Sometimes we take good kitchen design for granted. It isn’t until we have either a displeasing or impractical aspect where we appreciate the qualities of a functional kitchen.
A kitchen is one of the most functional rooms in the house. Bad design is not something that just looks unpleasant. It also limits the full possibilities and use of your kitchen.
We are gathered here some of the worst offenders on the internet. Some might be hideous, and others might be obvious. For all of these examples, we address what is wrong in these kitchen designs and how to fix them.
This could be a kitchen or a morgue
White kitchens were all the rage at one point in kitchen design. But if you look at this, it’s so sterile that you think you were in a hospital, not someone’s home. It’s also so safe that it is devoid of any personality. And while these are European style cabinets where there are no handles, that adds to the
Luckily, fixing this kitchen is easy. We can start by adding splashes of color with small appliances or details. You can hang kitchen curtains with a pop of color and add towels or even a similar colored cutting board. The biggest complaint is that this kitchen doesn’t look “lived in,” and feels like a showroom, not a home. So while clean in aesthetic, it’s not uninviting to the point where I would not want to use it.
However, a far better solution is to repaint the cabinets, so the contrast does depth to this room. Even if you painted only the bottom cabinets, it would do so much to bring this kitchen to life.
This upside-down bean bag should not double as a kitchen island
Having a copy of the Chicago art installation, “The Bean” might make a statement in your kitchen design. That statement is, “What were you thinking?”
This obtuse red organ may have been a trendy contemporary piece at one point. However, this unique island countertop does not fit with the rest of the kitchen space. This countertop is in an awkward position, and there’s no storage capacity at all. That’s a missed opportunity.
The most natural solution is to get rid of it. But what if you wanted to keep this? Then you need to design more of the kitchen around this piece. This can include adding accessories that nod to this color or shape. It can also involve repainting the cabinets so that it is in sync with the countertop.
While appliances can match the cabinets, this is TOO much
This is a trend that you only saw in the 1970s and 1980s: Making the refrigerator match your cabinets. However, some homes still have this type of dated refrigerator design.
Let’s say this to get it out of the way: “It’s OK that your refrigerator doesn’t match your cabinets.”
Not only does this look unnatural, but the refrigerator is such an essential appliance, it needs to stand out. You don’t want to guess in the middle of the night what is a fridge and what isn’t. It’s also unnecessary effort to get everything to conform for beauty’s sake, not for practicality.
While the solution is to remove the panels from the refrigerator doors, what if you wanted to keep them? At least differentiate the doors from the rest of the kitchen by repainting them.
Having two corner sinks does not improve the situation
Location, location, location. Haven’t we learned this in real estate? That doesn’t just apply to find a home; it also applies to inside a home’s interior as well!
How inconvenient is it to have so little space to stand to use these two sinks? When moving the gooseneck faucet from one basin to another, the potential splash on the counter and floor is annoying! Also, the person standing in that space using the sinks will block access to the base drawers on either side.
Fixing this is not going to be a small remodel. The undermounted sinks and openings in the countertop mean you need a new countertop with new sink openings, at least. There are not many scenarios where you would salvage this design. You could cover one of the openings with a cutting board and expand the other opening to a larger sink. Yet that would be a temporary solution to such an abstract design.
With two corner drawers, only one has the right of way
No one puts drawers in the corner because of scenarios like this.
By having protruding arch handles mounted on each drawer, neither drawer can fully extend. Thus we lose storage space in BOTH drawers, not just one.
The solution to this kitchen design is to use drawers that don’t rely on pulls that block each other from opening. The drawer panels like these can use a notch at the top section for fingers to pull the drawer. Or you can get handleless drawers where the drawer panel edge has a lip that you can pull. Both of these are attractive ideas, although you will want to conform all the drawers the same way. And removing the silver arch handle pulls will give this a cleaner appearance in this case!
Too much open shelving
Open shelving continues to be a trend in kitchens. While it’s ideal if you are a showroom, but less practical in real life.
To take advantage of open shelving, you have to pay attention to organizing the items on the shelf. Otherwise, the shelves are prone to look messy unless you have specific things that are placed in those shelves. Treating open shelves like general storage will look disorganized.
One solution is to replace the open shelving with cabinets. Having cabinets can keep your storage hidden, and you don’t need to be as meticulous to keep your kitchen clean.
If you want to keep your open shelving, then canisters with labels will keep your items systematic. Otherwise, give homes for specific items so that there is an order to your wares.
A tiny island that looks like the loneliest island in the world
Many people would love an island in their kitchen for the extra counter and storage space. However, this island looks tiny in proportion to the rest of the kitchen. While this setup isn’t horrible, it feels like we could use a bigger island or remove the island altogether.
Luckily, this problem looks easy to fix. Using another same size island with a countertop over both base cabinets would strengthen the look.
The owner might not be sure if they needed an island, hence committing to only half-an-island. Another solution is to use a rolling baker’s table for another surface built for cooking. Some baker’s tables have casters so they can be rolled to wherever it is needed to function best.
Before deciding to get an island, it is crucial to visualize why you are using it in your home. This is better than having an island just to have it.
A sink for grapes, but not for anything else
I’ve heard of shallow sinks, but this is ridiculous.
A platform with a drain? You cannot wash anything on the left-hand side of this sink without making a mess. When you swing the faucet to the other side, you can only fit a shallow bowl under the tap.
That section of the sink would be replaced with more countertop surface, a cutting board or a dish rack mat. If you can substitute a part of the appliance design with something you get from the dollar store, that thing needs better design. Solution? A proper sink with a deep basin works better here. Should you keep this kind of a sink, it is essential to have a dishtowel within reach.
Fakes are meant to be convincing, this is not
Texture creates a visual interest that is an appeal to the eye. But this fake red brick pattern looks more like an eyesore than a sight for sore eyes.
The flatness of the magenta brick coloring and simulated gray grout makes the background look unnatural. When paired with the green patterned floor tile, it makes that floor look cheap rather than elegant. Since patterns synch off of each other, it lowered the quality of the different parts of the room.
The solution is simple: replace the fake brick wallpaper with… anything. There is no reason to save it. If the owner wants bricks without building a wall, there are brick veneers used for walls and backsplashes. The appearance can have realistic textures that can be seen AND felt when dealing with it closely.
Another solution for this kitchen design is to paint or decorate the wall with something that resonates with the floor. Not taking advantage of the current strengths of the room is a waste.