Scandinavian kitchen design by Meridian Inspiration
Scandinavian kitchen design by Meridian Inspiration

Avoid These 5 Common Kitchen Design Mistakes

A kitchen should be designed to be practical and functional, and not just merely a pretty sight.

As with everything else, no two kitchens are alike; different designs work for different people, and everyone has different needs.

However, according to our kitchen specialists, there are some common mistakes that everyone should avoid during your kitchen renovation.


1. Poor kitchen workflow

A kitchen “workflow” includes all the steps you would take to prepare a meal, from food storage to preparation, to cooking and clean up. As such, your kitchen should be laid out to allow you to move from one task to next as smoothly as possible.

Depending on the layout of your kitchen, the basic guideline for good workflow is to create a few distinct zones; including the “storage” zone, the “preparation” zone, the “cooking” zone, and the “cleanup” zone. 

Here’s a short guide to different zones and their importance:   

Storage zone:

The storage zone is where you put your refrigerator and your pantry, and it’s also where you will store your cooking utensils and ingredients.

Storage zone is important in kitchen renovation. Design by La Conception Hauz
Lots of storage in this kitchen by LA Conception Hauz

Prep zone:

The prep zone is your main countertop and sink area and is where the chopping, cutting, peeling, and mixing is done. For the best efficiency, your prep zone should be between the kitchen stove and where you would normally do the dishes and dispose of food residue.

The refrigerator and storage space should be a hair’s away so that it’s easier to access ingredients, spices, condiments, cooking utensils, and pots and pans. The rubbish bin should also be close by because it’s easier to dispose of packagings, stems, skins and bones without worrying about unnecessary spills on the floor.

Another tip would be to place the refrigerator and storage close to the kitchen entrance so that you don’t have to walk far when carrying heavy bags of groceries to store them.

Chiio occasions kitchen design at tree sparina condominium Penang
The best way to have a smooth workflow is to have the prep zone in between the cooking and cleaning zones, as seen in this kitchen design by Chiio Occasions.

Cooking zone:

The cooking zone is where your cooker hob, cooker hood, and oven should be located. It should be adjacent to the prep zone so that the distance from the preparation zone is minimised. This also makes it safer for you and other household members because you don’t have to walk back and forth when carrying hot food.

Cleaning zone

After cooking, you will return to the prep zone, which now becomes the cleaning zone. This is the place where you dispose of all your food scraps and residue and where you would wash your dishes.

Ideally, you’ll want the kitchen sink close to your food preparation zone as this shortens the whole process of cleaning after all the cooking is done. The sink should also be next to the rubbish bin so that you can dispose of food easily.

Kitchen design Malaysia by Young Concept
The kitchen sink should be close to where you would normally prepare food. Design by Young Concept Design


2. Not having enough kitchen countertop space

Whether if it’s for food preparation, or for placing appliances and utensils, the kitchen countertop is an integral part of any kitchen. Apart from improving the functionality of the kitchen, countertops also provide additional storage space.

Have base cabinets that are long enough so that you have enough space to place your regularly used appliances because no one wants to be cramped in one corner while preparing food.

Without lots of countertop space, your appliances may also end up too near the cooking hob. Prolonged exposure to the heat from the stove may damage them.

One way to increase the amount of countertop space is to add a kitchen island. Place it opposite of your cooking stove to reduce the likelihood of you bumping into family members while carrying hot food, and be sure that your island isn’t too big for your kitchen or you will have difficulty manoeuvring and working in narrow spaces.

Lots of countertop space for this kitchen design in Subang Jaya by La Conception Hauz
This kitchen in Subang Jaya has plenty countertop space, handy for placing hot food.


3. Not enough kitchen storage

Like everything else in life, it’s important to keep your kitchen neat and organised. Cabinets, drawers, and wall shelves are some of the many ways you can smartly amplify storage space.

If you have a small kitchen, easily accessible cabinets and built-in pull-out drawers work wonderfully to keep small appliances and kitchen utensils in order; while hooks, rails and a kitchen pegboard are terrific and brilliant ways to organise anything ranging from pots and pans to hangers and shelves.

Also remember to have sufficient room for your cabinets and drawers to open fully at the same time without bumping or hitting other cabinets, especially for cabinets and drawers that are placed at a 90-degree angle.

Adding cabinets and drawers during kitchen renovation help to increase storage and remove clutter. Kitchen design by Meridian Inspiration
Cabinets and drawers help to increase storage and remove clutter. Design by Meridian Inspiration


A kitchen pegboard is a creative way of providing extra storage, especially if you have a small kitchen. Source:


4. Not enough lighting

Lighting is not only important for brightening up your preparation area, but it also sets the mood and ambience of the kitchen.

As food preparation is usually done under wall cabinets, slicing and cutting will be more difficult if your kitchen isn’t brightly-lit, not to mention that this could endanger your safety.

Lack of proper lighting also makes your kitchen dark and gloomy, which is bad if your kitchen is close to your entertaining area, or if you want to turn your kitchen into a hub that has multifunctional purposes (eg. socialising, homework).

During your kitchen renovation, invest in ambient lighting for the entire kitchen, and wire up more under-cabinet lighting to illuminate your counter area. This also helps create a more cosy atmosphere. Even if ambience isn’t a key factor for you, workspace lighting will make your kitchen brighter and easier to see.

A brightly-lit kitchen will help you function more fluidly, and it also sets the mood of the kitchen.
A brightly-lit kitchen will help you function more fluidly, and it also sets the mood of the kitchen. Source


5. Not enough ventilation

No one likes their home to be filled with the smell of grease and smoke, especially if your kitchen is close to the entertainment area, so it’s crucial that you have a good air ventilation system to not only help improve the air circulation in your house but also to remove odours and stubborn grease particles that would otherwise be on surfaces all around your house.   

Ensure that range hoods are installed strategically above your kitchen stove and also make sure that you change the filter regularly. Choose a range hood that has a quiet motor so that air can be filtered effectively without much noise. Also make sure that your windows are open so that the smell can escape your home, while fresh air can enter your home.

If you have the space, you can plan your kitchen renovation to have a wet and dry kitchen area. The wet kitchen should be as close to the outdoors as possible to allow cooking smells to vent away without the need for expensive range hoods.

Lots of ventilation and open windows for this small kitchen design in Ampang by La Conception Hauz
Lots of ventilation and open windows for this small kitchen design in Ampang by LA Conception Hauz

Getting ready for a kitchen renovation?

Our highly recommended cabinet contractors will help you install anything from drawers to wall cabinets so that you can organise your kitchen better and keep your kitchen clutter-free. Hire a Request a consultation from our cabinet contractors now!

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