Apr. 27 2021

7 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Planning a New Kitchen

by Bennett Bottorff

There’s something unique about the kitchen. It’s the place in your home where you go for nourishment or to gather as a family or to host friends and loved ones.

Having a well-designed and functional kitchen within your Seattle home not only makes life easier and more enjoyable for your family, but it also adds long-term value to your property. However, many residential kitchens need a bit of help to get them to that condition, especially if you are living in an older home. That’s where a kitchen makeover comes in.

Dos and Don'ts of Designing a New Kitchen  

Planning and executing a successful kitchen redesign in Seattle is all about process. There are certain steps you need to take in order to get from Point A—envisioning your dream kitchen—to Point B--actually making it happen.

However, in addition to evaluating what you should do, it’s also useful to consider what you shouldn’t do during your project. In other words, what missteps and mistakes often crop up during the remodeling process? Being aware of these potential problems can help you take the necessary actions to avoid or mitigate them so that you don’t wind up with an awkward kitchen layout, the persistence of problems you’re currently facing, or an unexpectedly high price tag.

1. Not Creating a Kitchen that Works  Creating a Kitchen That Works

You want your kitchen to look beautiful, but at the end of the day, it needs to be serviceable. One of the first steps when selecting a kitchen design is to think through your family’s unique behaviors and routines. How do you actually live in the space, and what is the best layout to accommodate that? A common mistake is designing a kitchen with poor circulation or not enough space for your household members to move around when using it for various functions. You should plan to include at least 3.5 to 4 feet of space between countertops, appliances, and your island for optimal traffic flow.

2. Inadequate LightingInadequate Kitchen Lighting

All too often, lighting is considered as an afterthought when remodeling a kitchen in Seattle. In actuality, your lighting design greatly impacts the mood of your kitchen, as well as how it performs. Ideally, you want a mixture of natural, general and task lighting so you can alter the atmosphere based on the time of day or the activity you’re doing. Including recessed lighting and under-cabinet lighting also provides desirable illumination of your countertops, enabling you to carry out your kitchen tasks more comfortably.

3. Purchasing Appliances Without Proper Measurements 

Purchasing Appliances Without Proper Measurements in Seattle

Kitchen appliances come in different shapes and sizes to effectively integrate into a variety of floor plans. For example, having an oven range right next to the wall like in the photo above creates a fire hazard and undermines the functionality and becomes a regular annoyance. The best way to avoid this mistake is to measure your space accurately and to double-check dimensions when selecting kitchen appliances. Don’t forget to take into consideration the opening and closing of doors and what type of clearance is required for your appliances to still fit into your layout properly.

4. Underestimating Storage Space 

You are strategic about how much surface area you need in your kitchen, and you should take the same approach to storage. Many homeowners create storage by default based on their other decisions. Instead, carefully consider your storage needs, plan accordingly and designate a space for each kitchen item you regularly keep on hand. Making these decisions during the design phase—rather than when your kitchen is complete—gives you the opportunity to explore creative storage solutions and utilize both vertical and floor space to maximize the possibilities.

5. Not Regarding the Needs of all Household Members 

Handle-less cupboards may look sophisticated in your sleek, modern kitchen but will they be accessible to young children? You may love the high-end appeal of marble countertops, but will you be able to properly maintain them and prevent spills, scuffs and stains? As you’re designing your kitchen and picking out materials for your countertops, cabinets, sink and other components, consider the needs and abilities of all your household members, as well as how those may change in the future. You don’t want your kitchen to be inconvenient or inaccessible to anyone in your family, especially children or an older parent who lives with you.

6. Poor Ventilation 

From water splashing around as you wash dishes to steam rising from simmering pots on the stovetop, kitchens accumulate an abundance of moisture. This compounds a problem that already exists for many families in the rainy region of the Pacific Northwest. Make sure you prioritize proper ventilation and airflow when designing your kitchen to help prevent the buildup of mold and water stains on cabinetry and to keep smells from lingering too long.

7. Selecting an Overly Trendy Backsplash 

Overly Trendy Backsplash

One of the most common backsplash mistakes is selecting a material or pattern that is too specific, eccentric or trendy. While it may look cool as part of your current design style, there’s a good chance it will go out of style quickly or that your tastes will change. Unlike paint color or your decor, backsplashes are not the easiest element to replace. It’s best to stick with a classic kitchen backsplash design that won’t become dated in the next couple of years. This enables you to keep it around, even if you make over your surrounding décor or design style.

8. Underestimating Storage Space 

You are strategic about how much surface area you need in your kitchen, and you should take the same approach to storage. Many homeowners create storage by default based on their other decisions. Instead, carefully consider your storage needs, plan accordingly and designate a space for each kitchen item you regularly keep on hand. Making these decisions during the design phase—rather than when your kitchen is complete—gives you the opportunity to explore creative storage solutions and utilize both vertical and floor space to maximize the possibilities.


Choosing Your New Kitchen in Seattle 

Finally, another mistake that often leads to kitchen remodel regrets is attempting a DIY project when you would be better served by the expertise of professionals. There is a lot that goes into designing and executing a kitchen makeover or expansion in Seattle. With a team such as Innovative Home Renovations by your side, you know you will have access to the right tools, vendors and practical knowledge to avoid the common remodeling mistakes that lead to delays, unexpected costs and a less-than-rewarding experience.

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