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11 Kitchen Renovation Mistakes to Avoid

A kitchen renovation is a big investment but one that can reward you many times over when done correctly. A considered kitchen renovation will improve you and your family’s quality of life, as well as take your home’s resale value to new heights. 

In this blog, we’ll reveal the most common kitchen renovation mistakes and how you can avoid them to achieve the perfect kitchen renovation.


1. Not considering kitchen ergonomics  

Because the kitchen is arguably the most hard-working room in any household, you will find that all great kitchen designs are based upon ergonomics (the study of the relationship between humans and their working environment). 

When it comes to kitchen ergonomics, most people agree that a kitchen can be divided into 5 different working zones to help create a well-organised workflow. These five areas are: 

  • Consumables: Storage of groceries with easy access to contents 
  • Non-consumables: Cutlery, dinnerware and glasses 
  • Cleaning: Dishwashers, bins and a sink with enough space to keep cleaning utensils 
  • Preparation: An area with all the utensils necessary for food preparation, for example in the form of pull-outs so that everything including oils and spices are within reach. 
  • Cooking: A zone with a cooktop and oven at its core, with enough space for pots, pans and cooking equipment like baking trays.  

In an ideal kitchen layout, the five working zones should be clearly delineated so they are efficient, but also coordinated so they work well as a whole. One way to achieve this is by implementing the famous ‘Golden Triangle.’

Sounds familiar? The so-called ‘Golden Triangle’ is a kitchen design principle developed at the beginning of the 20th century, which states that the three main working zones—cleaning, cooking, and preparation should form a triangle – with the fridge, cooktop, and sink positioned in each corner to allow for smooth flow. 

While the principles of kitchen ergonomics may be simple, the real skill is in applying them to a specific kitchen to make the most of that space. In other words, anyone can learn these basic rules, but few can apply them (or break them when needed) in masterful ways to create the kind of results that exceed all expectations. 

Engaging an experienced Interior Designer who specialises in kitchens is a sure-fire way to avoid common layout mistakes, which can lead to an impractical kitchen. Keep in mind that once your project has made it to the build stage, mistakes made during planning can be very expensive to correct, so you want to make sure you get your layout right the first time around. 

2. Poorly Integrating the Kitchen into The Home

A very common mistake many people make when planning a kitchen renovation is that they don’t consider how the kitchen interacts with the rest of the home, creating designs that simply won’t work.  

By ignoring how the kitchen interacts with other spaces, you might also miss out on golden opportunities to reconfigure the space and take your home to a new level (when possible). 

Our advice? Keep an open mind, as your home may be transformed in unexpected ways! 

3. Not giving appliances too much thought  

This kitchen renovation mistake is common because people don’t always understand the correlation between appliance sizes and joinery design. When planning a renovation, it really pays to choose your oven, cooktop, rangehood, fridge and dishwasher carefully so that the cabinetry can be planned around them with minimal disruption to the process. 

This is because when you change your mind about appliance sizing, it can be difficult and costly to redesign your cabinetry. To avoid expensive mistakes, we recommend that you take time to browse the market and understand your options before purchasing any appliances. 

4. Prioritising form over function 

Since you’re going to use your kitchen for so many purposes, it’s important that your space fits you like a glove. While it’s important for your space to look amazing, in the end, it will not make you completely happy if it’s not making your life easier as well.  

For example, you might have fallen in love with a double-bowl sink you saw in a magazine, but if you don’t have much bench space to work with – and need it – you might be better off selecting a single-bowl sink and adding a collapsible drying matt you can store away when you need the space. 

Or perhaps you’re drawn to the luxury feel of a natural marble benchtop but don’t want to rush to wipe it down every time something spills. After all, we aren’t always the neatest of cooks. In this case, a non-porous, durable engineered stone benchtop could be a more practical option for your kitchen.  

Our best advice is to make sure you’re being completely honest with yourself and your kitchen designer about your needs and priorities to avoid the type of form over function mistakes that might end in disappointment.  

5. Getting carried away by trends 

When we worry too much about the latest trends, we can miss out on our own sense of style—one that is uniquely ours. 

To avoid getting carried away by trends, when choosing an overall look and feel for your space, look for trends, but remain critical and open-minded about other possibilities. 

It’s important to give yourself the freedom to create a space that feels true to you – whether it’s on-trend or totally off the beaten track. At the end of the day, your kitchen is your space, so have fun making it your own. 

6. Not planning for the long term 

It’s easy to understand how this common mistake happens. Sometimes, when planning our ideal space, we become hyper-focused on what needs to be resolved right now. But what about the next 5 or even 10 years? 

For instance, if you’re only planning to stay in your current home for another five years, there’s little point in spending the time and effort to future-proof it beyond that time frame—it’s best to not stray too far from an appealing choice for future buyers. 

But if you’re renovating your forever home, it pays off big time to consider how your family is set to change and expand as the years go by. Your little ones may not need a homework space in the kitchen now, but in a few years, you’ll love to share that time with them while you cook or check your emails. Could that big kitchen island be a great idea after all? 

7. Purchasing products from unreputable sources 

Since you will be using your kitchen products every day, they need to perform well and be reliable and durable.  

That’s why you should always make sure you source your tapware, sinks, and mixers from specialist companies with the capabilities to develop, design, and manufacture these items at the highest industry standards. 

When you renovate your kitchen with smarterBARTHROOMS+, your renovation team includes a design specifier, an expert advisor who can offer a wealth of knowledge on materials, products, and finishes.  

Having a specifier in your team is a huge bonus, as they know which kitchen products to use and which ones to avoid, as well as the best products for your kitchen renovation in terms of performance, appearance, and value for money.

8. Not including enough natural light or a lighting plan 

Opting for natural light in a design will make the space feel bright, which is a big plus. If adding windows isn’t possible, don’t fret. Skylights are one of our favourite ways to let natural light in. They not only let plenty of light in, but they also look architecturally beautiful. 

As you will be performing so many different tasks in the kitchen – chopping, cooking, cleaning – you need to make sure that the kitchen is well lit at all times. That’s why you need an effective lighting plan, including task and mood lighting – and you need to have it planned early. 

Because electrical components will be roughed in before your walls are plastered and painted, not planning for lighting early on leads to costly delays. 

9. Not installing enough power points 

Nowadays, we use a multitude of appliances to aid the cooking process. We have food processors, bullet blenders, kettles and slow cookers at our disposal just to name a few. And because the kitchen has become the centre of all home activities, we not only use appliances in it but also charge our devices there. 

Failing to include enough power points when you design your kitchen can be costly because it can be very expensive to add them after the kitchen has been built. A great idea is to include a few USB charging ports, which are a bit more expensive, but an addition that will make your life so much easier!  

10. Not sticking to your budget / over capitalising 

Incorrectly budgeting for a kitchen renovation is a very common mistake, with some people underbudgeting and others over budgeting.  

When starting a kitchen renovation, you should have a budget that gives you room to work comfortably, but never put so much financial strain on you that it disrupts your life.   

You should also be careful to not overcapitalise. It is best to spend no more money on renovating your kitchen than the value it adds to the price of your home; otherwise, you may not recoup your investment.  

11. Doing it Yourself 

Finally, doing your renovations yourself is never a good idea. We’ve all started work on small home improvement projects that can be fun and satisfying, like painting the backyard fence. Renovating an entire kitchen, though, is a different project altogether. A kitchen renovation is a complex undertaking requiring the work of a team of experts from design to drafting, joinery, trades and project management. 

So, if you are thinking now is the right time to embark on a kitchen renovation project and you want to avoid the mistakes we have discussed here (and others), then we recommend engaging with the professionals to make your kitchen renovation dreams a reality in 2022.  

To begin your renovation journey, give us a call today on 1300 662 838 to book your FREE In-Home Consultation to discuss your kitchen renovation with an Interior Designer TODAY. 

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