10 Design Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make in Your in Your Kitchen

A lot of life happens in the kitchen. No mater how different our lifestyle may be, a lot of activity revolves around the kitchen: cooking preparing a quick snack, eating breakfast or a 3-course dinner with family or friends. Not only do we socialize in the kitchen, getting together with family and friend over a cup of coffee or a glass of wine, the kitchen is one place that needs to be both beautiful and functional. This raises a double challenge of do’s and don’s in kitchen design. Because of this specialists warn us about the 10 mistakes we should avoid in order to achieve both practical and elegant kitchen design.
1.    Don’t obstruct access to the kitchen triangle.

Specialists refer to the sink, stove and refrigerator as the kitchen triangle, the area of greatest activity which requires careful planning and unobstructed access. Of the three, the sink will see the most action and should have easy access to the stove and refrigerator, as well as your countertop workstations.

Sinks need to be installed in close proximity to the plumbing, but often kitchen are designed with the sinks installed right above the plumbing or in a poor locations. Instead of making this kitchen design mistake, consider hiring a plumber to relocate the drains and the plumbing to accommodate the best placement for the sink.

Regardless of kitchen size or layout (L-shaped kitchen, galley, U-shaped or lsland style), the sum of all the legs in a work triangle should not be less than ten feet and greater than twenty-five feet. If the sum of the legs in the work triangle is too small, people will be tripping over each other and if too large, food preparation could be a very tiring task.

2. Don’t waste storage space.

Kitchens typically contain lots of stuff. Not only that, but items often concealed behind built-in kitchen cabinet doors can be oddly shaped and require a lot of space, such as food processors or stand mixers. Finding a home for your kitchen stuff while keeping it easily accessible can be a tricky proposition. Because built-ins are expensive and the overall size of the area you’re working with may be limited, one big design mistake is not including enough storage.

Almost every kitchen design has wasted space, but this can be minimized with adequate planning and forethought. If the kitchen is small, consider installing extra long upper cabinets with molding for extra storage space. Place lighting or greenery along the molding to draw the eyes up. Also remember to always install cabinets over the refrigerator. Not to fully utilize the space above the refrigerator is a waste of potential storage space for large or seasonal kitchen items.
Install shelves across the backs of the lower kitchen cabinet as they will save you nearly a 2 foot by 2 foot or 4 square foot potential storage area. Otherwise, the kitchen will feel smaller than it is because you will constantly be trying to find more storage space.

3. Don’t ignore counter-top work space.

One of the biggest complaints about kitchen design is the lack of counter-tops. Consider all the kitchen activities that require a counter top, as well as appliances that are permanently located there, you might want to fit as much open horizontal surface areas in a kitchen as possible. This may be achieved by adding an island or breakfast bar to an L-shaped kitchen.

4. Poor lighting

The kitchen is one room where you can’t afford to have poor lighting. It’s not only a mater of design and atmosphere, but also a safety matter when it comes to handling sharp kitchenware. Rooms generally need three types of lighting: general lighting for overall illumination, task lighting, and accent lighting. For the kitchen you especially should evaluate the work areas and focus on how you can provide each spot with the light it needs. Consider adding lighting directly above all the main working areas, use pendant lights or a series of mini-pendants in areas where these can enhance the lighting and beauty of the kitchen. Pendants look great above kitchen sinks, while a series of mini-pendants enhance the appearance and lighting of breakfast bars and kitchen islands. Also, install under-cabinet lighting as an additional way to ensure that the counters have sufficient lighting for common kitchen tasks. After all, the more light you have in the room, the better you can show off all of those amazing design elements you’ve added to the space.

5. Don’s forgo a back-splash

While budgeting or designing a new kitchen or kitchen remodel, sometimes the back splash considerations slip to the end of the list. Occasionally, the back splash area is completely left out of the plan. This is one mistake that saves you money on the short mistake that saves you money on the short term, but on the long run costs you a lot of time and effort. Imagine the steam, high humidity and grease content in the kitchen and you will understand why installing a back splash behind the over and extending it above all the counters throughout the kitchen is a start ides. It is much easier to clean grease off a backslash made of tile, metal, or plastic, than wall paint or wallpaper.

6. Don’t forget to ventilate.

The best of kitchen design fades in the presence of bad smelling air. If you’ve ever walked into someone’s home and smelled last night’s fish & chips lingering on the stale air, you’ll understand the importance of good ventilation. Inexpensive range hoods simply circulate dirty, stale air, while a good ventilation system will help improve the quality of your indoor air and also help keep your kitchen cleaner.

Effective ventilation systems also help extend the life of your appliances and although they can be an investment, if you have a kitchen that opens to a living area or family room, they will make life easier, cleaner and more pleasant for everyone.

7. Don’t choose a wrong kitchen island.

When it comes to kitchen islands we generally think of additional storage, preparation and serving space in the kitchen, but the fact of the matter is that kitchen islands can waste can waste a lot space. Choosing the wrong island or placing it in the wrong spot can be a disaster, especially in a work area that can get over cluttered. Islands that obstruct the flow of traffic to and from the sink, refrigerator, stove and primary workstations will create  bottlenecks and major hassles. At minimum, an island should be 4 feet long and a little more than 2 feet deep, but it must also have room for people to move and work around it. Specialists recommend that unless the kitchen is at least 8 feet deep and more than 12 feet long, one shouldn’t even consider as island.

8. Don’t ignore your recyclables.

These days, with the advent of recycling, dealing with trash in kitchen design has gone beyond sticking a bin under the sink. As recycling is here to stay, be prepared to manage your trash efficiently and incorporate trash sorting bins into your kitchen design.

9. Going too trendy.

Although it’s not necessarily a mistake, choosing the latest kitchen designs and high end equipment may not be the best of choices. The most stylish colour of the season and trendy designs have a short half-life, and you may never get your return on large investments in the latest kitchenware.

10. Avoiding professionals.

Taking over a kitchen design project on your own to save money is a common mistake which can waste more money, time and energy. Three are some jobs where, for safety and quality work, a professional is not a whim. Kitchen designers possess the latest trends ideas, and manufacturer’s details, help you identify your specific needs and translate those details into an efficient plan according to your taste.

High Tech Kitchens of the Future

            What does the future hold for kitchen design? With the technology available today, such as robot vacuum cleaners, refrigerators that have built in computers on the door, microwaves that scan directions on a box and cook the contents, faucets that trun on with a tap, deawers and cabinets that open from a slight touch or a remote… what else can the future possibly hold?
            Just imagine: Cabinetry that can change color or play a movie, and a cook top that can be relocated on a countertop with the stroke of a hand. You deem this preposterous?

The future of kitchen cabinets
            The element most subject to change is the traditional cabinetry. The kitchen of the future will be concealed behind flat doors. The wall of doors will integrate the kitchen into the room as a back drop instead of a focal point. With the push of a button, magically the doors open; the kitchen along with the stove and sink become accessible. The drawers and cabinets will silently open and close with a control or electromagnetic touch sensors. Instead of wood, the cabinets will be glass.
            Advantages of glass constructed cabinetry are numerous. Glass is a versatile renewable resource that can be recycled and thoroughly cleaned. It can be made scratch resistant, as well as anti-viral. It is also compatible with modern and future technology.
            Smooth glass cabinets are a perfect back drop for LED wallpaper that can change pattern by use of a personal computer. The cabinets could be red for a Christmas party, orange for Halloween or even a wood pattern. Using the computer, a movie or a ball game couls be watched on the cabinets. The color or scene could be changed as often as desired. Since all of this can be accomplished with today’s technology, imagine what will be added with future advances.

Counter tops of the future
            A natural fit with the technology of the future is green design in the kitchen. It takes 325 million years to from granite and marble in the earth. Glass is a wonderful alternative and recycled glass, as a counter top, is already available in the United States under the product name “Glass 2”. Glass 2 can be fabricated just like real stone for counter tops. Glass 2 is 99% recycled glass, stain-resistant, virtually scratch-resistant, maintenance free, cold and heat resistant, has permanent colors, and unlike granite, Glass 2 contains no radioactive elements.
            Another reason that glass countertops will be imperative for the kitchen of the future is induction cook tops. With induction cooking, a high frequency magnetic field moves molecules back and forth rapidly creating friction causing the pan to become hot (the pan must have some steel in it to be a conductor). With induction cooking, 90% of the heat goes into the pan, saving energy. By integrating the induction technology with the laptop capability, the cook top can be moved anywhere on the counter top or island by the sweep of a hand.

Kitchen appliances love     
            The future kitchen will do some of the work for you. For instance, a box of crackers can be scanned into the computer of the appliance. The appliance will have the capability of keeping a grocery list up to the minute by identifying which foods are getting low and reporting the percentage of the product that is left in the box. It will also oversee the expiration date and notify us when the food is past date. The grocery list will be maintained in the computer. “Rosie” did not even have it this good!
            Samsung currently has a refrigerator with a touch computer screen on which a note can be written (instead of on a chalk board or paper), Pandora music can be played while you cook, recipes can be looked up or the weather forecast can be checked.
            Another awesome technological feature of the future kitchen is wireless electricity. Electricity will be incorporated by using transmitters under the counter. Therefore, there will be no plugs and unsightly cords on the counter for appliances.
            With the technology that is available today, tomorrow’s upscale state-of-the-art kitchen has many capabilities. Like the jetsons’ kitchen, there will be robots to clean the floor and systems to keep track of food use and expiration dates. With the touch of a finger, cabinet doors and drawers will open, change colors and scenery, or even play a movie. Imagine the possibilities of a relocated to a cook top that can simply be relocated to a different location for convenience. As the saying goes, “The world truly is at our fingertips!”

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