10 of the Biggest Kitchen Design Mistakes to Avoid

kitchen design

At Ross’s Discount Home Centre, we’re all about DIY kitchen renovations, and we support anyone who chooses to take on the project themselves. But before you can get into the process of renovating; that being out with the old and in with the new, you have to design your new kitchen, and this often where the most significant mistakes are made.

Any mistake in the kitchen design process can lead to catastrophic errors in the renovation process. Therefore, you must get your kitchen design perfect before you start renovating. I know it may be tempting to take to the kitchen with a sledgehammer today, but trust me, you will want to take a step back and get your design right first.

To help you create the perfect kitchen design, I thought it would be best to tell you what not to do, rather than what to do. So, without further ado, continue reading to discover ten of the biggest kitchen design mistakes to avoid in your kitchen renovation.

Not planning your kitchen design properly

It’s easy to get carried away with a design you have seen online or in a magazine and trying to replicate it for your own kitchen. While kitchen designs can easily be imitated, they should only be used as a source of inspiration.

You need to take into account your personal and family needs first and foremost when planning a kitchen. Don’t make any rash decisions based on the design. Give it 24 hours and in that time, consider the functionality and practicality of all design choices. Consider your family needs and your lifestyle.

Forgetting the kitchen work triangle

The golden rule of kitchen design is the kitchen work triangle. This is the principle of having a kitchen’s three main work areas form of a triangle. Therefore, the fridge, stove and skink should be positioned at each of a triangle’s points to create a functional workflow. Moreover, it is said that no leg of the triangle should be shorter than 1.2 meters or longer than 2.7 meters in length. There are many rules to getting the kitchen work triangle correct, which you can read on Wikipedia.

By following the kitchen work triangle principle in your kitchen design, your kitchen will be in easy reach, making your kitchen more efficient.

Not allowing for storage needs

Forget about the minimalistic kitchens you’ve pinned on Pinterest – those kitchens that are so minimal that they have next to no cabinets. They may aesthetically look fantastic, but I can promise you, they will be a nightmare in real life.

If you are designing with resale in mind, having adequate storage in a kitchen is even more crucial. Factor in your family situation and design your kitchen cabinetry accordingly.

Kitchen storage is available in various formats and doesn’t need to be confined to wall and base cabinets. They do a great job, but for a more modern design, consider open shelving or wall cabinets with glass doors.

Not having enough bench space

Just as important as storage in a kitchen’s design, is making sure you have enough bench space. Again, consider your family and lifestyle. If your morning routine involves coffee and toast, you need to make sure you have room for a toaster and coffee machine. Is there enough room to prep lunches and meals? What about other appliances like the blender, Nitro Bullet, jaffle/sandwich press? If you’re a small appliance junkie, you will need a lot of bench space.

Also, if you are big on entertaining, then this should be a priority in your design. Make it open and inviting, including an island bench, for example, is one way to achieve this.

Not taking measurements of appliances first

Imagine spending $20k on your new kitchen to find that your fridge doesn’t fit or you forgot to make space for your dishwasher. Believe me, I’ve seen it done many times.

Just as important as considering the golden work triangle in your design is considering your appliances, and by this, I mean the actual dimensions of each appliance. Don’t assume that all appliances are the same size. They’re not. Whether you are using existing appliances or buying new appliances, be sure to have the exact dimensions of each – the fridge, cooktop, rangehood, microwave, dishwasher, and oven, before you purchase pre-assembled cabinets or give any measurements to a cabinet maker.

You can find out the measurements of our kitchen appliances, and purchase them also, from our online store.

Forgetting about power points

If you are a small appliance junky, then you will need to allow for the appliances in your design by including multiple power point outlets. You won’t want to be unplugging the kettle and toaster every time you want to use another appliance.

Not being creative enough with the design

It may be tempting to just have a white on white kitchen, especially if you have reservations about following a design style or being able to pull off a specific style. However, an all-white kitchen isn’t the answer. True, they are safe and a sure-thing. But they are also bland and boring.

Designing a kitchen with a little flare isn’t tricky, and you don’t need to be a kitchen design to achieve this. You just have to think about the KISS principle. Keep it simple stupid. By this, I mean, don’t go overboard.

Start with white cabinets, such as our range of affordable pre-assembled cabinets, and then add a little style through your choice of benchtop design, splashback tiles and kitchen tapware.

Forgetting about the rubbish bin

You have designed a killer kitchen, but it will be ruined by an unsightly, smelly rubbish bin if you don’t factor this into your design. You’d be silly not to include a pull-out rubbish bin in your cabinetry, or include a broom cupboard to store your bin.

Not asking for professional advice

It is very gratifying to complete any type of home improvement by yourself, but unless you have had previous design experience, the kitchen is probably not the best place to start. Kitchens can cost in the ten’s of thousands to complete from start to finish. Therefore, you don’t want to make an uneducated or inexperienced decision that will come back to bite you when your kitchen is complete.

If you have any concerns about an aspect of your design, contact your tradie to run it by them first. Even if you are taking on a DIY kitchen reno, there is a good chance that you will still need a plumber, tiler or electrician – these tradies have a wealth of experience in kitchens and are sure to be able to offer some design advice. More importantly, their input could save you thousands by working with existing plumbing or gas lines.

Choosing the wrong tapware

For any kitchen design to be a complete success, you need everything to be cohesive, including your choice of tapware. If you have chosen a traditional design, then look for tapware that is classic in design. Likewise, if you have chosen a modern design, then you should look for modern tapware.

A recent article titled ‘The Ultimate List of Tips for Choosing Tapware‘ should help in this department.


Renovating a kitchen is an exciting project for any homeowner. However, while it may be tempting to jump in and start demolishing your kitchen, you must first have a rock-solid kitchen design in place. Failing to have a complete kitchen design or having a kitchen design riddled with errors will cause lots of problems during the renovation and could even result in a completed kitchen that you really don’t like.

To ensure you love your new kitchen, avoid making these kitchen design mistakes; not planning your kitchen design properly, forgetting the kitchen work triangle, not allowing for storage needs, not having enough bench space, and not taking measurements of appliances first. Also, forgetting about power points, not being creative enough with the design, forgetting about the rubbish bin, not asking for professional advice and choosing the wrong tapware are other mistakes to avoid.

For help designing your new kitchen, use our free 3D Kitchen Planner. It allows you to create your space and play around with the layout and cabinet options until you have created the perfect kitchen design. When you’re done, you can order all your kitchen cabinets from our store, and then the fun can start!


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