One truth of family life that transcends cultural boundaries is that everyone loves to congregate in the kitchen. A redone kitchen adds value to your home and makes all that extra time you and your family spend there more enjoyable.
When designing your new kitchen, avoid some of the most common mistakes people make with this handy guide to what NOT to do.
Not Creating Enough Counter Space
Many people regret not creating enough counter space in their kitchens for all the activities that go on there. To create an estimate of how much counter space you will want, make a list of the activities you will need counter areas for. Then, evaluate how they may overlap when two or more people use the kitchen.
Next, consider your materials. Laminates are rugged and heavy-duty, but stone, concrete, quartz, metallic, and natural wood countertops are all beautiful options to consider.
Not Including Enough Electrical Outlets
When everything from your blender to your espresso machine to your cell phone plugs into the wall, you know you’re going to need more than two outlets. Choosing which appliances you want to place in specific locations and placing your outlets there will help you plan your space better and halt the tendency for them to accumulate on countertops.
Not Establishing Good Flow
“In kitchen design, the kitchen triangle links the three areas of greatest activity: the sink, stove, and refrigerator [source: How Stuff Works].” Narrow aisles and islands that cut off access to these key areas make kitchens less efficient. You should never have two cabinets that cannot be open at the same time, a refrigerator door that opens away from the heart of the kitchen, or a dishwasher that prevents you from standing at the sink. Tip: When you’re designing your new kitchen, imagine opening every single door at the same time – if anything comes into contact, its time to remeasure.
Forgetting About the Trash
Make sure to carefully consider trash placement – it should be close enough to the exterior door, or have a clear path to the door, for easy disposal. In our contemporary, eco-conscious environment, you’ll want separate bins for regular, paper and plastic waste. Hide the waste baskets in your cabinetry and spoil yourself by installing soft-close cabinets.
Too Much Stainless Steel
Many of your appliances – such as the dishwasher, stove, and refrigerator – may have chrome finishes. Keep in mind that adding a stainless microwave, toaster, and set of pans can create an overwhelming metallic shine in your kitchen, making you feel like you live in a commercial warehouse instead of your own home. Some solutions: consider black or colored appliances. Or, put refrigerators and microwaves behind cabinetry paneling.
Not Having Enough Types of Lighting
Technically, your kitchen is supposed to have three types of lighting: general illumination, task lighting, and accent lighting. If you don’t have the latter two, your kitchen will look too fluorescent and sterile.
In most kitchens, the general lighting comes from a combination of overhead lights, natural light from windows, and ambient light contributed by a fixture in an adjacent room. Many people neglect to provide enough task lighting in their kitchens; the prep areas, the sink, and the stove should all have task lighting of their own. Use accent lights to show off your most beautiful design elements.
* Energy Star compliant compact fluorescent bulbs use about 25 percent of the power of a regular incandescent light bulb. This 75 percent savings would add up to about $600 million if every American home upgraded just one light bulb [source: Energy Star].
Following Trends Too Closely
Always remember: Your goal is home improvement with an eye towards selling. This means you need to stick with a style that’s appropriate to the rest of your home and suits the tastes of the people in your area. It also means you should forego updates with prices beyond your neighborhood’s range (for example, a commercial oven in a standard home.) Some kitchen investments will add to the value of your home, but consider the fickle nature of design trends. Most “have a short half-life, and when they’re out, they’re really out.”
Quartz Kitchen Countertops
Vadara Quartz comes in classic colors and styles designed for modern living. Vadara’s quartz kitchen countertops are nonporous and can be used well in your kitchen as countertop or floor tile because it will not absorb food or liquids like granite does. Unlike other premium surfaces, it is virtually maintenance free.