Choosing a new kitchen for your home is exciting. And although it’s a huge investment, they can drastically improve the aesthetics, functionality and value of your property.
It’s no surprise then that, in the absence of holidays and the costs saved during the Covid-19 pandemic, many homeowners have taken the opportunity to finally get that new kitchen they’ve spent years longing for.
However, in all the excitement, it can be easy to neglect the finer details when designing and installing a new kitchen. All too often, our heart can rule our head and we get swept up in the prospect of being able to master sushi, make delectable macaroons or cook a delicious dish of paella in a fancy, new kitchen. We forget that designing the right kitchen is as much about finer details as it is about buying the right GE refrigerator, Rangemaster AGA or Dacor wine station.
So, interested in learning the common mistakes to avoid when choosing a new kitchen? Below is everything that you need to know.
Kitchen Countertop Space
The best kitchens are functional and attractive. But if you don’t have sufficient preparation space, then something’s not quite right. So, before you even start to think about installing appliances and having enough storage space, you need to first consider if you have allocated enough kitchen countertop space.
Believe it or not, it’s quite uncommon for homeowners to underestimate how much countertop space they need. Think about it, you need space to cook. Most dishes can’t be prepared in a single pot. Then there’s the washing up. Placement of utensils like knives. Coffee and tea jars. Where are you going to place pots to drain once you’ve cleaned them? Atop a cupboard? The floor?
You need to make sure that you have enough kitchen space to prepare food, eat and socialise. Now, of course there are ways to maximise kitchen countertop space – that’s where creativity comes in – but it’s always better to overestimate how much space you need rather than underestimate!
Whilst we’re on the subject of space, let’s talk storage. Why not plan how you’re intend to use the space? Make a list of all the kitchen pots, pans, utensils, cutlery, spices, jars you have. Be accurate. If you don’t, then you’ll likely have stacked cupboards or empty drawers.
The key to maximising storage space is to think of creative ways to use your available space. Pull out storage space is great for bulkier essentials. Magnetic panels can help you to utilise unused wall space. Generally, there’s always a solution if you get creative.
Not Measuring Appliances
Before setting your heart on that Mugnaini pizza oven or Winterhalter thermal disinfectant dishwasher, you need to first make sure that you have enough available space to install them. Any protruding design elements can have a knock-on effect to design and prevent you from opening cabinets or accessing other appliances in your kitchen.
Your best bet? Get out a trusty tape measure. Check the dimensions of any appliances that you’re thinking of buying and measure the available space. This also goes for small appliances like microwaves, blenders and food processors.
Sure, not every kitchen design will be filled with sizable, top of the range appliances, but knowing the layout dimensions of your kitchen will help you to make better decisions when choosing your appliances.
Poor Lighting Placement
Who wants to eat their dinner shrouded in darkness? Unless you’re planning a candlelight dinner with your nearest and dearest, most of us like to actually see the food we eat! Then there’s food preparation. Surely, it’s better to chop vegetables in a well-lit room, right?
Knowing the layout of your new kitchen will help you to choose the right lighting options. For instance, if your new kitchen includes an island for food preparation, it’s wise to make sure that the area is well-lit. For instance, if you have a high ceiling installing hanging lights to illuminate the area is probably a good idea.
A top tip is to always position lighting so that it’s in front of you, rather than behind or directly overhead. Installing downlights, pendant lights or scones on separate circuits makes it easy to control atmosphere with shades of illumination. Of course, always choose bulbs with sufficient wattage to emit enough light so that you can always see what you’re doing.
Aesthetics vs. Practicality
When reading brochure after brochure or visiting site after site, even looking in home magazines for inspiration, it can be easy to get carried away when choosing your new kitchen. However, what you shouldn’t forget is the importance of practicality.
This means using the space well. As a general rule, areas of the kitchen that’ll be used the most, like the sink, refuse station, stove and fridge should be designed to be close to one another. It’s no good when you’re having to walk across the room time and time again to get ingredients from the fridge to cook with, nor is it much fun when you’re chopping vegetables on one side of the room, and you have the refuse bin on the other.
Make sure any design is practical. The same is true for cabinet doors. You may have your heart set on wood veneer doors but remember they’re vulnerable to water – and which room in the home uses free-flowing water taps? The kitchen… maybe the utility room, but mostly the kitchen.
Also, when choosing cabinetry, make sure any doors you choose won’t block other areas of the kitchen. The last thing you want is for your cabinet doors to block the fridge door!
Assuming You Need a Whole New Layout
When choosing a new kitchen, many homeowners see a blank canvas. A chance for a whole new re-design of the existing space. Whilst the creativity and vision should be applauded, there’s usually a reason for why the existing layout has been chosen… it maximises the space!
What’s important to kitchen design is the logical flow of traffic and practicality. There’s no point having a kitchen that has a range of top-of-the-line appliances, an elegant décor and amazing marble or granite countertops, for instance, only for it to be difficult to navigate.
If you want to rejuvenate the room, try tweaking the layout. You could add a breakfast counter even an island (providing that you have sufficient space), but any changes shouldn’t be at the expense of practicality.
Ask yourself how many people will be using the kitchen on a daily basis? Will you be including a table for entertaining? What appliances are essential, non-negotiable and which do you think you could do without. A wine cooler or hot water tap may sound great in principle, but do you really need them at the expense of a microwave or kitchen countertop space?
The golden rule is to always allow enough space for your cooktop, sink and fridge and, like we have previously said, position them so that they’re close together. This will save you time and the frustration of having to traipse between areas of the kitchen just to prepare your meals every single day.
Avoiding Common Mistakes
It’s easier than you think to avoid the common mistakes of kitchen design. All you need is a little forethought and planning. This allows you to make the right decisions when choosing a new kitchen so that you can enjoy a practical, functional and aesthetically pleasing kitchen for years to come.
Interested in learning more about the range of granite, quartz and marble kitchen countertops we stock? Want some inspiration to help you to design a new kitchen around the colour shades of your countertops? Browse the selection of countertops for sale at Granite Line today.