The 8 Biggest Kitchen Blunders

Renovating a kitchen can be an exciting time, but with so many decisions to make, it’s easy to go wrong. We’ve asked three experts to share the most common errors people make when renovating their kitchens, and how you can steer clear of them. And to add a little design inspo into the mix, we’ve illustrated each of the points with examples of beautifully designed kitchens to show you what’s possible when a kitchen reno is done right.

1. Blunder: Rushing things through

Poor planning and hurrying through the design process are the reasons behind most kitchen renovating disasters.

Solution: Slow down

Take your time when planning and designing your kitchen, and be careful not to leave important decisions to the last minute.

Select and order kitchen appliances well in advance and make sure your kitchen designer and manufacturer have all the details and dimensions prior to issuing the final drawings for construction.

It usually takes more than one appointment to refine details such as the layout, functionality and finishes of the kitchen. You’ll usually have an initial meeting with the designer where you’ll set out the brief, and the designer will then go away and create the concepts. This will be followed by another meeting to discuss and refine the design, following which the designer will issue the final set of documents. You’ll then have a last run-through meeting where any final changes can be made.

Ensure you understand 100 per cent of what you’re getting before signing off on construction drawings.

2. Blunder: Settling for inferior hardware

Good-quality accessories and hardware, such as pull-out corner units, drawer dividers, soft-close runners and door hinges, often get excluded from kitchen designs due to budget constraints. But this can be a false economy in the long run as features like these can make a big difference to your kitchen, boosting its storage potential, and making the space far more pleasant to use.

These features do add to the overall cost of a new kitchen, but they’re worth the extra outlay, particularly if you’re a keen cook.

Solution: Know your options

Ensure you ask your kitchen designer about all the storage and hardware options available so you can make a fully informed choice.

If you don’t specify exactly what you want, you may end up with less-than-ideal hardware and storage solutions, which can be a missed opportunity – think a set-up that consists of more cupboards than drawers, drawers without inserts and no soft-closing hardware. If budget is a concern, focus on those features that you feel will make the most difference to your experience of the kitchen.

3. Blunder: Forgetting the practical considerations

People can often get so caught up in the aesthetics of the design they forget about the practical side of things, which can result in a kitchen that’s less functional than it ought to be.

Solution: Put function first

Even before your initial appointment with your kitchen designer, start thinking about the practicalities of the kitchen and how you want it to perform.

Ask yourself, how many people will be using the kitchen at once? How tall are the users? How do you cook – for example, will you need a lot of bench space for baking or a high-powered range hood for cooking curries? Do you plan to leave your benchtop appliances out on display or do you want them hidden away? Will the kitchen be used just for cooking, as a hub for family meals or a place where the kids will do their homework and display school notes? What frustrates you about your current kitchen and is there anything you like about it?

At that initial consultation, give your kitchen designer as much information as possible about your lifestyle and how you plan to use the kitchen.

Kitchen Renovation, Emerald
PCM Carpentry Australia

4. Blunder: Poor preparation

Some of the most common mistakes we see people making when tiling their kitchen come from a lack of preparation before the tiles are actually laid, for example not ordering the right quantity of tiles. This can be a costly mistake in terms of both budget and time. It’s recommended that you buy 10 per cent more square metreage than the area to be tiled.

Solution: Do your research

Patience and preparation before tiling are key. Do your research, talk to the experts, and learn what to expect when having a space tiled. Most of the work needed for a perfectly tiled area is done before the first tile is laid.

Measure twice and make sure you purchase enough tiles to cover the space, and then extra to allow for cuts and tile mishaps.

Tip: Have a few tiles laid out in your kitchen to ensure that grout lines run in a direction that suits the space.

5. Blunder: Choosing the wrong type of tiles

Another common mistake is laying the wrong tile or product for the space. Things such as choosing a tile with the wrong slip rating or laying floor tiles on a wall can appear fine when you’re laying them, but you’ll soon notice problems when you’re living in the space.

Solution: Be specific about placement

Be clear about where the tiles are going to be used. For example, you wouldn’t want a heavy floor tile on a splashback, but there may be a suitable alternative that matches your chosen style if you’re clear about where it’s going.

Speak to your tradesman completing the work in person – emails and text messages are fine but can be misconstrued. We suggest verbal communication in person is best to avoid any miscommunications and heartaches.

6. Blunder: Selecting a clashing style

It’s surprisingly common for people to forget about the furniture and other finishes in a room when selecting tiles. Tiles can be a beautiful way to finish a floor, but not when they clash with other elements in a room.

Solution: Factor in surrounding furniture and finishes

When selecting tiles, keep in mind the look you’re trying to achieve and be confident in your choice. It’s also a good idea to go to the showroom armed with a mood board of the other elements in the kitchen, such as furniture and joinery, to make sure your chosen tile blends in well.

A good rule of thumb is to avoid conflicting patterns, particularly between the walls and floor. If you’ve chosen richly patterned flooring, opt for simple wall colours; if you have a bold feature wall, choose simple floor tiles.

eandsIlan El, founder and creative director at Ilanel Lighting Atelier

7. Blunder: Putting lighting in the wrong spots

Placing lights above the walkways in the kitchen and not over the benchtops – where they’re actually needed – is one of the most common mistakes people make. As a result, you end up with shadows over your sink and prep areas, making it near-on impossible to see what you’re doing.

Another common pitfall is choosing looks over function; renovators often select pretty pendants that don’t actually emit enough light over benchtops.

Solution: Focus on how you’ll use the space

Think about where you’ll need to see clearly in the kitchen, such as cooking, washing and prep zones, and select the appropriate fittings. Make sure the globes you choose emit sufficient light, then make sure you position them in the right spots. For example, if you’re choosing ceiling downlights, place them centrally over benchtops.

Adding lighting beneath overhead cabinetry is another way to boost visibility in your prep and cooking zones. It can also create great mood lighting at night in an open-plan kitchen, once the cooking is done.

8. Blunder: Choosing cold, clinical light

When a kitchen feels cold, uninviting and commercial, it often comes down to poor lighting choices. The kitchen is the heart of most homes, so it’s important to choose a warm light that will create a welcoming feel.

Solution: Go for warmth

Look at the temperature of light bulbs, which is measured in kelvins and is marked on the packaging. Light globes of 2000-3000K will give you a warm white light, perfect for a cosy kitchen. Opt for low-glare styles.

A good mix of indirect (or ambient) lighting paired with task lights for prep zones will set a practical yet welcoming tone in the kitchen. Having them on separate dimmable switches makes it easy to alter the mood when cooking or relaxing.

Tip: Be wary of shiny benchtops that can reflect glare back at you when you’re prepping.

Article re-blogged. Original on Houzz.

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