6 Common Kitchen Design Mistakes to Avoid | Balnei & Colina

6 Common Kitchen Design Mistakes to Avoid

6 Common Kitchen Design Mistakes to Avoid

The kitchen is the heart of the home, a space that brings family and friends  together like no other room. Undertaking a kitchen renovation is a complex task, and designing a kitchen is much more than just installing elegant light fixtures, stunning countertops and designer cabinetry. 

Correctly planning and designing a kitchen takes professional know-how, and can dramatically impact the way you use and enjoy your new kitchen, so it's important to engage a kitchen design specialist, like the kitchen design team at Balnei & Colina home renovations, for your kitchen renovation project. 

Remember, if the space doesn't adequately suit your unique needs and taste, if it isn't functional or practical, then the money and time you’ve invested in renovating your kitchen has been wasted. 

To help you better navigate the kitchen design process, in this month’s B&C Home Journal we list the most common kitchen design mistakes and show you how to avoid them. Enjoy!

Robert Fonti

Director, Balnei & Colina

Kitchen Renovation Sydney - Balnei & Colina

Kitchen Design & Renovation Experts Sydney

Balnei & Colina renovations have undertaken a significant number of kitchen design and renovation projects. We know from experience that a kitchen needs to be appropriately planned and installed with attention to detail.

Many of our clients have specific ideas about how they want their kitchen to be designed, and the Balnei & Colina kitchen design team make every effort to ensure those ideas are incorporated into the kitchen design and plans. However, we also like to keep our clients informed about kitchen design mistakes they should avoid. Here, we take a look at six of the most common kitchen design mistakes that people make when undertaking a kitchen renovation.

Kitchen Renovation Woolloomooloo Sydney by Balnei & Colina

Avoidable Kitchen Design Mistakes 

1. Zero Kitchen Planning

It sounds simple enough, but some clients get so excited about the look and feel of their new kitchen they forget it’s a work room, one that requires detailed design and configuration to ensure it performs and supports daily kitchen activities. Lack of knowledge, and an eagerness to get the project moving can sometimes result in irrational decision making, which can negatively affect the final outcome of your kitchen renovation project.

Take the time to property plan your kitchen design and renovation to ensure the best possible outcome for your project. Sit down with a kitchen design professional like the team at Balnei & Colina renovations, to create a kitchen design plan that will best suit your needs and support the way you work in your kitchen, before making any concrete purchases or plans yourself. 

A good kitchen design expert will help you navigate and plan your kitchen design and renovation, provide sound advice, as well as explain what you need to tackle and when.

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2. Poor Movement Flow

This is a common kitchen design mistake that people make when they are considering which fixtures and features they need in their new kitchen. It’s tempting to try and squeeze in all of the latest appliances and gadgets as well as enough kitchen joinery to house them all, but it’s also important to incorporate how you, your family and guests will circulate through the kitchen space. If you don't your new kitchen design and layout will be dysfunctional and frustrating, rather than a pleasure work in, even with all those modern appliances. Having a poorly designed kitchen with a lack of movement flow can also restrict the number of people that can work in the kitchen simultaneously.

Things to incorporate into your new kitchen design include: 

  1. Directing Kitchen Traffic - Create ample walk-ways and aisles that direct kitchen traffic in a considered way (eg including an island).
  2. Kitchen Seating Room - Dedicate a seating space where people can sit and still interact with those working in the kitchen to increase space and functionality.
  3. Kitchen Cabinetry & Appliance Clearances - Ensure kitchen appliances aren’t located opposite each other and that all kitchen cabinets can open freely without another appliances or cabinets impeding access.
  4. Kitchen Entry & Exit - Design open kitchen entry points where users be can freely enter and exit a kitchen, even if a kitchen appliance or cabinet is open
  5. Fridge Space - Allow enough space around your refrigerator. The kitchen fridge location is one of the highest traffic areas in your kitchen, so it’s important to allow enough room around it for ease of use and accessibility. 
  6. Sink space - Ensure ample work room on either side of your kitchen sink, minimum 600mm on either side.

Kitchen Design Tip: Ideally, it’s best to keep at least 1200mm of space between countertops and your kitchen island if you have one.

Image Credit - Photography by Armelle Habib

3. Following the ‘Work Triangle’ Blindly

Most kitchen designers focus on creating a kitchen layout based on the ‘work triangle’ - a kitchen design principle traditionally used to create the most efficient kitchen design layouts. The kitchen triangle is where the segments of a triangle represent traffic flow within a kitchen, ideally creating a rotational movement between primary kitchen tasks: a) Cooking (stove), b) Meal preparation eg chopping/washing (sink), and Storage (refrigerator/pantry). For the triangle to work effectively it’s important that no element, eg a kitchen island, block the flow of movement.

But we also know from experience that this kitchen design rule is not always the right option for every kitchen renovation project. 

Developed in the 1940s, the kitchen triangle design principle does support optimal kitchen workflow however, it doesn't work for every space and every family. This is mainly because our way of life has changed overtime, and so has how we work in our kitchens - families and couples now cook together as opposed to being the responsibility of a sole individual, homes with open-plan layouts are now the standard with kitchens now open to the rest of the home. A skilled kitchen designer, will examine and test more than one design principle within a space, in order to provide the best possible kitchen design solution for their client.

Because of the way home design and our lifestyles have changed, many kitchen design experts now also champion the idea of an evolved kitchen triangle, moving from three distinct work areas (cooking/meal prep & storage) to creating work “zones” within kitchen layouts that are self-contained. Balnei & Colina kitchen renovations always have detailed discussions with clients before determining which layout and placement will work best for them and their home.

Image credit: RoseBay Kitchen Designed by Greg Natale

4. Kitchen Cabinet and Appliance Sizes

Incorrectly sized kitchen cabinetry, appliances and incorporating cabinets that hinder movement flow, can make the kitchen space look cluttered, as well as negatively impact the way you work in your kitchen. Our skilled Balnei & Colina kitchen design experts will always focus on designing kitchen cabinets that are proportionate to the available space, adequately meet storage requirements, improve accessibility, and help you choose appliances that will complement your lifestyle and fit perfectly within the space.  

Image Credit: Tessa Neustadt

Kitchen Renovation Eastern Suburbs - Balnei & Colina

5. Ignoring Vertical Storage Opportunities 

The best way to make optimal use of the available space is to go vertical. Install open shelves and overhead cabinets as these become excellent storage areas. If you have a compact kitchen, this is something you should not overlook. 

Kitchen Renovation Eastern Suburbs Sydney - Balnei & Colina

6. Inadequate lighting

Even if you have a stunning kitchen design, inadequate lighting can affect its appeal and make working in the kitchen uncomfortable too. An expert kitchen designer will create a lighting scheme for your new kitchen design and use a combination of general, task and ambient lighting to improve the functionality and charm of the space.

Need help with an upcoming kitchen renovation project? Leave it to the kitchen design experts at Balnei & Colina kitchen renovations. Simply book a kitchen design consultation today on 1300 450 320 or, send us your project details via this contact form. Your can also email us direct via info@balneiandcolina.com.au

Visit us at balneiandcolina.com.au and connect with us via Facebook or Instagram, to keep up with the latest kitchen design trends.

Image credit: Michelle Williams

Image Credit: Ceasaratone Australia

Image via Pintrest

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