Common Kitchen Design Mistakes

common kitchen design mistakes

Common Kitchen Design Mistakes

If you’re about to embark on a new kitchen project, there are some common kitchen design mistakes you can easily avoid. Read on and we’ll take you through our top six!

Six common kitchen design mistakes

Blowing the budget

Going over budget is a common kitchen design mistake, can be a really stressful and is totally avoidable.  The first thing to be clear about is how a budget is allocated across a bespoke kitchen. 

This is a rough indication of the different elements and the ratio of budget you should expect to be allocated to each:

  • VAT: 20%
  • Fitting/labour: 10-15%
  • Worktops: 10-15%
  • Appliances: 10-15% (including taps/sink)
  • Furniture: 40% Depending on individual preferences and spec, this could include lighting, flooring and tiles.

So if your budget is £20,000, the VAT will be £4,000, fitting will come to £2,000 and the furniture will come to circa £8,000, leaving £6,000 for the remaining elements. To come in on budget, you’ll have to make considered choices with your designer on worktop material and appliances. Keeping within your budget is entirely achievable. Coming in on budget doesn’t have to mean a compromise on aesthetics but it might mean making different choices. For example, choosing a simpler kitchen design, changing your appliance spec or taking advice on different worktop materials to ensure you come in on budget. 

We really recommend having frank discussions with your designer throughout the process to ensure you get the spec you want and finish on a budget you are comfortable with. There are always design solutions and alternative materials to consider to achieve the look you want, without feeling your budget is spiralling out of control. 

Skimping on storage

Do you have enough storage? There are plenty of great storage solutions that don’t rely on you having a huge kitchen. It really is about elegant design solutions and maximising the space you have without cramping it. 

There is a host of integrated storage options which will really help optimise your space. Deep drawers have lots of integrated options and are well worth considering. Look at your wall height too, is there space to put a high run of cupboards in as well for those items you don’t need as often?

Lack of lighting

Being a multi-function space for modern living, your kitchen lighting is important. Have you got a balance of task, dining and ambient lighting? 

For elegant ambient lighting, we really like incorporating lighting into units with glass doors. This simple solution gives you a lovely warm ambience when your kitchen morphs into a more chilled out zone in the evenings. You can even play around with the material at the back of the cupboard so the lighting creates a real feature when the cupboards are lit at night. Check out the sideboard in this project where behind the glassware, we incorporated antiqued glass. The glassware just looks fabulous lit up in the evening using this simple design feature.

Overlooking extraction 

Ventilation units are seen as one of the less exciting gadgets in a kitchen and commonly overlooked as important, particularly in open plan living. 

The good news is that ventilation units do not have to be an eyesore! You can opt for something almost invisible in the ceiling like this contemporary project last year, or go for a real design statement. But the bottom line is, do factor a decent one into your budget. We love Falmec extraction systems, they are sleek, effective and keep fan noise to a minimum.


Do you need one? Yes. Even if I have a worktop upstand? Yes. 

Splashbacks protect your walls from grease, steam, spillages and splatters. Protect your walls, give yourself a much easier time cleaning them, and take your kitchen style up a notch with a fabulous glass or tile splashback. 

We can’t get over the patterned tiles used in this great project last year. They look so fabulous.

Expectation Vs Reality 

It is easy to fall in love with kitchens on Pinterest and Instagram. Imagining your kitchen with a huge American style fridge freezer, a pantry unit with concealed appliance storage and a kitchen island of your dreams! 

Do make your wishlist of these items and tell your designer about all the elements you envisage and would love to have incorporated. Then, you need to go through the design process and see how these elements fit together in your space. Do they work in the kitchen style you’ve chosen, or are they just impractical in the space? If they’re not going to work, your designer will have lots of elegant solutions and suggestions to offer as alternatives. You might just end up with something even better than you imagined!

Avoid these common kitchen design mistakes and a few more by planning your new kitchen with us! Our designer Rachael has been designing kitchens for over 20 years so if it can be done, she’ll make it happen, and if your 4msq dreams of a kitchen island can’t be realised, she’ll come up with a great solution that can. Schedule a remote design consultation by dropping us a line at info@kitchensbespoke.co.uk. Browse our Projects & Gallery pages too for some inspiration and ideas.

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