Designing a kitchen can be exciting and a lot of fun when you work with the right designer and have a firm idea of what you want your new kitchen to include. However, it can be easy to get caught up in the details and overlook issues that can turn into big problems later. If you want a new kitchen that’s as functional as it is attractive, avoid the following common design mistakes.

1. Failure to Respect the Kitchen Work Triangle

Arguably the three most important fixtures of any kitchen are the sink, stove, and refrigerator. It’s best to design your kitchen with these three fixtures in a triangular arrangement. This makes it easy to move between them and speeds up meal preparation. If you design your kitchen without a work triangle, you might find it frustrating and more time consuming than it should be to get dinner on the table.

2. Poor Lighting

The available light in your kitchen is a crucial consideration during the design process. It’s essential to not only judge available natural light during the day, but also the amount of light you’ll have as the seasons change and daylight hours fluctuate. Poor lighting can come in many forms, but the most common are not enough lighting and overbearing lighting. Choose lighting that complements the color palette of your walls, cabinets, and countertops so you have good visibility at all hours without harsh glare.

3. No Traffic Flow

The kitchen is the gathering place of every household, so you should expect the kitchen to see quite a bit of foot traffic. Design your kitchen in such a way that fixtures like your stove, refrigerator, and cabinet doors won’t block points of entry to the kitchen or impede the flow of foot traffic through it. Imagine using each appliance in the kitchen and then visualize how easy it would be for someone else to move around you as you do.

4. Missing Backsplash

The backsplash can not only become a visual focal point of your new kitchen, but also serve an important purpose by making cleanup much easier. Choose a backsplash that will not only look wonderful in your new kitchen, but also offer easy cleanup behind your sink, stove, and countertops. The alternative is potentially dealing with ruined walls due to unexpected cooking messes.

5. Visible Trashcans

While it may seem like a good idea to keep your trashcan easily accessible, it’s often better to find a place to tuck your trashcan away and keep it out of sight. A great option is to install a cabinet trash can next to your under-sink area or in another lower cabinet that’s easy to access. You can get creative and even install an automatic rail system that extends the can out of the cabinet whenever the door is opened. 

It’s not uncommon for a kitchen redesign project to change from a fun endeavor to a frustrating ordeal when these details go overlooked. Instead of contending with these issues after your project is complete, take time to thoroughly plan out your new kitchen and avoid making split-second, last minute decisions to get the most value and functionality from your new kitchen.