Kitchen Design Mistakes to Avoid

by Jacqui Zuzgo 09/18/2022


When you have a custom home, you’re able to set your kitchen up in almost any way you want. While this gives you a lot of freedom during the design process, there are some common mistakes that creep up. These mistakes can make your kitchen less functional overall, which can affect your home’s value and your day-to-day life. Here are the most common kitchen design mistakes to avoid:

Overlooking the Work Triangle

One basic principle of kitchen design is the work triangle, which refers to your fridge, sink and stove. You should be able to get to any part of the work triangle and move between these components with no obstruction. This helps ensure you can prepare meals, wash dishes or handle other kitchen tasks with ease. When designing your kitchen, keep in mind that the work triangle should be separate from the main foot traffic area. This helps prevent family members from getting in your way while you’re trying to make dinner or do other tasks. The parts of your work triangle should also be close to each other for easy access rather than separated farther apart.

Ignoring Vertical Space

Kitchen design focuses on horizontal spaces, such as rows of cabinets and cupboards, but you shouldn’t ignore vertical space. Making use of vertical space can provide you with additional storage, which can come in handy in smaller kitchens. You can have cabinets and cupboards reach all the way to the ceiling instead of leaving space above them. You might also add open shelves to the walls for extra storage space. If you have enough room, you can do a combination of open shelves and closed cabinets to maximize storage space.

Creating a Crowded Kitchen

Your kitchen should offer plenty of space for you and your family to move around easily. For example, avoid putting an island in the middle of a smaller kitchen. Even in larger kitchens, you’ll still need to make sure there is enough room on either side of the island for people to walk around. If you want to offer seating in a kitchen with limited space, consider extending one end of the counter and placing a couple of stools by it.

Forgetting to Measure

Kitchens often have more features than other rooms because of cabinets and cupboards, so it’s important to measure carefully. Make sure you get cabinets and cupboards in the right size for your kitchen. Having ones that are too small can throw off the look of your kitchen and reduce storage space. Having ones that are too big means they’ll be taking up more wall space than needed. You might also have to either switch to smaller ones or cut back on the number of cabinets and cupboards you have. When measuring, you’ll also need to make sure your appliances will fit between cabinets and cupboards.

Not Having Enough Light

Kitchens need more light than other areas in homes. When planning your kitchen design, include windows for natural light, overhead lights for added brightness and task lighting to illuminate specific areas, such as sinks or counters. Keep in mind that you can add more lighting later on if needed.

About the Author

Jacqui Zuzgo

I have been a REALTOR® in Massachusetts since 1984 and hold both a salesman and broker license. I am currently affiliated with Five College REALTORS® located at 190 University Drive, Amherst, MA. Over my career, I have consistently been a Top Producer in the Pioneer Valley and have gained a reputation for being a strong-minded, no-nonsense negotiator in the industry. I also frequently rank highly on Boston’s Top 20 for sales in Western Massachusetts. Some of my best qualities include my listening and communication skills. I have time and again proven to work well under pressure with exceptional attention to detail. My commitment to my clients and professionalism is obvious in every transaction.

Representing both buyers and sellers in Hampshire and Franklin Counties, as well as assisting in relocations throughout the United States and globally has helped me embrace the need for quality performance and develop an acute and sincere sensitivity to people's needs. Honing in on what matters most is almost a sixth sense. Communication and awareness of the situation at hand produce a final result that has undoubtedly led to the large referral business I maintain.

Education has been a theme throughout my 30 years of experience. Well versed in technology and holding key designations have proven to be assets to my performance and dedication to the Real Estate field. My never-ending enthusiasm, availability, knowledge and drive make for a seamless transaction every client, every time.

I am a native of the Pioneer Valley. I am committed to sharing all the area has to offer in making your transition, whether long distance or short, a satisfying experience.


  • University of Massachusetts, Amherst - Bachelor of Science 1983
  • Top Individual Seller for Residential Sales in the Pioneer Valley since 2006.
  • #1#1 Realtor in the entire Franklin/Hampshire Counties for Millions Sold since 1999.
  • Highest producer in sales since 2004 in Franklin/Hampshire Counties.
  • ABR®– Accredited Buyer's Representative
  • CRS – Certified Residential Specialist (only 3% of REALTORS® hold a CRS)
  • e-PRO – Digital Marketing, Certified e-PRO Realtor®
  • GRI – Graduate, Realtors® Institute
  • SRES– Seniors Real Estate Specialist®

Biographical Highlights:

Life long, active member of the community, born & raised in the Pioneer Valley. Graduate of University of Massachusetts, Amherst, BS 1983.

Current Committee Involvement:

Member of the local Chamber of Commerce - Post Board of Director's member Volunteer for the Road to Recovery.

Greenfield Community College Foundation Board Member 

Greenfield Savings Bank Corporator

MLS Professional Standards Committee Member

Have a question for Jacqui? Jacqui's email: [email protected]