You have made the decisionto do a kitchen remodel. You are fantasizing about kitchens by day and dreaming of them by night. You have so many kitchen remodel ideas. You leaf through countless magazines and study oodles of Pinterest boards as colors, textures and surfaces blur together in your head. It is exciting but can also be overwhelming and it is easy to get carried away with superficial details and forget the basics.

To make your kitchen renovation as successful and as pain-free as possible, here are the 5 main pitfalls that you will want to avoid at all costs…so it doesn’t cost you!


A kitchen renovation is a costly undertaking. There are so many elements involved that you really do want to call in the professionals for this one to ensure a solid layout and a unified design. But before you even talk to a kitchen contractor or kitchen designer, spend time planning exactly what you want so you are clear in your mind before discussions begin. Clarify  your kitchen remodel ideas. You and your kitchen contractor need to be the same page before a quotation is possible. Remember that changing your mind is your prerogative, but it will add dollars once the renovation is underway.


Before upgrading your kitchen, you want to make sure that your plumbing, ventilation and electrics can handle any extra load. It is no fun to have chosen all your appliances, only to later find out that you need more electrical circuits. These days, with so many extra devices to plug in, you cannot have too many electrical outlets. Count how many you have now, and see how many extra you will need. Then have a qualified electrician look at your service panel to determine whether your present wiring will be sufficient for your kitchen renovation.

Also consider the lighting you have now and how you might change it. You need good clear light for practical reasons, but if your kitchen is open plan and you only have bright overhead lighting, you will be unable to create any ambience. Consider under the counter lighting, spots and dimmers.


You are on a new fitness regime and you have committed to walking 10,000 steps a day and burning an extra 500 calories. But you don’t want these to be in your kitchen! The magic work triangle is paramount; those frequent steps that you take between the sink, the stove and the fridge – and I would add the trash to that as well. You want this movement pattern to feel so seamless that you never notice it. That is good design. The larger the kitchen, the more ground you’ll be covering if you haven’t carefully thought out your workflow.  How does this function in your present kitchen? How can it be improved in your new one?


You must choose all your new appliances first. The specs for these must be in your kitchen contractor’s hands before anything else. It will be so disappointing trying to fit your gleaming new fridge into a space that is too small. Check to see which way the main door opens on your fridge. It needs to open into your space not away from it.

When you choose your new appliances, make sure they fit your lifestyle and are scaled for the size of your kitchen. If they are too big, they will make your kitchen look small. Remember that too much steel will make a space seem clinical. Not a good idea if you are going for a cozy, farmhouse look.

Consider how much space you will have when the dishwasher door is open.  A drawer style dishwasher might work best if your kitchen is compact and space is limited.


Beautiful dishes and unusual teapots on open display look fabulous in staged kitchens, but they are not very practical. Don’t be lured in by photos of kitchens that are not used. Anything on display will get dusty and greasy and have to be washed frequently. Open displays have to be