Kitchen Remodeling Mistakes to Avoid

You're done with dated elements that stifle your flow and offer fewer features than the latest models. Is this the year you’ll finally get the kitchen you always wanted? Now’s a great time to get started on a kitchen remodel. Of course, while you’re looking at all the elements you'd like to include in your new kitchen, it’s important to think about the kitchen remodel dos and don’ts. Peacock & Co is here as master South Bend area remodelers to discuss the most common mistakes that we see homeowners make in a kitchen remodel, with alternatives that will set you on the right course.

Craftsman-style kitchen remodel with green subway tile backsplash in Granger, IN

What Should I Consider When Remodeling a Kitchen?

Kitchen remodeling requires careful consideration of a variety of aspects of its construction and future use. Before you can even start to brainstorm ideas, you’ll need to figure out what you expect from these crucial design aspects:

  • Function: How you use the kitchen
  • Flow: How you get around the kitchen
  • Aesthetics: How the entire remodel aesthetic will look
  • Storage: Where you will put things when they’re not in use

Not sure where to start? Take a look at these 2024 kitchen remodeling trends.

What Should You Not Do When Remodeling a Kitchen?

You may have a long list of features that you’d love to have for your kitchen project, but there are definitely a few things you should know before you commit to a final plan. Kitchen remodel mistakes can make it harder to use your kitchen or force you to fix it at a higher cost sooner than you expected. Here are a few possible pitfalls kitchen design and renovation that you’ll want to avoid.

1. Failing to Personalize

Every kitchen is unique, and yours should be tailored to the way you want to use it. If you try to get a kitchen that looks like your neighbors', it might be missing important features, like room for entertaining or a large pantry, or include more space than you need in little-used areas. Be honest about your expectations for the kitchen, and take inventory of your current use patterns and priorities, so you’ll be able to prioritize the upgrades that you will use the most often.

View of coffee bar area in kitchen with hanging pendant lights with Edison bulbs

2. Ignoring Function

The worst kitchen design mistakes aren’t aesthetic–they’re a matter of function. The layout of the kitchen should allow you to work in a few stations, even just one or two for a very small kitchen. If you have to scramble around the kitchen in a nonsensical pattern to make a sandwich, you’ll take longer and be less likely to enjoy the experience. Ensure that everything you need for each station is close to hand, with minimal extra trips.

Light blue shaker style cabinets in kitchen island with white farmhouse sink

3. Minimizing Storage

Kitchens need a lot of storage. Ensure there is a place to store everything you regularly use and a few open spaces for items you don't yet own. If you’re not going to install a walk-in pantry next to the kitchen, you’ll want room for food, supplies, and cooking tools. A bad kitchen remodel fails to take storage into consideration, leaving you with open shelving or only a few cabinets. This is a recipe for perpetual clutter. Make sure you will have enough space for most of your common goods and tools and don’t forget the small appliances.

Custom floor-to-ceiling white shaker cabinets with double oven built-in South Bend kitchen remodel

4. Overcrowding the Space

Small kitchens still need to be functional. Countertop space is a premium, but there are lots of ways to increase it. If your kitchen only has room for a small island, it’s better to do that than to make one so large that you can barely get around. Remember that you have to be able to fully open appliance and cabinet doors as well. Unsure how to maximize space? Our designers are experts at creating great flow for your functions.

5. Skimping on the Backsplash

If you’re looking for kitchen backsplash trends to avoid, start with that little stripe above your countertops. One of the most common backsplash mistakes is to keep it minimal because you lose function and a major design opportunity. Many modern kitchens extend the backsplash to the upper cabinets and all the way to the ceiling behind the range. Your colorful or creatively shaped backsplash can be a great opportunity for a custom focal point.

White mosaic kitchen backsplash behind range rood

6. Forgetting Ventilation

Kitchen ventilation has been an afterthought for so many years, and thankfully that’s on the way out. If you’ve been counting on that little vent on your above-the-range microwave, it’s time to upgrade. A proper range hood with the right amount of ventilation will keep excess heat, moisture, and odd odors from permeating your kitchen.

7. Choosing Appliances Last

You can usually tell when appliances are a last-minute decision because they don’t look like they fit with the kitchen. If you want a kitchen where everything looks built-in, you’ll need appliances that fit perfectly. Make them a part of the design process, and you’ll get a flawless finish.

White shaker cabinets with brass pulls and stainless steel oven

8. Poor Lighting Choices

Inadequate or improper lighting can make the kitchen appear dull and affect your productivity while you prep. Avoid relying solely on overhead lighting and consider incorporating task lighting and ambient lighting for a well-lit and visually appealing kitchen with lighting options for every occasion.

Custom under-cabinet task lighting near cooktop in South Bend kitchen remodel

9. Poor Budgeting for Your Vision.

Your budget should allow for quality materials and the splurges you desire. While it's important to stick to a budget, compromising on quality materials and workmanship can be a long-term mistake. Choosing low-quality products or cutting corners on construction may lead to frequent repairs, replacements, or a shorter lifespan for your kitchen. Failing to establish a clear budget and sticking to it can result in overspending or making hasty decisions. Plan your budget carefully, considering all expenses including materials, labor, permits, and unforeseen costs. Use our updated cost guide for a reference for current kitchen remodeling prices in South Bend.

10. Lack of Consideration for Future Needs

Poor planning for future kitchen needs can lead to challenges, particularly when it comes to growing families and accessibility for aging in place. For example, failing to consider the need for additional storage space, a larger dining area, or a functional layout that can accommodate more people can result in an overcrowded and inefficient kitchen as the family expands. Similarly, disregarding accessibility features such as adjustable countertops, lowered cabinets, or wider pathways can make it difficult for older adults to navigate and use the kitchen comfortably and safely. This poor planning may commit you to another remodel sooner than you'd like.

Lowered double white shaker cabinets beneath South Bend kitchen window with built-in wine holder

11. Building Something too Trend-heavy

Building something ultra-trendy can be a kitchen remodeling mistake because trends are temporary by nature. What may be popular and stylish today could quickly become outdated tomorrow. Following fleeting trends might leave you with a kitchen that feels quickly passé, potentially requiring another costly remodel sooner than expected. Instead, focusing on timeless design elements and classic aesthetics allows your kitchen to stand the test of time, maintaining its appeal and functionality for years to come. By prioritizing enduring styles, and capturing your personality with textiles and decor, you can create a kitchen that transcends passing fads and remains visually pleasing and relevant even as trends come and go.

Do Kitchen Remodels Pay Off?

All kitchens need remodeling eventually, and you will almost always wish you had done it a little sooner. A new kitchen dramatically improves your function and keeps your home current. When you start to look at the cost to remodel a kitchen, it’s a good idea to think about your return on investment as well. The good news is that kitchen remodeling projects have a decent ROI, about 55% to 75%, perhaps more if you stay in your house and enjoy your new kitchen for several years before resale.

White high-end kitchen remodel in South Bend with light pendant above island

Can You Remodel a Kitchen Yourself?

For nearly everyone, a DIY kitchen remodel is a bad idea. Just take a look at the steps to remodel a kitchen and you’ll see. There are several experts that you will typically hire to remodel your kitchen, from the initial design team to the custom cabinet makers, electricians, and plumbers. If you don’t feel comfortable running new electrical wiring or plumbing lines, much less assembling cabinetry and cutting countertops to size, you’re better off starting with a professional. We've been called in to set right too many DIY gone wrong kitchens. We'd hate for you to experience problems with moisture, warranty-voiding installation, and other unsafe headaches that can ensue from a DIY kitchen remodel.

Where Do You Start When Redoing Your Kitchen?

If you’re starting to build a kitchen remodel checklist, you may be ready to interview contractors for the project. Keep in mind that the best time to remodel a kitchen is several months in advance, so you’ll want to initiate the process as soon as possible. To learn more about what Peacock & Company can do for your kitchen, schedule a free consultation.

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