Designing a brand new kitchen or renovating your existing kitchen is a dream long held by many home owners. A designer kitchen will not only look fabulous, but it will make cooking and entertaining much easier, embellish your lifestyle and add thousands of dollars to the value of your home.

The problem is in making sure that the design of your kitchen is practical and functional, and not focusing simply on it’s aesthetics. So if you are ready to design your perfect kitchen, here are five mistakes that you need to avoid.

1.    Skimping on storage space

This is the biggest mistake made by homeowners when they design their new kitchens. They either don’t realise the necessity of maximising storage space or simply waste what could be very usable storage space. This is where planning becomes vital, so that you have all the storage space you need and more besides – for workbench appliances in particular. One tip is to take the wall cabinets up to the ceiling, over the fridge and even install open shelving in areas where cabinets are not suitable.

2.    Designing a benchtop that’s too low

This is one of the most frustrating problems about kitchens – that the benchtops are often too low for many people. The normal height for benchtops is 900mm and if you order your cabinets without being aware of this standard height, they may well be too low for you, particularly if you are tall. Heights of between 910mm and 950mm are becoming fairly common now, so always pay attention to the height of the benchtops when ordering your cabinetry.

3.    Blocking the kitchen triangle

This mistake is very easy to do, because most people focus on other areas of the kitchen. The golden triangle in your kitchen is between the sink, stove and fridge and access to this triangle needs to be as easy as possible, regardless of the shape of your kitchen. In fact, to ensure that the design of your kitchen triangle is flawless, make sure that the length of the three sides of this triangle total between 3048mm (10 feet) and 7620mm (25 feet).

4.    Inadequate lighting

Lighting in the kitchen is often an afterthought, rather than an essential feature. However, poor lighting in a kitchen is not only a safety hazard, but it makes cooking difficult and doesn’t show your kitchen off at its best. Every well designed kitchen needs overhead lighting on the ceiling, as well as task lighting for specific work areas and even pendant lights as a design feature.

5.    Not enough bench space

This is often the reason that many homeowners renovate their kitchens, because they don’t have enough bench space. The easy fix is to add an island bench, but often this can be difficult in small spaces. It can take an excellent designer to reconfigure your kitchen so that the bench space is maximised, but it will be worth it in the end.

With these five tips, you should have no problems renovating or designing your new kitchen!