With some extra time at home over the past few weeks, you might be analyzing your home looking for your next project! One of the most significant improvements you can make to a home is updating an outdated kitchen.
As Interior Designers, we see certain renovation mistakes that we want to help you avoid. From limited storage to a lack of lighting, read on to learn from our mistakes and how to avoid them in your own renovation.
Not Enough Storage
As a multi-purpose space that is used daily, a kitchen should have ample storage – often more than you think you need. Cluttered kitchen countertops or drawers will not only detract from your kitchen’s overall look, but also its functionality. You’ll want plenty of cabinets to organize, hide and display certain kitchen appliances and accessories.
Pro Tip: Go all the way up to the ceiling with your cabinets and shelving units. The awkward open storage space left above cabinets is rarely used, and is a prime spot for dust and grime to build up over time.
In addition to cabinet space, you will want plenty of counter space. Counter space gets consumed much more quickly than you think with countertop appliances and accessories. By the time you’ve placed your espresso machine, knife block, fruit bowl, utensil crock, and paper towel holder, you’ve covered up a lot of your counter real estate.
You’ll want enough counter space to leave out daily use appliances and enough cabinets to store items that are used less often.
Lack of Lighting Layers
Kitchens are the heart of the home where a variety of activities take place including cooking, baking, entertaining and deep cleaning. You will need a variety of lighting to accommodate these different activities. Any kitchen should have ambient lighting (think recessed or surface mounts), accent lights (sconces or pendants) and task lights (under-cabinet).
You’ll use these different lights for different reasons – for example, when hosting a more intimate gathering you’ll probably have both the ambient and accent lights on, but for chopping vegetable and cooking, you’ll need your ambient and task lighting on. You can always choose which lights to leave off, but it is much harder to add more lighting once your renovation is complete. It’s also a good idea to have as many lights on dimmers as possible for even more options with your lighting!
Inconvenient Kitchen Layout
Your refrigerator, stove, and sink make up the work triangle of the kitchen, and as such, should all be less than 4′ apart from each other. While the fridge may look perfect on the blueprints when placed on the opposite side of the room from the stove, long-term you will not want your fridge more than a few steps from your stove or sink. You’ll also want to be sure that the cabinets across from the dishwasher can be open without bumping into the dishwasher door, and that the fridge opens the correct way (away from the center of the kitchen) so that it doesn’t create an awkward block.
High Maintenance Countertops & Surfaces
Butcher block countertops are aesthetically pleasing, but require more upkeep than stone countertops. Make sure that your countertops and other surfaces such as your dining table are not primadonnas. You won’t want to worry every time someone sets down a glass of red wine on your white marble countertop!
Quartz countertops are a definite go-to for us. Quartz has a similar look to granite but is harder and therefore more durable. It is also less porous which makes it more hygienic, which is especially important in the kitchen.
Not Consulting with a Professional
As a homeowner you know how you will use your space and what you want your space to look like, but working with a professional designer can be an invaluable resource. In addition to their expertise, designers also have access to trade-only vendors which offer a beautiful selection of products and materials that you might not find at retail stores. Interior Designers are committed to helping homeowners select the best products for their space and will catch things that are often overlooked in a design.
Many interior designers will also consult hourly, if you don’t need help with your entire project and just want to bounce ideas around. For a significant investment like a kitchen renovation, we highly recommend working with a professional from start to finish!
If you’re in need of an Interior Designer, we would be happy to match you with one of our qualified graduates! Simply fill our the form here.
Featured Image Credit: McGee & Co