10 Kitchen Renovation Mistakes to Avoid

upset barefoot woman on kitchen floor with bag of groceries

Renovating your kitchen is a big undertaking and the process leaves an abundance of decisions to be made. As your revamp this functional space, don’t fall victim to a host of common renovation mistakes that have plagued many homeowners.

1. Making an Island Too Large

The idea of an oversized island in your kitchen may be a tempting one, but don’t get too carried away with its size. Anything over ten feet in length will be really cumbersome to walk around in your kitchen. Additionally, anything that’s more than four feet deep makes it hard for anyone to reach the middle of the space. If you have a large kitchen, consider two smaller islands rather than one huge one to avoid these issues.

2. Skimping on Storage

You’ll want an abundance of functional storage in your kitchen. A common renovation mistake is to not include enough storage, particularly a lack of storage for items that will be used in a particular area. You don’t want to have to store a large appliance - like a stand mixer - in a closet far away from a convenient place to plug it in and use it. This is something to plan strategically in a remodel.

Being creative with storage space in your kitchen is one of the things you’ll appreciate most after a renovation. For example, use the space under cabinets to build additional storage space, where you can store rarely used items such as kitchen linens or certain pieces of serveware. Elements such as built-in drawer dividers or a lazy Susan make your space more functional and it’ll be much more expensive to add these touches in after a renovation is complete.

pullout kitchen storage with cutlery and dishware

3. Making Impulse Decisions

It’s easy to get wrapped up in design elements for your new kitchen when you’re looking at them in a fancy showroom. Keep in mind, though, that these elements will look much different within the walls of your home than they do elsewhere. Bring home samples to get a better sense of what fits the style and space of your home before you commit to these items.

4. Choosing Appliances Last

Choosing your kitchen appliances should certainly not come last in the renovation process, as it’ll be quite difficult to find those that match the exact dimensions you may have left if you designed the rest of the kitchen first. Choose your appliances upfront so that you know the exact space they will take up as you move forward on your renovation.

5. Not Looking at the Space on a Broader Level

Choosing the different design elements - such as cabinetry, paint colors, flooring, and hardware - is one of the most exciting parts of a kitchen renovation. However, if you don’t look at all of your choices in conjunction with one another, you’ll fail to see the big picture of your new kitchen. Make sure you examine how everything works together to ensure that it creates one cohesive room rather than one that looks disjointed.

6. Not Considering the Flow

Within your kitchen, the busiest areas tend to be the sink, stove, and fridge. It’s a common mistake to not place these strategically near each other in order to increase the convenience of your kitchen as well as your efficiency when you’re cooking.'

young family in a kitchen

7. Not Thinking Through Ventilation

Ventilation is extremely important in kitchens, as many smells pass through this area. Without proper ventilation, they could linger unpleasantly. Ensure in your renovation that you’re planning for adequate ventilation to prevent this smelly issue.

8. Being Too Trendy

It’s no secret that kitchen trends come and go! The average person only renovates their kitchen once every ten years (it’s a big project!), so you want to ensure that you’re choosing design elements that will stand the test of time. If you’re tempted to give into the current trends, do so via accessories and finishing touches that can easily be swapped out once the trend is no longer in style.

9. Being Too Open

Open shelving is becoming more and more popular in kitchen renovations—and with good reason! This method of storage is a bit cheaper to install and looks great in many kitchens. However, incorporating too much open storage—and thus, leaving many of your kitchen tools, serveware, and other items visible—can soon cause the space to seem over crowded and chaotic.

confused man in kitchen

10. Making Counters the Wrong Height

No one wants an aching back from chopping vegetables. This can come from not making countertops the appropriate height to work on. Be sure to measure your new counters carefully and consider what height is most comfortable for members of your family to utilize.

A kitchen renovation is exciting, but it’s just the beginning! Once you have your beautiful new space, develop some good cleaning and maintenance habits to keep your kitchen—new or old—in tip top condition.