Everyone is always talking about tips on how to remodel your kitchen. But no one seems to address some of the planning mistakes that I see every day.

This is not a comprehensive list, as I could go on for a few posts about things I consider design mistakes as well.  Here are a few planning boo-boos that you do not want to happen to you!

#1 Appliances

Buy what you need for your lifestyle. Do not keep up with the Jones’s. I throw the appliances under the bus in a tight budget. So many people get wrapped up in fancy names and appliances. And hey, I love a good cook top and oven. But when push comes to shove, most of us do not need NOR use 6 burners. 4 is probably fine. Especially if you get to have nice cabinetry or tile instead! Just assess the needs of your family and decide accordingly. You probably do not need everything you want. But also do not do what the homeowners did below: buy an expensive refrigerator and the cheapest range that you can find.

#2 Poor Lighting

One of the biggest mistakes I see consistently. Not just poor lighting layout during planning and design, but also poor selections. It is almost as if people run out of steam by the time this decision gets made….and run to the Big Box retailer and grab whatever is on the sale table. Do not do it. Lighting selections should be narrowed down at the time you start construction because the style should be already set. Choose lighting carefully because it is not expensive to buy good looking fixtures. And for a good layout, find yourself a designer who understands how to light a kitchen… a kitchen designer would be a good start!

This has many things wrong. But the box florescent lights could have been better and some decorative lighting should have been added

#3 Flooring

I see soooo many people cheap out on this important design element. I do not start thinking of design details until I get a good grasp on the floor. It is the foundation of the design. It needs to be right. But what I see, is people saying “hey I have to do a cheap floor, there is so much of it.” Oh yeah. And just think when, later, you want to rip it out because it is wrong size, color, or is dated. And, trust me, there ARE excellent choices BESIDES brown glue down oak and beige travertine. Yep.

The black and white tile usually works best in a cottage design or retro. This is way too large to pull this look off and, even if smaller in scale, the floor clashes with the brick.

#4 Cheap Cabinetry

This is my BIGGEST peeve. And, sadly, I can pull up any city’s MLS and find homes over a million bucks that showcase the ugliest and cheapest cabinetry I have ever seen. YES, it is worth it. And NO, your builder probably did not put in enough money for it. You need to be the one, if you do not have a professional working with you, to research what you want and get an estimate. I advise clients to get us involved early on… not just for the kitchen and baths, but the entire house. You will be amazed how much money a  good designer can save you over the long haul. If you choose not to hire a designer, then it is incumbent upon you to educate yourself about good cabinetry. And this is true at any level of budget. From custom to stock. YOU should be telling your builder what you want. Woe be you if you let him or her decide for you. And not because they do not want the best for you, but they have enough to do worrying about the super structure. I guarantee you they are not going to put the time and energy into working out details for your kitchen and the cabinetry involved. Do yourself a favor and hire a designer to help you or educate yourself enough to make wise decisions. And do NOT underestimate the value of quality cabinetry. It will make all the difference in the final product.

This home is over 800,000 and was built 4 yrs ago. The cabinetry is cheap but what really gets me is the expensive built in refrigerator… obviously NOT built in. And then the el cheapo range with a back on it and the above range microwave. And they could not afford crown molding? This is malpractice on someone’s part!

#5 Backsplash

Plan your tile layouts for the backsplash.  This is one of the most important things you can do to ensure you get a good job. Again, if you are not working with someone, you need to talk to tile installer or your builder to get all the details straight BEFORE the tile person begins. Transitions, cuts, where the plugs will go in relation to the design in the backsplash, where the uppers and lowers end… will you need bar liners to finish off ends? There are many details, and these are details that you really should not trust to an installer alone. Ever. This tile below looks like a DIY job..but who knows?

Oh my! This is super bad planning. Not to mention super ugly tile in the first place.

Let me know what you think about these planning mistakes!