What Doesn’t Work in a Kitchen? Layout and Organization Advice

Despite having the perfect finishes for your kitchen, the one thing that you should not compromise on is the layout. As long as the design is well done, it will add value to your property.

Whether scheduling a renovation or constructing your home, it is always essential to ask yourself if it works for you before settling on any design.

The kitchen is one of your home’s most essential and functional spaces. Therefore, you should cooperate with your designers to make them aware of your likes and dislikes and to avoid the mistakes outlined below:

1. Inadequate Storage Space

Inadequate Storage Space

Insufficient storage is a problematic occurrence in most homes.

When not handled right from the beginning, it can lead to unnecessary clutter leading to untidiness and undue frustration.

Even a person actively seeking a new house to move into will quickly dismiss it if the kitchen does not seem to offer the storage space they need for their accessories.

However, if well thought out from the start, setting up storage spaces is achievable.

Solutions

  • Utilize underutilized spaces—Extend overhead cabinets up to the ceiling to store the rarely used items
  • Install cabinets over the refrigerator
  • Opt for closed cabinets to hide away your kitchen stuff and to give your kitchen a sleek look

2. Insufficient Lighting

Good lighting is necessary for the kitchen because it is a functional space and for safety purposes.

Before settling for any lighting, ensure that you evaluate each spot and the type of lighting it needs.

For example, it would be wrong for you to focus more on aesthetic lighting for the kitchen over functionality since it does not provide sufficient lighting to perform most kitchen tasks.

You will also notice that most counters are also right beneath the cabinets but more often, they do not have extra lighting underneath the cabinets.

Such a setup is potentially hazardous to you, especially in the food preparation process, since you will be struggling to see due to the dark shade on the counter surface.

Solutions

  • Install task lighting to illuminate the most functional areas of your kitchen. These include; cabinets, countertops, drawers, and sink.
  • Install accent lighting to add visual interest to the décor. These can be placed at the center or corners of the kitchen. In short, put these in the kitchen areas that you wish to stand out.

Get expert advice from an electrician with the technical know-how to place these lighting across your kitchen.

3. Poor Ventilation

An exemplary ventilation system ensures sufficient air circulation in your kitchen, captures impurities, and keeps your kitchen clean.

It is easy for unpleasant kitchen smells to linger on your furniture, clothes, or other rooms under poor ventilation circumstances. Despite the good aroma of food, it should not ruin your home’s air quality.

Solutions

  • Open windows- If your kitchen does not have windows, open the windows in the adjacent rooms to enhance air circulation.
  • Install a ductless range hood– These can be placed above the kitchen’s cooking area to flush out cooking odors. They also filter and send out smoke, grease, moisture, and heat before releasing fresh air back into the room. It also ensures that your appliances stay cleaner and longer.
  • Use a fan- if the natural methods do not work, a fan will certainly help push out the foul odors as long as you position the fan to move the air outside.

4. Poor Drainage System

Poor Drainage System

A poor drainage system can always result in a smelly kitchen, no matter how well you clean or aerate it.

If these problems are ignored, they can also lead to a significant and expensive reconstruction in the future.

Most homeowners make one primary mistake in ignoring simple drainage issues like signs of a breakdown leading to costly repairs.

Most people also fix drainage issues like blockages using harsh chemicals that eventually damage the pipes.

Some simple alerts to notify you that you have a drainage issue are erosion, water in the basement, and mosquito breeding in puddling water. However, drainage issues in your kitchen may also be a result of:

  • Improper grading- causing water to get trapped or to flow into the basement or building
  • Roots in your pipes- from surrounding vegetation

Solutions

  • Hire a professional plumber to determine design options suited for your home.
  • Use a professional plumber to do routine plumbing checkups and your drainage system. This ensures that drainage issues are identified, and repairs are made early enough. They will best advise on the best solution to fix the problem at hand for every situation. For example, for an improperly graded system, they will best advise if the joints need relining without excavation or not. Relining the pipes solves the problem of trapped water. Doing this will ensure that the water does not get trapped.

5. Insufficient Sockets

As you plan out your kitchen right from the planning stages, it is necessary to convey your needs to your designer.

It can get irritating if you frequently have to disconnect one appliance to use the other. These appliances include:

  • Large stationary appliances like the refrigerator, oven, dishwasher, freezer, etc.
  • Smaller appliances like the kettle, toaster, microwave, etc.

Most of the smaller appliances are not constantly used, but they will still need a power source.

Initial planning helps the designer correctly factor in the best positions for the devices and their outlets.

Solutions

  • Hire a proficient electrician to work hand in hand with the designer to ensure that the electrical outlets uphold all safety standards.
  • Decide on all the gadgets that you need in your kitchen in advance.

6. Insufficient Kitchen Disposal Unit

Insufficient Kitchen Disposal Unit

The trash space is one of the most commonly overlooked areas when designing a kitchen.

Also, with the growing popularity of waste recycling, we should not miss out when planning about trash.

A suitable kitchen disposal unit should have separate bins for recyclables and non-recyclables. However, this varies from different homeowner priorities.

Solutions

  • Have an empty cabinet where one can safely hide the trash bin away to conceal smells
  • Provide separate trash cans for recyclables and non-recyclables.
  • Have a plan to deal with the trash and how to recycle waste

7. Insufficient Counter Space

Lack of sufficient space can make your kitchen highly dysfunctional.

Besides being the place where you make your hearty meals, some homeowners also use it as an eating space if the space is large enough.

At times, you will have more than one person during meal prep.

They all should use the counter space without getting under each other’s hands or stepping on one another.

No matter the needs you have for your kitchen’s counter space, ensure that you communicate them to your designer.

Solutions

  • Consider an open-plan kitchen since it is easier to fit your items.
  • Add a mobile or stationary kitchen island, especially in the case of a small kitchen. However, remember that this can only work if you have enough room without disrupting traffic flow.
  • Ensure that one can access frequently used appliances like the fridge or microwave without having to pass through the main kitchen working area

8. Not Budgeting for a Backsplash

A backsplash is necessary for every kitchen unit to protect the wall behind the cooking gadgets and the sink against water or moisture damage, grease, and cooking splatter.

It is often positioned as the least essential addition in a kitchen, which is wrong.

Though installation can be costly initially, it saves you from expensive repair costs in the future.

Solutions

  • Consider the best backsplash options from metal, tiles, or plastic. Ceramic wall tiles are most preferred since they are heat resistant, easy to clean, easy to install, durable, and add that sleek look to your kitchen.

9. Wrong Flooring

Match Flooring

With the kitchen being a semi-moist area, the floor and its surroundings will experience harsh conditions.

Therefore, installing the wrong type of floor is a costly mistake that every homeowner must avoid right from the onset.

The kitchen also has a lot of traffic should make you select the right floor to withstand wear and tear.

As a general rule, when selecting kitchen flooring, ensure that it is durable, easy to clean, and can handle moisture well—for this reason, using solid hardwood flooring or carpets for a wet-prone area is not appropriate.

Solutions

  • Visit a flooring supplier to help you choose the best heavy-duty floor type for your kitchen. Vinyl is a sensible and affordable choice for most and offers a soft and warm surface for your feet. Vinyl is also available in various designs that you can choose from.

10. Wrong Wall Paint

No matter how good your walls look, the wrong paint will quickly fade off, especially from the moist environment in the kitchen.

Solutions

  • Work with a paint professional to advise on the best paint color and the best paint to buy
  • Use semi-gloss paint or primer for the wall and counter finishing. It is also easy to clean, stain-resistant, and durable.
  • Use glossy paint for the doors, cabinets, and window shutters.

For each of the above-listed points, not working with a professional for each one will also be a costly mistake.

They should have befitting knowledge to suit your needs and protect you from making expensive mistakes, some of which may be irreversible.

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