Ten Common Kitchen Mistakes To Avoid

Yahoo! Homes reports how to curtail a kitchen disaster.

The kitchen is the place where a lot of life happens from cooking and socializing to preparing a quick snack, according to Yahoo! Homes. It needs to be both beautiful and functional. To follow that standard, here are 10 mistakes to avoid when designing your kitchen:

1. Don’t obstruct access to the kitchen triangle.

Experts refer to the sink, stove and refrigerator as the kitchen triangle, the area of greatest activity, and it requires careful planning and unobstructed access.

As a standard, the sum of all the legs in a work triangle should not be less than 10 feet nor greater than 25 feet, regardless of your kitchen’s shape or style. If the sum of the legs in the work triangle is too small, people will be tripping over each other and if too large, food preparation could be a very tiring task.

2. Don’t waste storage space.

Because built-ins are expensive and the overall size of the area you’re working with may be limited, one big design mistake is not including enough storage.

If the kitchen is small, consider installing extra long upper cabinets with moulding for extra storage space. Place lighting or greenery along the molding to draw the eyes up.

Install shelves across the backs of the lower kitchen cabinet, which can preserve about 4 square feet potential storage area. Otherwise, the kitchen will feel smaller than it is because you will constantly be trying to find more storage space.

3. Don’t ignore countertop workspace.

Consider all the kitchen activities that require a countertop, as well as appliances that are permanently located there. You might want to fit as much open horizontal surface areas in a kitchen as possible. This may be achieved by adding an island or breakfast bar to an L-shaped kitchen.

4. Don’t settle for poor lighting.

Lighting is not just for ambiance, it can be a safety factor when it comes to handling sharp kitchenware.

Rooms generally need three types of lighting: general lighting for overall illumination, task lighting and accent lighting.

Consider adding lighting directly above all the main working areas, perhaps using pendant lights or a series of mini-pendants. Also, installing under-cabinet lighting is an additional way to ensure that the counters have sufficient lighting for common kitchen tasks.

5. Don’t forgo a backsplash.

While budgeting or designing a new kitchen or kitchen remodel, often the backsplash area is completely left out of the plan. Installing a backsplash behind the oven and extending it above all the counters will save you money in the long run when it comes to cleaning steam and grease. It is much easier to clean grease off a backsplash made of tile or metal than wall paint or wallpaper.

6. Don’t forget to ventilate.

Good ventilation keeps the stench of last night’s dinner out of your kitchen. Inexpensive range hoods simply circulate dirty, stale air, while a good ventilation system will help improve the quality of your indoor air and also help keep your kitchen cleaner.

Effective ventilation systems also help extend the life of your appliances, and although they can be an investment, if you have a kitchen that opens to a living area or family room, they will make life easier, cleaner and more pleasant for everyone.

7. Don’t choose the wrong kitchen island.

Kitchen islands offer additional storage and preparation space, but choosing the wrong island or placing it in the wrong spot can waste a lot of space and create a bottleneck in the kitchen.

At minimum, an island should be 4 feet long and a little more than 2 feet deep. Experts say that unless the kitchen is at least 8 feet deep and more than 12 feet long, one shouldn’t even consider an island.

8. Don’t ignore your recyclables.

As recycling is here to stay, be prepared to manage your trash efficiently and incorporate trash sorting bins into your kitchen design, whether they are out or under your sink.

9. Be careful not to be too trendy.

Since designs come and go, consider choosing a kitchen design that won’t go out of style. The trending color of the season has a short half-life, and you may never receive your return on investment.

10. Don’t avoid professionals.

You can save money if you take on a design project on your own, but if you don’t totally know what you are doing, you can waste a lot of time and energy in the long run. Hiring a professional can save you a possible safety hazard, but kitchen designers also know the latest trends and manufacturer’s details. They can also help you identify your specific needs and translate those details into an efficient plan according to your taste.