Kitchen Renovation: 7 Mistakes to Avoid

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Formerly simply utilitarian, the kitchen is nowadays one of the most used rooms in the home. Renovating this space is surely not an easy task, but when done the right way, the results are gratifying. That said, missing out on some small details could turn your kitchen into a nightmare once the work is completed. Here are 7 mistakes to avoid in order to enjoy a practical and well-designed kitchen.

Mistake #1: Not Calling for Professional Help

It’s no surprise that the most complicated rooms to renovate in a house are the kitchen and the bathroom. Those who are good with their hands are sometimes tempted to take on the project themselves. But if you want to make sure the dimensions are right, the work adheres to code, the elements are situated in ergonomic positions, and the layout follows the rules of arrangement, getting the help of a kitchen designer or a construction contractor is paramount… But be careful, maintaining good relationships with your workers is essential, whether it’s to make sure the follow-ups are done efficiently or the expectations are met. In other words, if you are not getting along with them to begin with, don’t hesitate to look elsewhere.

Mistake #2: Not Respecting the Kitchen Work Triangle

The work triangle is the base of a functional kitchen. It consists of a triangle zone in which the 3 summit points correspond to the 3 main functions of a kitchen: the washing space (sink and dishwasher), the cooking space (the stove) and the storage space (fridge and other main storage). Nothing should obstruct the circulation between these 3 points and they should be more or less at the same distance from each other. Without having this zone clearly defined, a kitchen loses its primary purpose.

Mistake #3: Underestimating the Lighting

Lighting is crucial in a room like the kitchen. If not well designed, your kitchen might turn out to be unenjoyable or non-practical. It should be separated into 3 sections: general lighting (ambiance), located lighting (focused on workspaces) and decorative lighting. All 3 should be controlled independently: general lighting is for global ambiance, localized lighting for cooking. As for the decoration lighting, its use is less frequent, when you have guests over, for example.

Mistake #4: Attempting to Follow Every Trend

Are you are unable to resist the industrial look, the open shelving, the black, red, marble, glossy and wooden finish? You will have to make a choice. In order to enjoy a relaxing and practical decor, less is more. Otherwise, your dream kitchen could turn out to be a disaster. Keep in mind that everything that is “in” at the moment will soon become “out”. Focus on your tastes, your personality, and combine different styles to create a timeless kitchen. We advise you to go for a maximum of 3 materials for your kitchen as a whole. The same rule applies to the colour palette.

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Mistake #5: Underestimating the Work Space

Don’t fall into this common trap of trying to save money on the workspace in favour of furniture and appliances. The workspace is your main tool in the kitchen. You use it for various tasks; to prepare meals, to drop off dirty dishes, and also when using kitchen appliances. Therefore, its importance should not be taken lightly. Place yourself in your new kitchen and take measurements. You need to have enough space to use your devices and move around comfortably. The height of the workspace also needs to correspond to your height, as to avoid back pain. Finally, prioritize a high quality and resistant material if you don’t want to have to replace it prematurely.

Mistake #6: Not Planning for Enough Plugs

Coffee machines, juicers, and food processors … the tendency is to have electrical appliances of all kinds. You need to have enough electrical plugs to use different devices at the same time on your workspace. Plan for a higher number of plugs than the average, no matter the size of your kitchen. Think about the years to come, we certainly will be incorporating more “robotic” help in our kitchen…

** Make sure your electric installation respects code, if not done already.

Mistake #7: Skipping the Ventilation

A ventilation system is absolutely essential in a kitchen. Otherwise, smoke and other vapours can’t evacuate the room, especially when there are no windows. If you have a gas stove, risks of air contamination are higher if the ventilation system is not up to standard. You should install a high-quality stove hood and a mechanical ventilation system. Your kitchen, especially the ceiling and the materials, will stay in better condition if the air is well ventilated.

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