The Biggest Kitchen Design Mistakes
Raleigh New Homes
The kitchen is the most important room in new homes - as the center of daily multi-tasking, thousands of meal preparations, and entertaining. It's the place where you enjoy a morning cup of coffee, help on homework assignments in the afternoon, and cook for friends and guests in the evening.
Learn how to avoid the biggest kitchen design mistakes in your Raleigh new home - with these top 10 kitchen design don'ts.
10. Don't cut off kitchen traffic
Pay attention to your kitchen work triangle.
A kitchen "work triangle" referrs to the number of steps required between the three main work centers of your kitchen: sink, cooktop / stove, and refrigerator.
While you will use your sink most throughout the day, you should also have easy access to the stove, refrigerator, and countertop workstations.
The work triangle is just as important in every kitchen style:
- L-shaped kitchen
- Galley kitchens
- U-shaped kitchens
- Island kitchens
As a general rule, the sum of all legs in a work triangle should not be less than ten feet and not greater than twenty-five feet.
9. Don't minimize - or waste - storage space
Raleigh new home kitchens emphasize convenient storage solutions. And we are seeing more creative built-in storage solutions in 2014 new homes.
Oddly shaped dishes and appliances, from serving platters to stand mixers, can eat up a lot of storage space. Here are a few tips on where to build in extra storage space.
Kitchen storage idea #1: With just a small extension of the existing space, underneath the serving bar, eating bar area, or island can become an important storage center.
Built in banquettes, or a built in seating area near the kitchen can maximize space and storage. Built in seats are flush against the wall, and can be placed under windows for a fresh and open feel.
Kitchen storage idea #2: Create ample kitchen storage without sacrificing open square footage. One of the best ways to offer lots of shelf room is with a "Costco" style pantry.
See photo galleries of homes with a corner pantry:
Kitchen storage idea #3: Add a Butler's pantry between the kitchen and formal dining room. Butler's pantries serve as storage solutions, preparation areas, and showcase centers - the perfect way to integrate form and function, without sacrificing kitchen floor space.
8. Don't overlook countertop work space
When choosing a kitchen floor plan, keep in mind the amount of countertop work space you will need. Remember to balance your countertop space between work areas and display areas.
For instance, keep in mind which appliances you will want to permanently in sight - such as your professional grade KitchenAid mixer or Williams-Sonoma copper canisters.
Design tip: If you love to cook, consider the pros and cons of adding a second sink or prep sink.
On one hand, a second sink will come in extremely handy - especially in larger kitchens with multiple cooks.
On the other hand, a prep sink will eat up some countertop space, and add additional cost.
7. Don't choose an island design before answering these questions
It's easy to say you want a large island kitchen. Oversized islands are hugely popular in Raleigh new homes, offering: extra cabinetry for storage, seating areas or raised bars, kitchen desk areas, separate range top and cooking center, preparation areas with vegetable sink.
Before you choose an oversized island, here are the top five questions you should be able to answer:
1. How large is your kitchen?
2. What shape is your kitchen floor plan?
3. Do you want to incorporate seating?
4. Will you need a secondary / prep sink?
5. What functions are most important to your lifestyle?
6. Don't be afraid to make it personal
Looking for ways to create an elegant kitchen, that's filled with personal touches? Creating the perfect kitchen is all about creating a flow in color, texture, and shape.
Some of our most popular kitchens mix ultra contemporary fixtures with rustic cabinets. So don't be afriad to choose some "out there" features.
The blue tones in these granite countertops were carried throughout the home in tile designs and paint colors.
5. Don't skimp on lighting
It is important to have good lighting in the kitchen - not only to showcase your cabinet, granite countertop, and tile backsplash selections - but also as a practical consideration for safety.
What are the best ways to add kitchen lighting?
1. Windows for natural lighting
2. Pendant lights
3. Recessed can lights
4. Under cabinet lights
4. Don't omit a backsplash
One of the best ways to add designer appeal to your kitchen without spending a lot of money is adding a tile backsplash. And you will love the easy clean-up process.
Some of the most popular types of kitchen backsplashes include 4"x4" ceramic tile, subway tile, glass tile, mini mosaic tile, and granite.
3. Don't close off your kitchen
The integration of kitchens with family living spaces (also called "Great Rooms") is a growing trend for Raleigh new homes.
In open concept designs, home spaces are becoming more casual, and being able to interact with your guests while preparing a meal is a must.
What does an open concept kitchen look like? Open kitchens can come in a huge variety of designs, including:
- Plans that integrate a half wall with an eating or serving bar - click here for an example in the Beaufort
- Plans that emphasize clear lines of sight between rooms
- Plans that feature ceiling designs that open upwards, with two story ceilings, arched openings, barrel vaults, ceiling vaults, and other specialty ceilings that draw the eye upward, even in smaller floor plans.
2. Don't go too trendy
While it is tempting to pick up on the latest kitchen design trends, make sure to balance those top-requested trends with classic traditions. Monotone kitchens - especially black, white, earth, and grey tones - will never go out of style.
Think through which elements you can change later, and which will be much more difficult.
For instance, it is easy to repaint a room from a wild color, but it is difficult (and expensive) to change the size or your island, the countertops, or the type of cabinets. The bottom line: you may want to avoid those red Ikea cabinets and accessorize with eye-popping accent pieces instead. Super trendy lighting and plumbing fixtures are much more easy to switch out, later, if you need a style-refresher.
1. Don't be too hasty when choosing appliance types and locations
Here are a few questions you should be able to answer:
- Do I want a built-in beverage center? (wine racks, wine refrigerators, beer and soda refrigerators)
- Will I need a double or single oven? (will you be cooking multiple dishes at the same time, especially during holiday seasons)
- Should my microwave go above or below the countertops (high end kitchens are downplaying microwaves, by integrating them in the island or lower cabinets)
- Do I enjoy cooking on a gas range or electric cooktop?
- Do I prefer a large single bowl or double bowl sink?
Raleigh new home resources
You may also be interested in these other Raleigh new home articles - top tips straight from Raleigh's most exceptional new home builder, Stanton Homes.