5 Mistakes to Avoid When Renovating Your Kitchen

by | Dec 3, 2020

Do you know the top five mistakes people make when renovating a kitchen? Today, I’m going to talk about them and how not to blow your budget on what is traditionally the most expensive room in the house to renovate.

Renovating your home always seems like an exciting idea, but often the reality is much more stressful and less fun. The planning component is usually the easiest and most exciting part. This is when you get to research styles and play around with designs, colours, textures and the aesthetics of the project. Choosing new colours, new appliances and bringing a little bit of your personality through in the design.

But remember, it’s only when you start pulling the room apart that you uncover things that can cause time and budget blowouts. Also, kitchens can quickly become outdated as choices in tiles and colours change with every season. If you or the previous owner selected items that were “trendy” rather than timeless, you could find yourself with a kitchen that you no longer love. 

Kitchen renovations can be very stressful because you will most likely be without a kitchen for at least a few days, and sometimes weeks! If you have a young family that you are trying to feed, this can be a challenge. So planning the renovation upfront will reduce the number of issues you face, and will also reduce the time you are without it.

Whether it’s a full new design or simply a coat of paint and a few new appliances I’ve got the top five mistakes to avoid when renovating your kitchen.

1. Form over function

Dall Designer homes kitchen

Photo by Real Property Photography on www.HOUZZ.com.au – Design by Dall Designer Homes

For me, the most important thing when renovating your kitchen is to make sure it’s functional. Making sure you have room for the important things like your oven, fridge, sink, and dishwasher can be a challenge in smaller kitchens. The placement of these key items is also critical to the success of the kitchen renovation.

Focusing on form over function is a common error that many people make. They focus on the finishes of the kitchen, the aesthetics, and putting together a colour scheme. Don’t get me wrong, it’s important for it to look good, but it’s more important for the kitchen to be functional. There is no point having a beautiful looking kitchen if it’s not practical and you are constantly frustrated when working in the space.

When designing your kitchen, it is important to look past the pretty colours and first focus on how you use your kitchen. Are you a budding chef who cooks all your meals from scratch and needs a certain amount of bench space to create your masterpieces? Or are you someone who just does basic meat and 3 veg every night? Do you entertain a lot, and want a social kitchen where you can interact with your guests while you’re cooking for them?

These answers will all be really important to understand what you need when designing the space.

2. Trying to fit too much into a small space

With so many new and innovative appliances on the market, a common mistake is trying to fit too much into a small space. When creating your kitchen, first look at the space that you have available and work out the necessities. If you have a smaller area to work with, you may need to skip the built-in coffee machine, or the 900mm wide oven you’ve been coveting. A dishwasher, while not very cool, will be something you use every day and will save you hours every week.

Use your space wisely and let go of the things that aren’t a necessity.

Our qualified interior designer will work with you to create a kitchen you love and the works for you. Learn more about our home styling service.

3. Not using the magic work triangle

Have you heard of the magic work triangle? It involves the placement of the fridge, oven, and sink. These three items should be placed close enough together that you can move between them without too much effort. This makes your time in the kitchen more productive and helps with the flow when cooking or baking.

A common mistake that people make is placing these items too far apart from each other. When designing your new kitchen, think about these three items and how you can place them close enough to be productive when working.

4. Leaving the lighting layout until the end

Lighting is another important part of design that is frequently an afterthought when renovating a kitchen.

Adequate lighting is very important to the functionality of your kitchen. It not only helps you see what you are doing when prepping food but also highlights the features of your kitchen. If done well, lighting can also deceive the eye into making the space feel larger and brighter.

As an example, in most renovation shows these days you’ll notice that they’re placing skylights above kitchens to allow more light to enter the space. When kitchens are in the middle of the house or have low light, putting a skylight in draws the eye upward. The extra light makes it feel like there is more space by letting more natural light into the room.

When creating your new kitchen, it’s important to look at the lighting placement. Do you need to make any alterations to the current lighting points? The lighting that was there previously may have been suitable before the changes, but if you are changing the layout you may need to add extra lighting to account for the change in space.

Underbench lighting is something I usually recommend to clients as well. It eliminates dark shadow areas where ceiling lights can’t reach. And if you’ve got the budget, I would also recommend lighting around the kickboards. This highlights the floorspace, gives a fantastic profile and is great at night if you want mood lighting.

5. Not seeking professional advice before renovating your kitchen

Many people try to do renovations on a budget, which is fine, however, skipping professional advice can become rather costly. You may make mistakes or changes partway through your renovations due to poor planning, or lack of experience in designing and installing kitchens.

Seeking the assistance of a professional upfront, even just to sort out the design can save you a lot of money in the long run. In addition, they will advise you on which things can be done yourself and what needs a professional.

Once a kitchen renovation is complete it can transform the look and feel of the house. And if done well, it can add thousands to the value of your home.

We recommend spending the time and even a bit of extra money to go over your plans with an expert. This will ensure you are ready for anything unexpected that may pop up. And trust me, there is always something that does!

Call us on 0407 480 668 to chat to an interior design expert.