3 Kitchen Design Mistakes: How to Avoid or Correct Them

If you've ever walked into a kitchen and thought, "Something just doesn't feel right here", chances are, there might be a few kitchen design mistakes at play.

I’m going to delve into some common kitchen design mistakes and discuss how you can sidestep them for a more functional and aesthetically pleasing cooking space. You can avoid them or correct them if you’ve already made them, the end result will be worth the time spent.

Calculating fridge depth

1. Fridge Depth Dilemma: The Black Hole Effect

Let's kick things off with a topic that might be controversial for some—the depth of your refrigerator. Many homeowners opt for a counter-depth fridge, believing it contributes to a sleeker overall look.

Common kitchen design mistakes

Before you dismiss the idea, thinking you’ll give up too much space, consider this: a deeper fridge can turn into a black hole, where food items mysteriously vanish, only to be rediscovered weeks later in a state of decay.

Counter-depth fridge

The counter-depth fridge looks undeniably chic, but is it worth sacrificing valuable storage space? Perhaps not. The key here is finding a balance between aesthetics and practicality.

Fully integrated panel fridge

If you're looking for a compromise, consider a fully integrated panel fridge that seamlessly blends with your cabinetry, offering both style and functionality.

Awkward gap between cabinetry and ceiling

2. The Ceiling Gap Conundrum: Dust and Grease Collectors

Ever noticed that awkward gap between your cabinetry and the ceiling? It's not just an empty space; it's a dust and grease magnet.

Carrying cabinetry all the way to the ceiling

Neglecting to carry your cabinetry all the way to the ceiling might seem like a small oversight, but it can lead to a lot of unnecessary cleaning headaches.

Extending cabinetry to the ceiling

By extending your cabinetry to the ceiling, you not only eliminate the need for dusting in that hard-to-reach gap but also create a more custom and cohesive look.

Of course, there are exceptions—vaulted ceilings or exposed beams may warrant standard height cabinetry. In such cases, make the choice that complements the overall design of your kitchen.

Finding the balance with lighting

3. Illumination Overload: Finding the Right Balance in Lighting

Now, let's shed some light on a crucial aspect of kitchen design—lighting. While a well-lit kitchen is essential, going overboard can create a sterile, surgical atmosphere. The mistake here is not in having too much light, but rather in not distributing it strategically.

Overhead lighting
Under cabinet lighting

Ensure that your overhead, pendant, and under cabinet lighting operate on individual circuits and dimmers. This allows you to customize the ambiance based on your needs.

Kitchen design mistakes
Kitchen with overhead lighting

When it comes to overhead lighting, align it with the edge of the countertop or position it 24 inches from your upper cabinets.

This prevents odd shadows from interfering with your prep areas, creating a more functional and visually appealing workspace.

Kitchen design mistakes

Achieving the perfect kitchen design while avoiding kitchen design mistakes involves a delicate balance between style and functionality. By avoiding these common mistakes you can create a kitchen that not only looks good but works seamlessly for your cooking needs.

Have you made any of these mistakes in your kitchen? Will you be changing things or leaving your kitchen as it is? Let me know in the comments below.

Follow @jordansamsondesign on TikTok for more design inspiration.

Join the conversation
3 of 21 comments
  • Jill R Tisdale Evans Jill R Tisdale Evans on Jan 18, 2024
    We moved into a mobile home & the people that previously owned put new cabinets in but when they put the sink in they put it half under the window in stead of lining it up like IT SHOULD BE ! I have a stubborn husband that won’t fix it but it will get fixed before I die!! They then left the counter top hanging over dead space & on the other end they put a piece of wood in a dead space instead of lining everything up & putting in a base cabinet ! It will be changed!!
    • Sharon Sharon on Feb 03, 2024
      My world would feel off kilter every day if the sink & window are not aligned correctly! And there's just no reason for the dead space issue. Unfortunately, it is not an inexpensive fix, because now you need new base cabinets and new counters.What I have concluded over the years are that there are people who need balance and logical design, and there are others who don't even notice when it's 'off'. Difficult when those two types inevitably marry each other!
  • Hope Hope on May 28, 2024
    Hi Jordan...Thank you for the post. You bring out some very good points that help make a kitchen look more aesthetically pleasing. My kitchen is crying. She thought you were talking about her! (LOL) The lighting sucks…work in progress. The fridge is NOT counter depth (tho’ we’re working on a solution) and YES…it DOES make a visual difference, to me at least. ***Last but so glaringly not least…the space between the tops of the cabinets and the ceiling***UGH!! For me!!!***It makes my eye twitch every time I look at it!!***I LOVE the ceiling height cabinetry but…NO FOR US because we have a vaulted ceiling (7’-9’) and just UGH!! It looks so unfinished but, I’m not sure what to do about it since it’s angled like it is. I know a lot of people like to put decor up there but…I am not one of them. I have tried it but, it looks even more awkward because the decor draws attention. The space looks empty and awkward but, I don’t know how or what to do to make it look better.*** Any suggestions..?