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Kimberly ElizabethVerified Expert in Interior Design

With over a decade of expertise in the design realm, Kimberly is trained at the prestigious FIT in NYC, she excels in curating harmonious spaces with a keen focus on symmetry and function.

Home » Design Ideas & Inspirations » 20 Common Kitchen Design Challenges and Mistakes To Avoid

Kitchen Design Challenges

Have you ever realised that some kitchens are very easy and functional in terms of their usage, while some are not so well designed? Kitchen practicality and functionality has little to do with the aesthetics of the interior and everything to do with how well it has been designed for utilisation.

These days, modern kitchens require modular equipment and flawless design so that you can use the kitchen 100% with ease. Nonetheless, many kitchens fail to meet these standards and end up being designed poorly. 

If you’re wondering how to avoid some of the worst mistakes while designing your dream kitchen, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s a look at the top factors to consider when planning your new kitchen or undergoing a kitchen renovation and the top mistakes you should avoid so you can have a highly functional space.

Read also – Best Kitchen Design Software

Factors to Consider While Designing a Kitchen:

When designing kitchens, it’s essential to get the design and the functionality correct, but this can be tricky. If you want to make your kitchen both visually appealing as well as a great place to prepare food, here are the top factors to consider –

1. Layout:

Before beginning with the design, create a proper layout for your kitchen. You can commission an interior designer or consult with a furniture brand to create a proper kitchen layout. This helps you identify each aspect of your kitchen, where each appliance or piece goes and will allow you to construct seamlessly. 

2. Ventilation:

Every kitchen must have proper ventilation to ensure proper air circulation. 

3. Storage:

Kitchens require enough storage – not just for the food, but also the cutlery, crockery, pots and pans, as well as appliances. Depending on which appliances you want in your kitchen, account for adequate kitchen storage in your layout. Kitchen storage also includes having cabinetry – be it wall cabinets or shelves, where you can easily keep things. Remember, try to avoid clutter as much as possible by stowing away items when not in use.

4. Flooring:

Kitchens need to have proper open plans when it comes to flooring and design. Typically, people opt for lighter flooring, which gives the overall kitchen a more airy feel and space. Lighter floors also help people identify spills and messes on the floor quickly. 

5. Lighting:

Good lighting helps to create an excellent ambience within the kitchen. Good lighting also facilitates easier cooking.

Read also – 15 Best Kitchen Design Software

Top 20 Challenges and Mistakes in Kitchen Design:

1. Insufficient Storage

Kitchens are not just about cooking. They’re also about the storage of food and appliances. A poorly designed kitchen has less storage space, and this often leads to clutter. However small the kitchen is, it should have adequate in-built storage to help you store all your raw and cooked food, spices and condiments, appliances, etc.

Read also – Best Small Kitchen Design Ideas

Insufficient Storage - kitchen design challenges

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2. Poor Kitchen Triangle

The kitchen work triangle has three main points – the stove, the sink area, and the refrigerator. A good kitchen should have these three elements equidistantly placed as it contributes to better workflow and more convenience.

Poor Kitchen Triangle

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3. Poor Lighting

Many kitchens have poor lighting – this not only leads to a poor ambience in the kitchen and can be a hassle while preparing food. Budget for additional lighting to make a more airy kitchen space.

poor lighting - kitchen design challenges

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4. Bad Ventilation

Smelly kitchen? That’s a huge no! Poorly ventilated kitchens can stink up your entire home – and the smell of stale food isn’t something you want wafting around your home. Ensure that your kitchen has proper ventilation. Good ventilation also helps to extend the life of your kitchen appliances and reduce the indoor heat while cooking or during summer.

Read also – 8 Best Kitchen Cabinet Design Ideas

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5. No Space for Garbage

Kitchen waste needs to be disposed of properly. Dealing with garbage involves recycling and managing the trash properly. Ensure that your kitchen has adequate space to account for the trash.

No Space for Garbage

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6. Budgetary Issues

Kitchens can be expensive to remodel – mainly because you may need to fit new appliances and make your kitchen more modular or extract space from the limited space available. Typically, designers follow a rule of thumb where the kitchen design is at about ~20% of your home’s value. When designing a kitchen, ensure you have a proper budget in place and account for a reserve.

Read also – Design Tips to Note Before Renovating Your Kitchen

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7. Styling & Colour

Excited about a particular trending pattern, print, or colour, and have you executed that into your kitchen’s style? What if that trend goes away soon? It’ll be a mammoth task to remodel again. Stick to neutral shades when designing a kitchen – if you like colours and prints, use movable pieces like artwork. For homeowners looking to sell after a few years, neutrally coloured kitchens allow for better sale than kitchens that look too trendy.

Kitchen Colours - kitchen design challenges

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8. Picking the Wrong Layout

As mentioned above, it’s important to have a proper layout for your kitchen, which means ensuring the workspace or work triangle is also in place. The layout also helps you move around the kitchen comfortably and helps you reach each appliance or item easily. A poor layout will probably make you never want to enter the kitchen again!

Read also – Top 22 Kitchen Desing Trends

Picking the Wrong Layout

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9. Blocking Windows

Common kitchen design challenges include blocking windows or open spaces in their kitchens with storage or appliances. However, instead of blocking an open window, try to design around it. This will ensure proper lighting and ventilation as well.

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10. Single Lighting

Poor lighting is one thing – single lighting is a different ball game. Typically, kitchens have three kinds of lighting – general lighting, specific task lighting such as lights above a stove, and accent lighting. You may also need lighting in your cupboards or storage areas to make the kitchen more functional to use.

Read also – Best Kitchen Lighting Ideas

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11. Dead Corner Spaces

Many corners within kitchens are inaccessible; however, they can be converted into functional and usable corners. Use carousel units, hidden spice racks, or revolving accessories in corners; this will also help you increase storage space.

Dead Corner Spaces - kitchen design challenges

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12. Lack of a Pantry

Whether you regularly stock up on groceries and food items is inconsequential – every kitchen should have a pantry. This makes it easier to access these items and helps you keep everything in one place.

Read also – 8 Best Kitchen Island Renovation Ideas

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13. Poor or No Chimney

Not having a chimney is a massive no for any kitchen. When designing your kitchen, remember that windows don’t act as chimneys. It is essential to invest in a suitable chimney.

Poor or No Chimney

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14. Height

Ensure that your kitchen is designed in a way that meets your height requirements. It can be very uncomfortable if the shelves are too high and inaccessible.

Read also – 6 Best Kitchen Decor Ideas

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15. Kitchen Island

Kitchen islands are great – but only when you have adequate space to account for them. Don’t try to incorporate a kitchen island into the layout of your kitchen plan if it doesn’t fit.

Read also – 50 Best Kitchen Island Design Ideas

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16. Small Appliances

If you have small kitchen space and your need for kitchen appliances is minimal, try to opt for more portable and small appliances. This will help in using the space adequately.

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17. Small Countertop

When doing a kitchen remodel or building a new kitchen, make sure to have a large countertop. Good counter space will allow you to work better and more efficiently.

Read also – 21 Best Kitchen Counter Decor Ideas

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Read also – 10 Best Kitchen Remodeling Ideas

18. Creating Energy-Efficient Kitchens

Good kitchens, at the planning stage, include energy efficiency as part of the layout. This means lighting that is energy efficient and the use of energy-efficient appliances and smart gadgets.

Read also – 57 Best Kitchen Design Ideas

Creating Energy Efficient Kitchens

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19. Proper Gadgets

Gadgets and appliances are one area where one shouldn’t cut back when it comes to their kitchen. Since you’ll be using these appliances daily, it helps to have state-of-the-art products rather than to invest in poor gadgets that will get ruined with constant usage.

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20. Ducting

Most modular kitchens have proper kitchen ducts or exhausts – if you don’t, ensure that you install one. This helps to remove airborne byproducts like fume, grease, smoke etc.

Read also – 20 Common Interior Design Mistakes To Avoid


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Meeting Common Kitchen Design Problems Easily

These were the top 20 challenges that you should mitigate or overcome when designing your kitchen. To make cooking fun, make sure you have an adequate working area, cabinet lighting, cabinet doors, kitchen waste disposal unit, and spotlights. Planning your kitchen can be challenging, but it’s worth it!

For more articles on furniture, design and interior design, browse Foyr Blog and Foyr Community. Sign up today for your free trial!

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are some problems in the kitchen?
Common kitchen problems include foul odour, inadequate space, greasy surfaces, damaged cabinets.

2. What are the three things to remember when cooking?
Three things to keep in mind include reading the entire recipe before cooking, setting up everything you need to cook, and keeping your knives sharpened.

3. How can kitchen design mistakes be prevented?
Avoid blocking access to your kitchen’s work triangle, having poor ventilation, or going over the top and designing a very trendy kitchen.

4. What are the six types of kitchen layouts?
Kitchen layouts include parallel, straight, island, galley kitchen, open, and u-shape.

5. What are the four factors to consider in choosing kitchen design?
The four factors to consider when choosing your kitchen design are layout & flooring, lighting, storage, and ventilation.

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