Don’t is the Word for these Kitchen Remodel Misfires

“Why on Earth did we put that in our new kitchen?”

There are few worse feelings for a homeowner than looking at your kitchen after a $20,000 remodel and suddenly realizing something doesn’t look right.

Discovering a glaring, out-of-place, contrasting feature in a kitchen remodel after the fact is the feeling you get when you realize you’ve locked your keys in your car on a 10-degree January day: Sheer terror. To avoid becoming a victim of a major Kitchen Remodel Don’t, designers recommend intricate planning, prepping and daily review of your kitchen’s renovation. With Home Advisor reporting the average American kitchen remodel in 2018 will top $21,000, this is a project no middle class family can afford to swing and miss on.

“The best kitchens have a soul or spirit that’s warm, inviting and personal,” designer Mick De Guillo told “Every project is a chance to do something new and creative. It’s not just about the cabinets and countertops.

“The whole room has to sing.”

For every family planning kitchen redesigns for 2018, here is an essential, must-read guide to Definite Kitchen Remodel Don’ts.

Don’t Get Caught In A Kitchen Triangle

A triple play of yesterday’s design could leave your new kitchen feeling and looking instantly dated. The refrigerator/sink/range triangle was once the kitchen of today and tomorrow … in 1950. Today, it’s the Bermuda Triangle where stylish kitchen remodel hopes go to die.

“It’s not apropos for this day and age,” award-winning designer Dave Stimmel of the Philadelphia-based Stimmel Consulting Group told

Today’s kitchen, Stimmel notes, are better suited for station designs: A station for clean up, a station for food storage and a station for cooking.

“You can’t have a triangle in a 25 by 40-foot room,” Stimmel said.

No Family Kitchen Should Be Built For One Person

A new kitchen may be your dream and baby, but remember, this is Grand Central Station for your family and a room to be used by everyone. Beware designers who only ask what you have in mind for design ideas. Get your whole family involved, especially the kids, and incorporate their input and needs into your design.

“Even though the husband tells you 50 times that he doesn’t care about the project, when he can’t fit into a chair at the kitchen island, he’s going to care,” Stimmel said. “Drag (kids) kicking and screaming, but get them involved” in the process.

Don’t Design Without A Kitchen Garage

Glass doors and open shelves make a kitchen looking stunning and contemporary, but what’s a kitchen without space to store food? After all, Cocoa Puffs and Kidney Beans don’t go with each other. Work concealed storage and space to store juicers, toasters, coffee makers, blenders and other small appliances into your design.

Yesterday Isn’t In Today

Sure, everybody loves Grandma’s old kitchen table and dad’s magical George Foreman grill, but old furniture, pots and pans and appliances have little use and don’t blend into a contemporary kitchen. Focus on your family’s new space, how they will use it and what they need. Get rid of what they don’t. After all, Stimmel notes, “do you still need a George Foreman grill and 20 different pants when you have a built-in grill?”

Here are other Essential Kitchen Remodel Don’ts from

  • Don’t skimp on that space. Forty-two inches is the minimum clearance for a wheelchair, and while no one wants to think worst-case scenarios, doing so is the designer’s job.
  • Don’t forget that materials, colors and finishes still allow home buyers to create their unique kitchen.
  • Don’t assume a family has only one cook. In a lot of dual-income households, families participate in meal preparation, so individual work areas are important. This might mean including a second kitchen sink or a cooktop on an island away from the primary food preparation area.
  • Don’t be afraid to be creative – mix door styles, paints and stains. Glass doors provide relief for the eye and create a place for an owner to showcase prized possessions safely.

These kitchens are filled with design do’s: plenty of space between the islands and appliances, cabinets panels on appliances to unify all elements of the kitchen and plenty of individual work areas so the whole family can prepare meals together.

And most importantly, don’t just dream when designing your dream kitchen: Visualize the kitchen space, appliances, furniture and décor your kitchen in order to make your dream kitchen a beautiful, serviceable and comfortable reality for your family.

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