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3 Common Kitchen Design Mistakes to Avoid

Did you know the kitchen is the toughest room in the home to design? It’s a fact, and I’m not just saying that because I’m a kitchen designer. When you think about it, there’s no other room where so many things need to happen all at once.

There are water lines and pipes to feed into a sink or two, plus the ice maker for the refrigerator. You have gas lines and electricity coming in to power the range and the oven. And then you need a vent to take those cooking fumes out of the room.

Then there are work surfaces that need lighting and handy storage nearby, places to store appliances, storage bins for food, drawers for tools, and cabinets for everything else. And you need a comfortable place to sit down and eat and relax.

With so many details involved in designing a kitchen, it’s easy to overlook a few. Here are some of the kitchen design mistakes I see most often, along with how to avoid them in your own kitchen.

1. Wasting Corner Cabinet Space

Just about every kitchen has a corner where two banks of cabinets meet. It’s deep and awkward, but there’s a lot of space there too that often goes unused.

But this is easily remedied with a pullout shelf. In fact, I usually include them in every kitchen I design. Sometimes they’re round, other times they’re more of a wedge or amoeba-shaped like the one above.

My clients like that they have two layers, so it’s easier to organize the contents. All in all, it’s a reliable way to make sure you get to use every inch of space in your new cabinets.

2. Forgetting the Pets

We love our pets and most of us have them. It’s estimated that 67% of Americans, or 85 million families, have a dog or cat, according to the North American Pet Insurance Association. But even though they’re often lurking in the kitchen, we forget about our furry friends when we design the kitchen.

I like to add a pet feeding drawer to the kitchen, either in the baseboard or in a lower bank of cabinets. And if there’s room, we do a special metal-lined drawer for pet food. You’ll be surprised how much you’ll use it. And it may give your pet a new place to linger away from the stove.

3. Going All White

If you’re like many of my clients, you’ve hoped, saved and planned for years before hiring someone to design your dream kitchen. You’ve saved all sorts of creative designs on Pinterest and Instagram. But then when it comes time to pick out cabinet and tile colors, so many people end up choosing white. It’s enough to make your kitchen designer cry.

If I can offer one piece of advice, it’s to trust your instincts, and boldly go forward with your original ideas. The kitchen is a personal space, so it should reflect your tastes and preferences. And since you use the kitchen so much, shouldn’t you enjoy it?

You don’t have to cover the whole kitchen with your favorite color. Some of my most striking and satisfying kitchens have included a pop of a color–like blue, green or gray–on the island or the base cabinets.

If you love something, it’s very likely you won’t get tired of it. And if you do, you can always break out a can of paint!