Kitchen remodels are at the top of many homeowners’ must-do lists to add value, functionality, and style to one of the most important rooms in the house. However, in the excitement of planning your perfect kitchen makeover, it’s easy to get caught up in trends or make décor decisions that seem great in the moment but end up being costly mistakes down the road.
Whether you take on a full renovation or make minor cosmetic changes, like new backsplash tile or cabinet hardware, there are some common pitfalls when it comes to kitchen décor that you’ll want to avoid. Savvy planning now will help you get the beautiful, functional kitchen of your dreams without buyer’s remorse down the road. With this in mind, here are a few areas to pay close attention to when updating your kitchen.
Wrong materials for worktops
Countertops may seem harmless enough when planning your dream kitchen, but the wrong material choice can create frustrating ongoing maintenance issues. Beautiful granite or marble might elevate your kitchen’s style but comes with the trade-off of having to consistently reseal them to prevent staining, etching and other damage. Tile countertops solve these maintenance woes, but the grout lines inevitably trap grime and bacteria no matter how diligent your cleaning routine.
There are high-performance solid surface, quartz and laminate products available that emulate stones and tiles perfectly while standing up better to heavy use over time. Investing a bit more upfront in these worry-free countertops saves you money and stress over the years while still giving you the look you love.
Choosing lacklustre lighting
Lighting really makes an impression on buyers, even on a subconscious level. While you may not mind working in dim, warm-toned downlights, shadowy spaces come across as dreary and dark. Lacklustre lighting fails to show off all those pretty new cabinets and backsplash tiles you invested in too.
Focus on bright, neutral lighting that flatters all colour schemes, and choose classic styles in timeless finishes. Pendants and layered lighting are a great way to add depth to the room and improve visibility while keeping your kitchen on-trend. Keeping resale appeal in mind with this key element helps future-proof your kitchen decor.
The increasing popularity of open concept home layouts introduces a unique challenge when it comes to containing kitchen smells. Potent food smells drifting through open spaces become more than just a minor nuisance though. It can make entertaining guests unpleasant and penetrate fabrics throughout adjoining rooms. The build-up of steam also increases the risk of mould forming from condensation in the kitchen itself.
Focused ventilation is key to enjoy an uninterrupted flow between kitchen and living zones without unwanted scents or moisture issues. Downdraft ventilation systems offer a convenient solution by drawing steam, grease and odours down and away out of sight rather than above the cooktop. Their narrower profiles blend into counters and islands without imposing on sightlines or storage space.
Adding ultra-deep cabinets
The bountiful storage offered by deep kitchen cabinets seems like a dream, until you find yourself constantly reaching for items tucked away in the back. While the expanded capacity grants plenty of space to stash gadgets and cookware, the difficulty comes in wasted zones in the back recesses.
Rather than letting the generous proportions go underutilised, integrate smart organisational systems to leverage all the available space. Roll-out trays and pulls that fully extend make deep interiors easily visible and accessible, while spinning Lazy Susans installed in corner cabinets efficiently arrange stacked goods for quick retrieval. Drawers also subdivide deep cavities into more efficiently sized compartments for cooking tools and bakeware.
Getting creative with storage inserts tailored to your needs transforms cavernous cabinets from a nuisance to an asset. You’ll enjoy the peace of mind knowing exactly where to find any item and have the storage available to minimise countertop clutter.
Laying the wrong type of flooring
The kitchen floor endures some of the heaviest foot traffic and risk of spills than anywhere else in your home. So, choosing surfaces just for their visual appeal without evaluating practical factors sets the stage for disappointing performance, maintenance headaches and potential safety issues. What appears ultra-chic in photos or samples may not hold up well to everyday wear and tear in actual practice.
Before installing trendy but temperamental surfaces like polished concrete or white marble tile, realistically assess how they’ll age after a few years of foot traffic, shifting appliances, dragged furniture and inevitable food spills. Opt instead for practical flooring suited to kitchens, that will stand the test of time. They’ll save you money by avoiding costly replacements after early failure and retain their visual charm after years of enjoyment.
Neglecting electrical planning
It’s easy to underestimate the number of electrical sockets needed in kitchens until you find yourself juggling appliances due to limited outlets. Skimping on ample plug-in capacity interferes with your workflow when you’re cooking and restricts flexibility in where you can install appliances.
You’ll never regret overestimating kitchen plug requirements during planning. Adding them in after you’ve spent time and money on decorating is not something any homeowner wants to have to deal with.
Plan socket placement early on in your renovation design before settling on cabinet layouts and be generous with your estimates. Having excess outlets unnoticeably tucked behind appliances is preferable to scrambling to meet power needs down the road. It’s also worth integrating specialised plugs like USB chargers at seat level along a counter or island too, to discreetly accommodate small electronics without cluttering up premium counter space.
The latest trends, open layouts, and luxe materials can make kitchen remodels an exciting (and sometimes pricey) project. However, not all gorgeous decorating choices stand the test of time once the thrill of the reno fades. Saving money and hassle in the long run means focusing on durable, low-maintenance materials rather than flashy surfaces that require frequent upkeep. Timelessness should also guide aesthetic decisions instead of chasing bold-for-the-moment looks that may shorten your kitchen’s appeal to future home buyers.0