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Equipping the Kitchen: Common Mistakes

How many acquaintances, when you were admiring their new kitchen, told you: "We are satisfied, BUT ..."? This "but" becomes very annoying over the years, regardless of what decision in the kitchen design you have made wrongly. Equipping the kitchen is a very important process that often brings mistakes. Bad positioning of kitchen elements? Too small kitchen sink? Wrong colour combinations? Unpleasant materials? Too little light?

Equipping the Kitchen: Common Mistakes

We have chosen the 9 most common mistakes in equipping the kitchen according to our customers, so that, avoiding them, you will not regret any decision made in your new kitchen.

Mistake 1 - Equipping the kitchen: non-functional layout (floor plan) of the kitchen

In most cases, the size and shape of the space will determine the most appropriate layout.

However, you still have some freedom when designing the layout of your future kitchen.

There are several factors to keep in mind: moving around the kitchen when there are more people in it, the famous kitchen triangle, practicability…

Remember that you are making decisive moves when designing the layout, which will influence how functional your kitchen will be.

What do the experts recommend?

A narrow and long space will most likely have an L-shaped layout.

In a larger space, you can play with different options. You can fill the space in a U-shaped layout and an island. Parallel counters are also a good solution, with one fitted into a bar that separates the kitchen from the rest of the room, giving it, at the same time, a social function.

Experts point out that, when designing the layout, it is important to keep in mind the functionality of the kitchen more than its appearance, which may have caught your eye in a kitchen showroom, or in a friend's new apartment.


Mistake 2 - Equipping the kitchen: ignoring the kitchen triangle

You may have read about it, or you may be told about it now, for the first time: the kitchen triangle is a golden rule that every kitchen layout designer should respect.

The triangle covers the sink, the cooker, and the refrigerator, which should be placed in such a way that they form a triangle together.

To achieve this, we must carefully plan the layout of the kitchen. These are the points in the kitchen that are most visited during the cooking, to which we must have free access, but should not be too far apart to avoid unnecessary walking and time-consuming movements (which often means spills and stains on the kitchen floor).

Most of the action is related to the sink, which must be first of all large enough, while at the same time providing a large enough work surface. The cooker should stand on one side of the sink, and the refrigerator only a step or two aside (usually behind its back).

The circumference of the triangle formed by the placed appliances should measure at least three meters and not more than seven and a half meters.

If you are renovating the kitchen (not building a new house), your existing plumbing installation may force you where to install the sink and then adjust the entire kitchen accordingly.

Experts, however, advise moving the plumbing to the most suitable place in the kitchen.

You are not sure you know the most suitable place for the kitchen triangle? Trust a specialist (experienced sales advisor, architect, etc.) and your investment will definitely be returned in the form of higher satisfaction with the use of your kitchen!

Mistake 3 - Equipping the kitchen: too small work plate surface and too small sink

One of the biggest mistakes the kitchen that annoys its users is the lack of work surface.

When we look at the kitchen sketch with a lot of empty work plate surfaces in our, for example, an L-shaped kitchen, we are not aware that soon on this surface there will be small kitchen appliances, a fruit or bread basket, kitchen utensils, cookbooks…

And suddenly, we realize that we are constantly short of the workspace even when cooking a simple meal for ourselves, let alone for a feast.

The golden rule of equipping the kitchen is: to have as many horizontal work surfaces as possible.

If you have more room for maneuver, the kitchen island is an ideal solution to get extra work surfaces in the kitchen.

Also, do not forget about the spacious sink, because it will be the centre of the event: liquid drainage, filling of pots with water, dishwashing, washing food, depositing dirty dishes ...

Mistake 4 - Equipping the kitchen: lost storage space 

In our grandmothers' homes, pantries were an unavoidable, separate room next to the kitchen. They were used to store various kitchen appliances, preserved food for winter, large containers, cleaning tools...

Nowadays, they are no longer present in modern buildings (there is even not enough space for them in smaller flats), so we must not forget to anticipate sufficient storage space when designing cabinets in the kitchen.

Most commonly, we lose the space above the upper cabinets because the space just below the ceiling seems completely unreachable, so we place the cabinets a few decimetres below the ceiling.

It is a mistake, experts say, so you should use every bit of the space. Just make the bold choice of elegantly high upper cabinets (all the way up to the ceiling - eliminating in this manner the need to dust thick dust layers on their top!), and prepare a handy folding ladder to reach the upper cabinets.

When you start filling the cabinets, however, place the things you rarely need on the top shelves.

You can also get extra space with different shelves on which you should place a fruit basket, a bread bin, cookbooks, etc. The shelves, which are not overloaded but only minimalistically filled, are also very trendy as of 2019.

With pull-out shelf storage you can make the most of your storage space, but since these shelves are quite expensive, you can engage a carpenter to install narrow shelves on the back of the cabinet panels, on which you can place the dishes you don't need every day, but this way they will not be forgotten somewhere far behind in the cabinet.

Mistake 5 - Equipping the kitchen: too little light in the kitchen

The kitchen is the place for family and guests gatherings and also the place where you will be doing precision work with sharp knives, so the room should be pleasantly bright and at any time there should be enough light to see what and where you are cutting.

So, when designing the kitchen layout, carefully consider all the points where you will be preparing the food - these should be most illuminated.

It is recommendable to install extra lights above the work surface - a long LED light under the upper cabinet, which directly illuminates the entire work surface, could be the best solution.

If your kitchen has an island, it should not lack good lighting too - here you might consider a height-adjustable light that you can adjust to your work - so the light will be higher while you and your friend are having coffee within the island, and lower, while you are making Christmas cookies with your little ones.

The kitchen should also have ceiling lights that illuminate the entire space.

But to highlight the most beautiful elements of your new kitchen - elegant kitchen fittings and sink, colourful overhead decoration, brilliantly cleaned countertop - you can also consider smaller decorative lights.

These will provide enough light in the evenings to give a comfortable atmosphere in the kitchen, while still providing enough light to pour yourself a glass of wine without enlightening the entire kitchen.

In the kitchen, the lights could, therefore, be divided into three types: general lighting, additional lights above the countertop, ambiance lighting for day and evening.

Of course, natural light is very important - in the kitchen, if you have the option, get plenty of natural light with large windows without unnecessary curtains.

Mistake 6 - Equipping the kitchen: bad smell in the kitchen 

The kitchen is certainly home to all sorts of smells, but even a beautiful kitchen loses its charm when it has an unpleasant smell.

The smell is spreading rapidly all over the apartment and it is certainly not pleasant that your guests smell of your dinner you had the other day.

Therefore, it is of great importance that you do not save money when buying a cooker hood or other ventilation appliance and that you check if the appliance efficiently extracts the steam and smells of your cooking ventures.

Of course, we also recommend additional ventilation during or after cooking because only a wide-open window will completely replace the smelly air with fresh air.

In the winter months, you can provide a pleasant smell and some more romance with a scented candle…

Mistake 7 - Equipping the kitchen: don't forget the rubbish!

One of the most inconvenient and serious mistakes we can see in many households is a simple, plastic, free-standing rubbish bin, with a bin bag sticking out, which completely destroys the beautiful look of a new kitchen.

A professional, who is designing your kitchen, will definitely offer a solution with built-in rubbish and recycling bin system.

If you are designing the kitchen yourself, just think of one lower cabinet for the rubbish. Considering the increasing importance of recycling various types of waste to our planet, it is responsible to think of a separate waste collection system, such as the one offered by Alveus.

Mistake 8 - Equipping the kitchen: asymmetry

When taking a look at our kitchen, our brain immediately seeks the symmetry in lines, decorations, lighting positions.

Why do we so much like certain kitchens in magazines or online?

Because the cabinets, island, shelves, windows, and decoration are thought out to the last detail forming together beautiful symmetry of straight and sloping lines.

If possible, consider this when designing your kitchen, or try to achieve symmetry afterward – by means of carpets, extra shelves, decoration, paintings...

You will find plenty of inspiration online. Start with the central point (it lies where our look is focused as we enter the room), which is usually the centre of the room or a wall. When you define the central point, start to build symmetry around it - your brain will perceive such asymmetrical room, where the symmetry of lines reigns, as more harmonious and soothing, so you will feel much better there.

Mistake 9 – Something’s missing…

One of the most frequent mistakes of beautiful kitchens, in which everything has been thought out to the last detail, designed perfectly symmetrical and colour matching, is that we still feel that something is missing…

It is because there is really something missing - a stand-out element.

An item that stands out thanks to its shape or colour will add to a beautiful kitchen, which would be otherwise slightly uninteresting, a stand-out and exciting note that immediately catches our attention.

In the living room, it can be a fireplace, an interesting artwork or a bookshelf, colourful cushions on the sofa.

In the kitchen, a stand-out object can be interesting design of the countertop surface made of glass or special tiles, the island, colourful chairs at the island, a window...

The best effect by far can be achieved with a special sink and kitchen fittings, which can be of either interesting shapes or striking colours, or both.

Alveus offers the kitchen sinks and kitchen taps of elegant and modern shapes and exciting colours that will give your kitchen a special look. 

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