Common Mistakes to Avoid When Remodeling Your Kitchen


It can be easy to become overwhelmed with information during the process of remodeling any room in your home, especially your kitchen. For weeks or maybe months you will need to shop for materials, come up with your plan and find the right contractor for the job. All of this sounds easy until you get down to doing it, and when you’re new to this process or find yourself overwhelmed by all of it, it can be easy to make mistakes that will leave you regretting the time and money spent.

Learn from others’ mistakes to avoid these common remodeling errors.

Bigger doesn’t always mean better

Unless your current kitchen layout is too cramped for you to work with easily, you should try and work with the space that you already have. A contractor with enough experience in remodeling kitchens can help you to figure out how to maximize the space of your current kitchen using proper design techniques and modern appliances. More often than you might expect, you can make a few minor changes to the overall layout to really boost the available surface area of this important room in your home.

Floor space, counter space and storage are essential of course, but unless your too-small kitchen is becoming unbearably cramped and suffocating to you, chances are that an experienced contractor can figure out ways to maximize this area.

Expanding a room requires knocking down walls, which will drive the cost of your home improvement project even higher, and likely require some pretty extensive electrical and plumbing work as well. And when it comes to reselling your home, you might find that these add-ons don’t really do much of anything in terms of the actual value of your home. Instead of dismantling your kitchen’s walls, try relocating your appliances and cabinets first.

Function is vital to any kitchen. You need to be able to have space to prepare meals in, as well as cook them and store food and dishes. Many modern renovators are choosing to have small areas adjacent to their kitchens that serve as a place to relax, such as a living room or dining room. This helps to open up the space, making this area appear larger, and allows you to implement some more efficient and clever design work into your kitchen.

Modern appliances look great, but are not always practical

Stainless steel is a popular look in many kitchens, for obvious reasons. It’s modern-looking and sleek, adding a modern flair to any kitchen. However, a stainless steel appliance might be more difficult to clean than other types of appliances, and they tend to have a shorter lifespan as well. You’d likely be upset if you centered your design around one appliance only to find that you need to replace it in a short time.

It is generally not advised to make your kitchen appliances the focal point of the room, because of the fact that they may be hard to keep clean and might require replacement sooner rather than later. If you want to tie a modern look into a kitchen that you feel is outdated, try adding stainless steel accents like pot racks, cabinet handles or smaller appliances.

Many kitchen contractors will offer cabinetry-style covers for your fridge, oven and dishwasher. This gives your appliance a sleek appearance and helps it to blend in seamlessly into the rest of the kitchen’s design. This option also gives you more freedom in your design, as there are many models and styles available. Some designers will warn that too much stainless steel can break up the visual appearance of your kitchen, thus they will likely suggest cabinetry fixtures for your appliances instead.

Don’t forget about your cabinets

Cabinetry makes up a rather large portion of your budget when doing a kitchen renovation, so some renovators will try and cut the cost of redoing them as to be able to spend more money on other aspects of their kitchen. Don’t do this. Cutting corners where your cabinets are concerned can result in a project that doesn’t look or function the way that you want or need it to.

When trying to save a few bucks, look for the best cabinet style and materials that you can afford and create your layout with this in mind. Lower-quality cabinets will usually look great for the first months or even years, but poor construction, a non-ideal finish and a poor design flaw could become very obvious, and might even lead to a more expensive fix.

Storage room is key in any kitchen, and it is important to design for more than what you think you need. This will grant you space for lesser-used household items, and prove useful if your household suddenly grows in numbers-therefore requiring the additional space. A qualified contractor will help you figure out how to get the most effective use out of cabinetry in your renovated kitchen.

There are shorter cabinet systems as well as cabinets that reach the ceiling, and it’s important to consider the benefits and downfalls of both before making a decision.

Higher cabinets provide more storage space behind closed doors, but shorter cabinets create a more usable space (above the cabinet, where you can add display/décor items or even small appliances). Individuals who prefer to have a more open area for storage might prefer shorter cabinets, while those who favor a more modern look might choose the ceiling-height ones.

Don’t put cabinets in every corner

Storage space is likely your number one priority when it comes to renovating your kitchen, and that’s reasonable. You want to make sure there’s enough room for everything that you need, right? But it’s important to remember that empty space is important for both balance and light in any room. Putting cabinets on every wall might make the room appear cluttered and dark, where most people prefer an open-seeming, brighter kitchen area.

Natural light has a chance to bounce around your kitchen when there is enough available space, so try clever window placement or leaving blank walls above the sink or something similar to generate as much light as you can in this room of your home. To give the appearance of a bigger and brighter kitchen, opt for cabinet layouts that don’t create more shadows, and fill the dark corners of the room with light.

Don’t make your oven into an island

It might seem better for installation and electrical purposes, but a “floating stove” that has no counter space on its sides is a big frustration waiting to happen. When cooking and preparing meals, it is important to have enough work space for the sake of flow, efficiency and cleanliness. Kitchen layouts that have an oven as a standalone appliance also create an unattractive space as well, one that could better be accented by a nice counter top or other feature.

Consider adding more counter areas to the space on the opposite side of your oven, as well. Kitchen islands and peninsulas create additional work spaces in your kitchen, making it easier to prepare larger meals by keeping everything you need within an arm’s reach. For optimal function, counter space is key!