Updating your kitchen is among the smartest home-reno investments you can make, generating a return on investment of anywhere from 75 to 100 per cent. But beware and avoid these 12 common pitfalls that can screw up your plans for the kitchen of your dreams.
Don’t Ignore the Triangle
It’s important to give some consideration to workflow when it comes to situating the sink, stove and refrigerator. Designers call this the “work triangle,” so when planning your kitchen it’s important to ensure these three essential components are efficiently located in relation to each other, usually in a configuration resembling a triangle.
Do Some Research on Dishwashers
Imagine this scenario: you’re thrilled with your new kitchen until you do the first load of dishes in your shiny new dishwasher, only to discover it’s far louder than you’d imagined. That’s why it’s important to do some research, as some makes and models of dishwashers are specially engineered to operate far more quietly than others. Weigh the options; if it’s worth the extra few bucks to have a nearly noiseless dishwasher, then do your homework in order to zero in on the right one for you.
Focus on Lighting
A kitchen typically needs three types of lighting: general lighting for overall illumination, focused task lighting and accent lighting. Think about where task lighting should be placed, while ensuring you’ll have enough bright lighting when you need it as well as more subtle lighting as well. Create a lighting plan to ensure all your needs are met, as a kitchen that’s blindingly bright is just as bad as one that’s not well-lit enough. Lighting is also a great way to perk up a rental kitchen. Learn of other cheerful ways you can personalize a rental here.
Don’t Skimp on Counter Space
A common complaint among those who’ve renovated kitchens is: “I wish I had added more counter space. You may think you know how much counter space you need, but that is one area where it’s never a good idea to skimp. A lack of counter space can be the difference between an efficient, well-designed space and kitchen chaos when you find yourself bringing the chopping block to the coffee table because you’ve run out of counter space. With kitchen counters, less is never more.
Island Design and Placement
Kitchen islands can add functionality and additional counter space, but choosing the wrong island – too big or too small – or placing it in an inefficient spot can be disastrous. An island that obstructs the flow from the workspace to the stove or sink. Think about the shape and size of your kitchen when choosing an island in order to find one that will make it part of the kitchen’s functional work triangle.
Don’t Skimp on the Backsplash
In many kitchen renos, the backsplash is often seen as an afterthought, but remember this: you’re going to be looking at it for years to come, so make sure that it’s something you’ll want to keep looking at. That means not going too trendy, or picking the cheapest tiles, or opting for wild colours and designs that may become grating on the eye over time. A little care and attention at the beginning will ensure kitchen enjoyment for years to come. Here are 30 brilliant backsplash ideas for your kitchen reno.
Don’t Choose Appliances Last
It’s a good idea to decide which appliances you want before undertaking the renovation. It’s far easier – and less costly – to build cabinets and countertops that will fit around your shiny new dishwasher, oven and refrigerator than the other way around.
Give Some Thought to Storage
One reason why many people renovate their kitchens is to add more storage space, and this should always be something you keep in mind. While it may be tempting to go for maximum visual appeal when renovating a kitchen, don’t do it at the expense of storage. Think about where items such as food processors, blenders, coffeemakers, toasters and the like can be placed without taking up precious counter space. Nobody’s every looked around a newly renovated kitchen and complained that there’s too much storage.
Trash and Recylcing
Once upon a time a trash container (maybe hidden under the sink) would suffice as a way to deal with kitchen garbage, but not anymore. A kitchen reno is the perfect time to develop a trash-management strategy for kitchen waste, including recycling. Will you want to install a trash compactor, or an under-sink garburator? Having a storage solution for trash and recycling built into your kitchen redesign will make life a lot easier down the road.
Don’t Forget Ventilation
If you’ve ever walked into someone’s home only to be greeted with the fishy aroma of the previous night’s dinner, you know how important good ventilation is in a kitchen. This is one area where you don’t want to skimp; a good kitchen hood or ventilation systems won’t just recirculate your kitchen air, but will vent odours and airborne grease particles out of the kitchen that would otherwise attach themselves to cabinets and other kitchen surfaces. This is especially important when the kitchen is part of an open-concept design where cooking grease and odours could affect other adjacent areas.
Think About Small Space Storage
During the planning process, don’t overlook small-space storage solutions such as adding additional drawer dividers, or in-cabinet storage such as lazy susans and racks. Not only will these types of items make your new kitchen infinitely more efficient, they’re also the kind of things that are far more expensive to add after the fact than during the renovation.
Choose the Right Counter Surface
There are a lot of factors to take into consideration when choosing countertop material, ranging from cost to durability in the face of normal wear and tear. Soapstone and Carrera marble, for example, may be too fussy for some, while others may be sold solely on the their stunning appearance. This decision, in fact, is a very personal one for most homeowners, but it’s never a good idea to go with an untested material only to regret the decision after the fact.