Kitchen designer shares the five ‘biggest mistakes’ to ‘avoid’ – can ‘reduce’ house value

Kitchen design mistakes have the potential to turn one’s dream kitchen into a nightmare, after all this is, for many people, the most important room in the house and getting it spot on is key to how well a home as a whole will work. Arguably, one of the most important elements when designing any kitchen lies in the planning stage. Fail to give proper consideration to how one would use the space on a day-to-day basis, they can expect to run into all kinds of frustrating problems later down the line. Luckily Selena Quick, founder and managing director of PAD Kitchens, has shared how to avoid five of the biggest kitchen design mistakes.

She explained that while a beautiful and well-constructed kitchen has the ability to add a “considerable amount” to the value of a property, for those who get it wrong, this can have the opposite effect.

The kitchen designer said: “A poorly designed kitchen can be frustrating on a daily basis and can reduce the value of your home. In fact, research shows that the kitchen is the one room in the house that can really influence a potential buyer’s decision when it comes to choosing a new home.

“As well as taking the architecture of your property into early consideration, we strongly believe that a kitchen should be designed based on your personal preferences, lifestyle and budget. However, it is always worth considering how others might see it too, especially if you’re considering selling your home in the next few years.”

1. Choosing cabinets for the wrong reason 

While it is all well and good daydreaming about how a kitchen is going to look, appearance alone is not going to get households the results they need, particularly when it comes to cabinetry.

READ MORE: 5 ‘common’ kitchen cabinet mistakes to ‘avoid’ to achieve a ‘high end’

According to the kitchen expert, this is one of the “biggest mistakes” people make when designing this cooking space. For those redoing their kitchen as part of a bigger home renovation project this makes the design “even more important”.

Selena added: “Considering the entire space means making sure there’s a natural flow from one room or zone to another, making moving through your home an effortless pleasure. 

“It also takes things like the position of doors, windows and fireplaces into account, making sure each aspect of your space can work effortlessly together.”

3. Putting form over function 

Before turning their attention to appearances, households should be thinking practically as this room is typically used on a daily basis for most.

READ MORE: 5 ‘common’ bedroom mistakes to ‘avoid’ a ‘cheap and tacky’ aesthetic

The designer said: “Choosing cabinet colours, worktops and beautiful hardware is what we all get drawn to when we first start thinking about our new kitchen but there are far more important decisions to make before you get there. This is where kitchen zoning comes in, for example, making sure the cooking prep area is near the hob and the dishwasher and sink sit together to form the ‘wet’ zone.”

If households design their kitchen from a layout perspective, Selena claimed that households are more likely to enjoy using their kitchen day to day. She noted that a practical layout is “critical” for those who want to enjoy using their kitchen regularly and these decisions should always come before colours and finishing touches.

4. Not focusing on lighting

Not enough people give proper thought to how to add lighting to a kitchen at the early design stages. This means that key areas of the room can end up feeling too dark for the tasks that need to take place there. Lighting needs to be planned right from the off.

The expert explained: “It’s critical to consider appropriate lighting when designing your new kitchen. Kitchen lighting needs to look great and work hard. There are obvious practicalities such as lighting that focuses on countertops for preparing food and lighting inside dark cupboards so you can easily find the things you’re looking for. 

“Then there are the aesthetics, this might mean beautiful feature pendant lighting over a kitchen island or dining table; standing lamps that can be moved for convenience or plinth lighting to show off your kitchen cabinetry. There are then the more technical aspects of lighting to consider such as dimming options and lighting circuits that allow you to create various zones in an open plan space that can be controlled separately.”

5. Forgetting about storage 

Including plenty of storage is absolutely vital when designing a new kitchen. Most will be aware of all how quickly cupboards and drawers become full to the brim so it is important that kitchen storage is prioritised. Selena agreed as she said: “Everything should have a home and flow is key to an effortless kitchen space. Get it wrong and you’ll be kicking yourself when you keep running out of space to store things. 

“So whether you need to find clever fitted storage solutions for a small kitchen space, such as floor to ceiling cabinetry or drawers instead of cupboards, or you want to make the most of a large kitchen island, look for opportunities to plan in as much storage as you can ensuring the majority meets your individual needs.”

She noted that a good place for households to start is working out what they need to store, where and identify their pet hates with their current kitchen storage.

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