Even if you have the highest quality materials and the best appliances, kitchen layout mistakes can turn your dream kitchen into a nightmare. But the good news is, you can avoid many of the most common layout errors simply by learning what it takes to design a great kitchen.
Today, we’ll walk you through some of the common kitchen floor plan problems we’ve seen. But we won’t leave you there. We’ll also share some valuable tips on how to prevent these mistakes from happening to YOU!
Avoid These 8 Kitchen Layout Mistakes In Your Next Remodel
It doesn’t matter whether your kitchen remodel is large or small. These layout mistakes can offset even the best of materials and intentions!
1. Not enough space for foot traffic around and through the kitchen
Countertops and cabinets make for great work and storage spaces in the kitchen. But are they placed in an area that interferes with traffic flow? What happens when cabinet or appliance doors are open? Is there still enough room to walk around them safely?
One of the biggest mistakes is cramming too many of these useful features into a kitchen without regard to how people move through the space. Or, without paying attention to how many people will need to occupy the space at the same time.
Prevent this kitchen layout mistake by … creating a layout with sufficient space between countertops. Ideally, 4 feet is best so there’s room for more than one person in an area at the same time.
2. Failing to envision what the workflow looks like
A well-planned workflow is essential to how your kitchen functions on a daily basis. Without it, you’ll waste time and energy going from one place to the next, trying to locate what you need when you need it.
Prevent this kitchen layout mistake by … planning how each area of the kitchen will be used and determining what’s required to make efficient workflow possible. For example, make sure your stove, sink, and refrigerator are in close proximity to each other, but not so close that the space feels cramped. Or, plan for storage of spices and small kitchen gadgets to be near the stove where they’ll most likely be used.
3. Installing appliances that are too big for the space
If you have a large family or often cook for guests, installing an oversized refrigerator and a large oven could be very tempting. But while there’s no doubt appliances like these could be useful, do they fit your space?
A common mistake homeowners make is picking appliances that are too big for the square footage available. This can lead to interference with traffic flow or safety concerns if the appliances protrude out into walking paths or work areas.
Prevent this kitchen layout mistake by … accurately measuring the space available for appliances as part of the planning process. Rather than installing one large oven, you may find it’s possible to install a smaller one along with a wall oven. With both combined, you can get the cooking area you need without having one appliance that’s too big for the available space.
4. Failing to have the right lighting in the right place
Take a look at any remodeling showroom or any home improvement store. The variety of lighting options on the market today is astounding! But don’t be the homeowner that chooses a particular light just because it looks beautiful. Choosing looks over function in this area is a HUGE mistake and will significantly impact how well you can use your kitchen’s work areas.
Prevent this kitchen layout mistake by … defining what is done in each area of your kitchen. Then, it’ll be easier to determine which lighting option is the best fit for each space. For example, if your island is primarily used for meal preparation tasks, be sure to choose overhead lights that truly illuminate the work area.
5. Prioritizing aesthetics over function
Everyone loves a beautiful kitchen that looks like it came straight out of a home remodeling magazine. But don’t forget the ultimate purpose behind your kitchen … it’s meant to be used, not just looked at! That means that at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how unique the tile backsplash is or how pretty the countertops are if the kitchen isn’t also functional.
Prevent this kitchen layout mistake by … thoroughly evaluating how your kitchen will be used and by whom. For example, if you frequently entertain guests or fix meals for a large family, you’ll want to not just focus on how the space looks but also how it works.
6. Improper use of a kitchen island
Kitchen islands can have a variety of purposes including housing appliances, providing much-needed storage space, offering an informal dining area, and creating a sizable meal prep space. But many people assume that bigger is always better, or that a kitchen island is always needed. In some situations, an island actually impedes traffic flow through the kitchen or is too big for the space.
Prevent this kitchen layout mistake by … evaluating the pros and cons of an island in YOUR kitchen. Is it actually needed? If so, what is it needed for? Storage? Work space? Bar seating? The answers to these questions can help determine the appropriate size and location of an island to maximize function without interfering with anything else.
7. Failing to maximize horizontal AND vertical space
Contrary to popular belief, the best kitchens are not necessarily the largest. Rather, the best-designed kitchens are ones that maximize every inch of available space. But while many people think about fitting in the most cabinets or the largest island, they fail to remember that vertical space is available real estate, too.
Prevent this kitchen layout mistake by … exploring ALL vertical and horizontal options for storage. Small kitchens may not have a very big footprint but most of them still have plenty of wall space. Maximizing usage of that space could mean floor-to-ceiling cabinets or shelving above floor cabinets. A professional kitchen designer can help you be creative and think of ways to use both vertical AND horizontal space to your advantage.
8. Making unnecessary changes to an existing kitchen layout
When planning a kitchen remodel, it’s easy to think that everything has to change in order to make your dream kitchen a reality. But the truth is, there are probably several things, if not many things, about your current kitchen layout that work just fine.
Prevent this kitchen layout mistake by … thoroughly evaluating your current layout. What works and what doesn’t? It’s possible that rather than a brand new layout, your kitchen could just need some design tweaks to function better. The more you can prevent major plumbing, electrical, and structural changes, the more money you can save on your kitchen remodel.
Prevent Kitchen Layout Mistakes with a Professional Kitchen Designer
At Sea Pointe Design & Remodel, we’ve been meeting the remodeling needs of Orange County homeowners for almost 40 years. Our award-winning design team knows exactly how to combine your design preferences with current design trends and best practices. Then, our building team gets to work turning that design into reality, creating a beautiful and functional kitchen you’ll enjoy for years to come.
To learn more about our work, browse through our online portfolio of completed projects. Or, register for one of our upcoming remodeling webinars to learn helpful remodeling tips from the pros.
Then, when you’re ready to start planning your own kitchen remodel, simply give us a call at (949) 861-3400 or fill out the form below to schedule your complimentary design consultation.