Kitchen Disaster Files: History’s Worst Renovation Ideas

Some ideas sound better on paper than they are in reality.

An ice cream steak sandwich, polar plunging into the Mississippi River on New Year’s Day, running a marathon without really training, adopting a bear cub for your baby daughter, putting a flag pole in the middle of the driveway to salute Old Glory every time you pull out.

Earth’s history is laden with millions of bad ideas, but few are more costly than a fatal kitchen remodel mistake. Obviously, remodeling isn’t for everyone.

“Not everyone is born with the magic touch for remodeling,” Architectural Digest’s Katherine McGrath said.

Know the saying “kitchens sell houses?” Well, these all-time kitchen remodel misfires destroy kitchens style, functionality and ambiance, and even hurt your home’s resale value on the market.

“Whether it’s poor architectural design or just downright ugly, some kitchen renovations should never happen,” notes Giana Brucella of

  1. Ceramic Flooring: Stylish and durable, but as tough on feet as nails by the end of the day. Ceramic’s hard and is hell on dishes that might fall out of the hands of clumsy toddlers.
  2. The Island Fridge: Sure, it may be the second most popular appliance in the house next to the television, but no fridge should ever be an island. Here’s a Public Kitchen Renovation Service Announcement, folks: Never put your refrigerator in the middle of the kitchen.“All I’d like to know is who your renovator was, and how can I black list them,” Brucella jokes.
  3. A Kitchen Toilet: A wacky idea that wasn’t even in style in the early days of kitchens, save the restroom for the hallway off the kitchen.
  4. Putting The Faucet on the Far Side of The Sink: A faucet is not meant to be an end zone.
  5. A Kitchen Jacuzzi: There’s nothing like drinks by the pool, but file this epic misfire right alongside the kitchen toilet.
  6. The Non-Conformist (Non-Functional) Sideways Sink: We fully embrace and applaud individuality, just not in kitchen sinks.
  7. The Purple Kitchen: When wildly bad colors happen to good kitchens.
  8. Stainless Steel Everything: Not even Superman or the United Steelworkers of America would approve.
  9. The Built-In Coffee Maker: So much for coffee on the go, or not all over the floor.
  10. DIY Cabinets: Just trust us on this one before you invest $3,000 in dad’s can’t miss savings idea.

Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies estimates there will be more than two million kitchen renovations in 2018, thousands will be disasters. Don’t let a wild idea that sounds good on paper become a living, breathing nightmare that haunts your kitchen’s renovation for years.

“Haste makes waste,” Consumer Reports’ Daniel DiClerico stresses.

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