night,” she said. “Make sure that you have multiple light sources to ensure appropriate light throughout the space.”
A busy kitchen backsplash usually isn’t timeless — and it can be expensive to replace.
Ami Austin, the president of Ami Austin Interior Design LLC, told Insider that when it came to a kitchen backsplash, “simple is always more elegant than a busy backsplash that distracts.”
“A cohesive clean backsplash looks so much better and resonates so well over time for a timeless look. It also helps the resale value of the home,” she said.
Not adding art or colour to your kitchen is a missed opportunity.
Kitchens probably aren’t the first place you think about hanging art or a pair of curtains, but Austin said this shouldn’t be the case.
“I would look to add some art to the walls or beautiful window treatments to add colour,” she told Insider, explaining that this could elevate a kitchen’s look.
Having electrical outlets in impractical places can cause your countertops to be covered in wires and plugs.
Highlyann Krasnow, the founder and creative director of The Design High, told Insider that most kitchens were designed with large appliances in mind, but not smaller ones.
“The smaller appliances people use, including the blender and toaster, are often forgotten about, leading to cluttered countertops with miscellaneous wires running to the nearest outlet,” she said.
Though it can be expensive, having outlets professionally moved might help your kitchen’s functionality and aesthetic appeal in the long run.
Not having enough room to store your pots and pans can cause more visible clutter.
When you can’t fit your large pots and pans in cabinets, Krasnow said, you’ll end up creating a “cluttered kitchen space” since they may end up being stored on top of your oven or on open shelves.
But if you’re redoing your kitchen or starting from scratch, Krasnow told Insider you could avoid this clutter by incorporating extra-large cabinets into your design.
If there are no renovation plans in your future, you can also try using stylish-yet-functional pot-storage methods, like a hanging rack.
Marble countertops aren’t always worth splurging on.
Adriana Hoyos, the principal designer and cofounder of Adriana Hoyos, told Insider that marble countertops were a great look but could stain easily from certain drinks and dyes. Marble can also erode quickly from acidic ingredients like vinegar or lemons.
For more affordable and durable counters, she suggests going with synthetic materials or a stone, such as quartz or granite.
Leaving a huge empty space above your cabinets can just lead to dust buildup.
Hoyos said one noticeable mistake she saw clients make was leaving “a big space between kitchen cabinets and the ceiling.”
“These spaces are hard to clean and serve no real purpose,” she told Insider. “I’d recommend closing the space with a soffit.”
A soffit is a decorative architectural feature than can help fill up the empty area in a more purposeful, appealing way.
Your kitchen’s most important features should be arranged in a functional and appealing way.
Following some design fundamentals can make your kitchen both functional and visually appealing.
“Washing, storage, and cooking should form a perfect triangle for efficiency and functionality in the kitchen,” Hoyos told Insider.
Installing high-gloss white cabinets can take away the warmth in a kitchen.
Alessandra Wood, the vice president of style at Modsy, said even though white cabinets were popular, you should avoid the “high-gloss” look if you want a cosy space.
“While I love modern, streamlined looks, these cabinets can make a kitchen feel empty and take away the warmth often associated with the kitchen area,” she said.
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