The Top 8 Kitchen Reno Mistakes To Avoid

May 21, 2022 - 4 min read

So, you’re finally ripping out that old kitchen and installing the latest cooking and dishwasher appliances? How exciting! But before you get too starry-eyed picturing all those lazy Sunday mornings around that shiny new breakfast bar, there are some important practical matters to consider – to save you time, money (and tears) in the long run.

“When it comes to a new kitchen, you really do have to think function before form, and then bring it all together at the end,” says Lauren Pearse of Rylo Co. Interiors, Brisbane.

To help you create a kitchen that will be your pride and joy for years to come, we’ve identified the top reno blunders to avoid.

White Hamptons-style kitchen with cane breakfast stools.

1. Not Putting Appliances First

Not making your new appliances top of the queue? Probably the biggest kitchen reno fail of them all. Take it from us, choosing cabinets and countertops to fit your new fridge or dishwasher is much easier than the other way around. “There is no point in designing a new kitchen if you don’t know what appliances you are using,” stresses Lauren. “If you design the space first, then try to find the products to fit, you will be compromising on your new appliances.”  

2. Buying Appliances You’ll Outgrow

“When it’s time to start shopping for those new appliances that will be the centrepiece of your kitchen redesign, the goal should be ‘buy once, buy well’,” says Peter Simic, The Good Guys Buyer – Refrigerators. “Don’t make the mistake of cutting corners and buying appliances that you’ll soon outgrow as your household expands, or as technology advances, outdating your existing model. It’s a false economy.”

“When it comes to a new kitchen, you really do have to think function before form, and then bring it all together at the end.” Lauren Pearse, interior designer

Shop Future-Smart Appliances For Your New Kitchen

The Miele AutoDos Semi Integrated Dishwasher has the latest auto dosing technology to calculate precisely how much detergent is needed for each load, plus Wi-Fi capability to start a wash from anywhere.

The Fisher & Paykel 690L Quad Door Refrigerator’s variable temperature zones let you switch between fridge and freezer to maximise the freshness of your weekly shop.

Enjoy the ease of a conventional oven and all the benefits of steam cooking in one cutting-edge appliance with the Electrolux 60cm Pyrolytic Oven (it can clean itself afterwards, too!)

Contemporary white kitchen island with pendant lights and pink painting.
Image by Elouise van Riet Gray for Rylo Co

3. Ignoring The Golden Triangle

Some call it the “work triangle”. It’s that sacred pocket of the kitchen where you spend the most time – prepping, cooking, serving and cleaning up. “Park your stove too far from the fridge in your remodel, or the fridge too far from the sink, and you’ll seriously hinder your kitchen flow and be constantly pacing the floor. Where plumbing allows, follow best kitchen design practice and keep your cooktop, fridge and sink within easy reach of each other,” says Lauren Pearse.

Best Buys For Your Work Triangle

Elevate your home entertaining with the sleek Smeg 90cm Linea Induction Cooktop: magnetic field-based heating delivers super-speedy and energy-efficient cooking.

The ultra-savvy Samsung 809L AI Family Hub Refrigerator connects to your smartphone and can suggest recipes (or even read them out!) based on your fridge’s contents.

Modern and minimalist, the Franke Fragranite Double Bowl Sink & Tap Pack is a perfect companion for the new black appliances trend.

A modern kitchen splashback and stainless steel oven.
Image by Elouise van Riet Gray for Rylo Co

4. Skimping On Storage Space

They might seem like add-ons. But fail to factor in enough storage solutions like deep drawers, pull-out cabinets or butler’s pantries – and you’ll end up with a cluttered kitchen (and nowhere to stash all those off-duty blenders and other small kitchen appliances).

5. Not Taking Cabinets All The Way To The Ceiling

“A massive pet peeve of mine is not taking kitchen cabinetry right to the ceiling or at least adding a bulkhead above,” admits Lauren.  “Leaving a gap above your cabinetry not only makes the space look unfinished and your ceiling feel lower, but you should see the dust up there after a few years!”

6. Poor Lighting

A badly lit kitchen is zero fun to work in. Kitchens need excellent lighting for cooking, cleaning – and atmosphere!  “Kitchen lighting is not only practical, it adds character to a space without huge costs to change it out,” says Lauren.  “A single statement pendant over an island bench makes a beautiful addition. And track lights are great for brightening workbenches without overwhelming the room.”

A Hamptons-style kitchen with French Door refrigerator
Image by Elouise van Riet Gray for Rylo Co

7. Unrealistic Expectations

“It’s all well and good to want a large island. But a lot of renovations don’t allow for it,” says Lauren. “People aspire to this look without acknowledging the space they actually have. They end up with a design that looks amazing, but just doesn’t function the way it needs to for their family.”

8. Going It Alone

No matter how DIY-capable you are, consult a kitchen design expert before starting your project. An expert can help finetune your plan, prevent any costly setbacks (hello, plumbing disaster), and might even recommend something you hadn't thought of.

Planning a new kitchen? Talk to the design experts at Kinsman, then visit us online or in store for expert advice, the biggest appliance brands and the best prices.

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