There are many pitfalls that are easy to fall into when you are remodeling your kitchen, especially if you haven’t enlisted the help of experts or insist on doing things a certain way.  Home owners do not spend nearly as much time thinking about kitchens as the experts do, so it is easy for them to make mistakes with their floorplan, design, timeline, and budget.

Here are a few mistakes to avoid:

Don’t choose a design that is too trendy.

Contemporary Purple KitchenA design that looks “cool” in a showroom or decorating magazine often doesn’t translate into “real life”.  By choosing a design that is too trendy, your kitchen will look dated in two years.  Remember, kitchen remodeling is a major investment, and it is one that you will want to be happy with for years to come.  If you are planning on staying in your home, you will want to choose a design that will not need to be updated for ten years.

If you are planning on selling your home, you want a design that is attractive to the majority of homebuyers, not one that fits your taste alone.  There is nothing worse than having a prospective buyer pass on your home because your remodeling efforts are too trendy, which will lead many people to look at other homes that they don’t have to put as much money or effort into.

Think of your kitchen remodeling as the ubiquitous little black dress or Chanel suit: it should be a classic that is always in style.

Don’t leave space between the cabinets and the ceiling.

By leaving a gap between the cabinets and the ceiling, you will accumulate dust on top of the cabinets.  Also, consider how your kitchen will look once the contractors have left and you put all of your dishes and gadgets back in their proper place.  While many people use the area above cabinets to store oversized or strangely shaped items, it will detract from the appearance of your kitchen, which, after a remodel, should be your pride and joy.  Instead, opt for cabinets with plenty of space to store all of your kitchen items, giving your kitchen a clean, uncluttered appearance.

Don’t forget to design a functional floorplan.

Talk to your contractor about how you and your family use your kitchen.  Think about the reality of what cooking in your new kitchen will be.  A refrigerator door that opens towards the oven can pose a problem.  Similarly, an island that blocks the flow of traffic will quickly become a daily annoyance.

Experts remind home owners to consider the “kitchen triangle”: your cooktop, sink, and refrigerator should form a triangle for an efficient workspace.  You don’t want an oven that does not have counterspace around it, making it next-to-impossible to cook, nor do you want a sink that is too far away to conveniently wash your food or hands.

Don’t get caught up with gimmicky design features.

When you are designing your kitchen, it is easy to get fascinated with high-tech or high-style features that are simply not useful or practical.  In an interview with the Tampa Bay Times, celebrity chef Geoffrey Zakarian shared his kitchen design “pet peeves”.  Among them?  Warming drawers—“What are you warming?”, glass-fronted refrigerators—“Who wants to keep it tidy all the time?”, and built-in espresso makers.  Before you order a specialty item, think about whether or not you really need it and if any potential drawbacks exist.  Remember, people don’t really cook in model kitchens, they are simply showcases of the newest and most stylish features that kitchens have to offer.

Don’t let your kitchen remodel uproot your life for weeks on end.

Kitchen remodeling uproots your life: there are workers in your home, it is difficult to get to the things you need, and cooking at home is out of the question.  While eating out is fun, consider the additional and unnecessary cost that it will add to your project if it drags on, or if your contractors fail to meet their deadline.  Choose a contractor that offers kitchens in a week.

By avoiding these mistakes, you will be much happier with the process of remodeling your kitchen and with the finished product.  Don’t let designing your dream kitchen turn into a nightmare.

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