12 kitchen mistakes we all make, but should avoid

Genista Jurgens Genista Jurgens
Mi cocina GRANGE, Grange México Grange México Built-in kitchens Solid Wood Blue
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As all kitchen planners know, it can be difficult to avoid certain decorating traps when it comes to designing the most important room in the house. Kitchens need to fulfill a lot of different criteria to be successful, and are often either over-designed, not easy to use, or seriously lacking storage space. 

If you have the chance to layout your kitchen from scratch, then keep in mind the golden rule of The Work Triangle. This refers to the relationship between the three most important spaces in the kitchen—the stove top, the kitchen sink and the refrigerator. If you have managed to get that right, then the rest should fall into place. 

To help you make the most of your space, we have collected 12 mistakes that a lot of people make in their kitchens—and how you can avoid making the same ones. Let's see what they are. 

Mistake 1: Not taking a step back.

homify Kitchen

This kitchen almost had it right—the natural wood used on the shelving was a great idea to break the white wash, but ends up being too much on the one side. What it needs is the overall picture looked at, and more wooden details added to the cupboards on the left, onto the floor or even on the bench top around the sink. The whole room has to be balanced. 

Mistake 2: Using only one color.

Apartamento da Sandra e do André, INÁ Arquitetura INÁ Arquitetura Modern Kitchen

Sure, this red is striking, but it's a bit too much—we recommend mixing a few colors together, even if it's a lighter shade of red with a darker shade. Alternatively pick a main color and add a few others in tiles behind the workbench, just to add another dimension to the kitchen. 

Mistake 3: Cover every surface.


Because this ceiling is lined with wood, it closes the whole room in, making it feel much smaller than it actually is. It's too heavy for the proportions and makes it looks too kitschy. If you like a texture, don't use it on every surface, it's too much!  

Mistake 4: (Just) focusing on functionality.

Departamento en Punta del Este - Torres Miami Br., Diseñadora Lucia Casanova Diseñadora Lucia Casanova Kitchen

While it's great to think about functionality first, kitchens can easily lose all personality and character because of it. If you want to add a spoon rack, extra shelving or even a range hood, choose something that looks good, as well as works well. 

Mistake 5: Large and dark cabinets.

Cocinas, fabrica de cocinas mediterranean c.a. fabrica de cocinas mediterranean c.a. Modern Kitchen

Pulling off dark colors and cabinets in a kitchen is difficult, even in the biggest and brightest of rooms. Not only does this kitchen not have windows, and atrocious flooring, but the large black corner cabinet configuration really makes it feel cheap and dated. Don't, don't don't do this one. 

Mistake 6: Using only granite.


Sure, granite counters are popular—and for a reason. They are durable, cost effective, elegant and attractive. But too use the same texture on the walls the whole way around the kitchen… no! Especially when it is paired with dark wooden cupboards, this particular surface looks dated and unappealing. 

Mistake 7: Edging everything.

Casa 581, Patrícia Azoni Arquitetura + Arte & Design Patrícia Azoni Arquitetura + Arte & Design Kitchen Solid Wood Wood effect

This space is an incredible one, but is killed by the over-the-top edging around the bench, the oven, the cabinets and the floor. Because it's a dark color on lighter ones, it boxes everything in too much and makes it feels too constructed or curated. Sometimes perfection is too sterile! 

Mistake 8: Too fruity.

homify Kitchen Tiles Multicolored

While we do love a bit of zaniness and zest in decor, this one goes over the top. Don't get us wrong, we are fans of the vibrant tiles on the back wall, but along with the colored frieze below the cupboards, it's a fruity overload. The flooring is red as well, really pushing this look too far for us.  

Mistake 9: Choosing the wrong contrast.

Apartamento no Campo Belo, Mario Catani - Arquitetura e Decoração Mario Catani - Arquitetura e Decoração Kitchen Ceramic Red

Tiles on the wall behind the sink are a great way to inject colors and personality into any kitchen, but you really should be careful how bright you make it all. Consider the colors of your cabinet, workbench and appliances. It all needs to work together, not shout over each other like this black, white and red combo does. 

Mistake 10: Mixing styles.

homify Industrial style kitchen

These shelves are amazing for extra storage, but with the dark cabinets, rail lighting, wooden table, white tiling, mismatching chairs and industrial style lampshade, it's too eclectic. It's not industrial, it's not rustic, it's not country style, but all of them rolled together. 

We suggest choosing one style and adding just a few unique pieces.

Mistake 11: Being too basic.

Mi cocina GRANGE, Grange México Grange México Built-in kitchens Solid Wood Blue

Sure there is something worth saying about having a kitchen that is simple and uncomplicated, but you also don't want it to be uninspiring and lack character. Try creating a personalized pattern with the tiling on a wall, or painting wooden shelves to match the rest of the decor. 

Mistake 12: Too trendy.

Скандинавское кружево, Artichok Design Artichok Design Kitchen

This white and wooden kitchen is actually quite stunning, but we worry that in one or two years, the paper lanterns will need replacing, the exposed shelving will not be so fashionable and the pale flooring will need a lot of maintenance. 

This room has a bold vision, but unfortunately it will date very quickly—it's better to use just one or two trends, not all of them at once, to ensure longevity in your own kitchen.  

If you want to see the kitchens that get it right, take a look at these ones.

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