A few months ago, I wrote a blog post about the “5 Common Mistakes to Avoid when Remodeling your Kitchen” which focused on what to expect when remodeling your kitchen. In today’s blog post I want to discuss the “Top 5 Kitchen Design Mistakes to Avoid” when remodeling your kitchen.

Measure twice… design once!

When it comes to kitchen design every inch counts! In fact – every 1/16″ of an inch counts.

Inaccurate measurements are a common design mistake to avoid. Not taking the right measurements of the kitchen could cost you a lot of money in fixing these mistakes later on. It may be possible that cabinets, countertops, appliances or even the sink will not fit!

The Rule of Accuracy – If it doesn’t fit… don’t force it!

While the above cartoon may make us laugh, I cannot stress the importance of having accurate measurements enough – designing a kitchen is like putting together a big jigsaw puzzle with different shapes and sizes that must fit together perfectly in order to complete the picture. Inaccurate measurements can cause delays to the project, unforeseen expenses as well as a lot of additional stress to the homeowner.

Design & Planning

I was guilty of making this next design mistake early in my career, which is not planning and designing around the architectural details within the space. The architectural details consist of windows and doorways as well as any additional details such as ceiling beams or crown molding.

When designing around doors and windows, it’s important to remember to leave space between the cabinetry and any door/window trim (or casing). Personally, I like to leave about 3″ of space between the cabinets and any trimwork. This allows ample space for the wall to be painted or tiled based on the design aesthetic. However the amount of space can vary, I’ve seen as little as 1-1/2″ up to 6″. Your Dura Supreme kitchen designer can work with you to determine the appropriate amount of space to leave next to these architectural details for your project.

Remember to leave room between the cabinetry and architectural details such as the door casing to the right of the oven cabinet.


In addition to the light rail molding and the countertop extending over the door casing on the left – the countertop extends beyond the wall on the right.

Another common planning and design mistake is not leaving room for the crown molding to be installed on top of the cabinetry.  By not planning for the installation of the crown molding makes the molding look like an afterthought in the design as illustrated in the example below.

Notice how the molding has been notched during the installation to fit the space.

Adequate clearances

 The next design mistake to avoid is to ensure that there are proper clearances within the kitchen.  Keep in mind that a kitchen is meant to be functional which means that we need to allow ample space for cabinet and appliance doors to open fully without hitting any obstacles.

Courtesy of: www.nkba.org Kitchen and Planning Guidelines

In addition, it’s also important to pay attention to potential collisions with items that are placed at a 90-degree angle to one another.  In the example below, the designer allowed additional space between the cabinet and the corner to allow for the drawer to open fully without interfering with the handle of the dishwasher, which was placed on the adjacent wall.

Here’s a great example of leaving additional space next to the cabinet to allow the drawer to open fully without interfering with the appliance handle.


The prospect of installing a kitchen island offers the promise of additional storage and countertop workspace, but choosing the wrong island or placing it in the wrong spot can be a disaster.  Remember that the kitchen is a work area and anything that gets in the way of working efficiently is going to be a problem.

Let’s take a closer look at the example below; here we have an unusual shaped island that is way too big for the space.  In addition, the amount of space between the range and the sink (hidden behind the island) is way too small making this kitchen very difficult to work in.

The kitchen island needs to be large enough to be functional within the space. An island that is too narrow or too small will have an impact on the overall functionality of the kitchen.

The Worlds smallest kitchen island! Photo courtesy of: www.uglyhousephotos.com

Countertop space

 One of the biggest complaints that customers have about their kitchens is the lack of countertop space.  The countertops, just like the cabinetry and the layout need to be functional within a kitchen.  The amount of space you need is specific to how you use your kitchen not only now, but in the future.

One of the most common mistakes I see regarding the lack of countertop space is the over abundance of appliances that we all have and/or want in our new kitchen.  It’s important to remember that a separate cooktop and oven will take up more space than a freestanding or slide-in-range.

Not to mention all the small appliances that we have today such as the toaster, can opener, food processor, coffee maker just to name a few.  When designing a new kitchen it’s important to consider where these small appliances will be stored and used to better control appliance creep, which is the tendency for appliances to accumulate on our countertops, taking up this precious workspace.

Clutter can make working in a kitchen with small counters very difficult.

Tight spaces combined with poor placement of appliances can render a kitchen nearly unuseable!

See more at: https://www.durasupreme.com/blog/top-5-kitchen-design-mistakes-avoid