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7 Most Common Kitchen Design and Layout Mistakes to Avoid

Kitchen is much more than the engine that drives the home. In modern residences, whether big or small, the kitchen is becoming the heart and soul of the house. It is a place where everyone gathers in the morning for a quick bite and also spend time in the evening as they catch up with what happened throughout the day. Every home has different need when it comes to kitchen design. despite being the first room of the house that one plans for, it is often the style of the kitchen, colors and choice of appliances and finishes that attract the most attention.

Find the right balance between aesthetics and ergonomics inside the modern kitchen

And in all this rush, many of us tend to lose sight of what the kitchen truly needs first and foremost –efficiency and functionality. A smart kitchen is one that put functionality ahead of form and while you can always achieve the perfect balance between both, if we had to compromise on one then that would definitely be aesthetics. A good start to creating a healthy and happy kitchen involves avoiding the most common kitchen design and layout mistakes – faults that are easy to eliminate just by paying a hint of attention at the start of the process. Time to iron out the flaws in your kitchen!

1. Consider the Circulation Space

Start by understanding the overall distribution of space in the kitchen – be it big or small. With kitchen being much more than just a place to prep and cook meals, you would want to leave adequate amount of space between islands, countertops and any other tables for the eat-in kitchen. We suggest you leave at least four to five feet of space between them for proper movement of individuals and also ensure that the kitchen appliances also fit into this rule.

Ensure that there is enough amount of space for circulation between the island and the workstation [From: Leah Phillips Interiors]

2. Take into Account Appliances

It is important to understand that the design of the appliances must be integrated with the overall design of the kitchen and you do not want to end up using counter space to hold these must-haves. Measure the space needed for your microwave, refrigerator, dish washer and other appliances and create custom nooks for these appliances. Also take into account the clearance space needed for opening of appliance doors and ensure they do not infringe on the circulation space.

Gorgeous and spacious kitchen with the right layout makes cooking that much easier [From: ProPacific Builders]
Get the layout of the kitchen right by understanding the available space and your cooking needs [From: Fraley and Company]

3. Cabinetry, Doors and Storage

The idea of an entire wall of cabinets looks appealing on the surface of it all and yet, some of these cabinets might come in the way of movement in the kitchen. You must maximize the vertical space without blocking counter space or flow of movement in the kitchen for best results.

Light pink adds glam to this modern eat-in kitchen with a view of the outdoors [From: Prentiss Balance Wickline Architects]
Gorgeous beach style eat-in kitchen of modern Boston home with delightful pops of blue [From: Boston Counters]

4. Do You Need an Island?

This one is a bit controversial at the moment because of how popular the small island is in tiny kitchens and how seemingly everyone wants an island! But not every kitchen needs a smart island at its heart and in case of small kitchens, there might just not be enough area left to accommodate a functional island along with adequate circulation space. An island on wheels offers the smart compromise between the two and in really tiny kitchens, you can use the large bar cart for the job.

Add an island to the kitchen only if you need it!
Traditional kitchen in San Francisco with a black and white color scheme along with marble countertops [From: Fiorella Design]

5. Your Cooking Needs and Interaction

A large and fully decked out kitchen with state-of-the-art appliances and industrial storage facilities is completely wasted on someone who only cooks on the weekends. Conversely, you need a sufficiently large kitchen with enough space for pots, pans and more that meet the requirements of cooking and serving for a large family. This might seem obvious and yet most homeowners tend to forget this as they are tempted to go in for a larger living area and dining space.

Charming modern kitchen in white and wood with single-wall design and a spacious island

6. Are You Using the Wall Space?

We talked about taking the cabinets all the way up to the ceiling in the kitchen to maximize space and create enough clearance room above the counters. But putting the kitchen walls to good use is much more than just about wall-mounted cabinets. Slim floating shelves, pegboard walls, sections in chalkboard, hooks and racks that help hang pots and pans… the choices are seemingly endless.

Fresh and cheerful modern kitchen with a smart central island and ample storage space [From: NEXT Crafted]

7. Lighting Makes the Biggest Difference

The most common mistake to avoid in the modern kitchen is getting the lighting wrong. With all the emphasis on décor, colors, styles and appliances, we forget that the most essential part of it all is lighting. Poor lighting above the counter or the island means working in the dark and this is not just inconvenient, but also hazardous in the kitchen. Combine an even layer of recessed lighting with smart task lights like pendants for a pleasing and safe kitchen. During daytime, reduce your reliance on artificial lighting with glass doors and corner windows that usher in natural light.

Exquisite modern industrial style kitchen with exposed brick wall section and a chalkboard wall in th backdrop
Range and hood add color and contrast to this lovely kitchen in white [From: Haven Design Group]

Sherry Nothingam

Sherry is a blogger who loves to live her life to the fullest. She enjoys everything associated with design, décor and stylish modern trends. Born in California, Sherry has grown up on open ranches and in a wild setting, which has defined her taste for design and developed her interest in examining how structures and homes interact with the beauti[...]

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