9 Things Everyone Forgets When Renovating Kitchens
Renovating your kitchen can be a frightening process—especially when you start adding up the costs. In fact, a major kitchen remodel is one of the most expensive projects a homeowner can undertake. So there's plenty of pressure to get it right. Luckily, most common kitchen design mistakes can be easily fixed. But it's far, far easier (and cheaper) to plan correctly from the start! Before you smash a sledgehammer through your kitchen walls, make sure you've considered these often forgotten issues. Original article
1. Sufficient Lighting
While we obsess over which lamps and sconces will add the right ambiance in our living rooms, we often forget about properly lighting the kitchen. Weird, right? Because the kitchen is where the bulk of the household work gets done—and this is a place where working in the dark is truly not a great idea. (Plus, don't you want great lighting to show off your delicious creations on Instagram?)
2. Trash Can Placement
Here's a kitchen nightmare that keeps designers up at night: You've spent thousands of dollars transforming your outdated, impractical kitchen into a sleek, beautiful machine—complete with new cabinets, new fixtures, and a brand-new gas stove. However, you forgot completely about where to put the trash, so your overflowing garbage sticks out like a sore thumb. Tucking your garbage can into your cabinetry is much easier when it's planned before installation; otherwise, you'll have to retrofit an existing space.
3. A Proper Kitchen Work Triangle
The kitchen work triangle is a design element that's crucial to making most kitchens, well, work. And unfortunately, it's often overlooked during renovations—especially by DIYers.
The concept is simple: Make sure nothing blocks movement between the range, the sink and the refrigerator. If you don't, you risk many a mishap. (Think: Your hip slamming into the poorly planned kitchen island every time you travel from the stove to the sink.)
Making your kitchen accessible isn't just about making sure you can reach your dishes—it's about reaching your dishes and making sure nothing falls off the shelf and onto your head in the process. When organizing your cabinets or arranging appliances, consider how high you can stretch and how much the item weighs.
So much of good kitchen design comes down to careful, mathematical planning: How much space does the refrigerator need? How much room should we leave between the stove and the island? With all that tedium, you'd think homeowners would be eager to tackle the fun stuff—like choosing the backsplash.
6. Landing Space
Your kitchen needs landing space—aka the countertop surrounding your appliances. The National Kitchen & Bath Association recommends 12 to 15 inches of landing space around your range and 18 to 24 inches around your sink. These numbers aren't arbitrary; this is actually a safety issue. Where else are you going to put those piping hot pans, the floor? Some building codes even outline specific landing-space guidelines. When your local building code doesn't specify, consider following the NKBA's recommendations to ensure that your kitchen is both safe and spacious.
7. Practical Cabinetry
Glass-front cabinet doors can look gorgeous, but think carefully about what you plan to store inside before you install them. A vintage collection of patterned Pyrex casserole dishes? Or do you only have a mismatched assortment of dollar-store plates and cups?
8. Room for a Kitchen Table
Many homeowners these days are swapping out their dining spaces for an oversized island. But before you renovate, ask yourself which setup truly works best for you. Is it practical for your large family to eat dinner at the counter sitting in stools every night?
9. Pet Necessities
If you share your life with a furry friend or two, consider accommodating them in your kitchen design by accounting for the placement of their food and water bowls, along with food storage. Storage can be integrated into your cabinet design, or you might want to add a stand-alone unit (like this $104 mint-green cabinet). Either way, thinking ahead when designing your kitchen prevents shoehorning in an ugly or unwieldy solution later.