10 Kitchen & Bathroom Renovation Mistakes To Avoid

A renovation, of any kind, is a BIG undertaking.

For many, it can be a rollercoaster ride that turns into their worst nightmare.

No project is ever plain-sailing but there are some key steps you can take to make the journey as smooth as possible.

Kitchen and bathroom renovations are often the trickiest to get right so the more insight you have, the better.

With over 30 years’ experience as a kitchen designer, I’ve seen my fair-share of reno blunders, both my own and other people’s.

So I’ve put together my top 10 mistakes to avoid when renovating your kitchen or bathroom


Mistake #1 – Not visualizing the end design

When renovating your kitchen or bathroom, you need to “see” what it’s going to look like. If you can visualise the end design, it makes the whole renovation process a lot easier. Before you lift-a-finger, getting a feel for colour schemes, how the appliances will fit and where your storage will go is essential. Seeing what your kitchen or bathroom will look like can shave off hours of blood, sweat and tears. Learn how to get a visual of your design here.

Mistake #2 – Inaccurate plans & specs

Going over budget on a renovation project is one of the main issues new renovators face. Quite often, this is due to not having accurate plans and specs drawn up to get correct quotes. Guestimating just doesn’t cut it. You need to know exactly what you’re working with so you can get accurate prices from your suppliers. Here’s how to get plans and specs drawn up. 

Mistake #3 – Not doing your research

When doing any kind of renovation, the key is: research, research, research. Don’t let poor planning be your downfall as your reno will be a flop! Chat to experts, research the best materials to use and test out different colour schemes and tiling options. Instead of traipsing around showrooms, which can be exhausting, do it in the comfort of your own home with Virtual Reality.  This amazing technology allows you to see what different paint colours, tiles, appliances, benchtops, cabinets and doors will look like in your kitchen or bathroom. So if you’re struggling to make a decision, this is the perfect solution for you!

Mistake #4 – Ignoring expert advice

Working with an experienced kitchen or bathroom designer takes away the headache of guesswork. Designers know what makes a great kitchen or bathroom and what doesn’t – their expert advice is based on hundreds of other renovator’s mistakes. Listen to their advice.

Mistake #5 – Not considering the rest of the house

Jumping straight in to design your kitchen or bathroom, without considering the aesthetics of the rest of the house is a big no-no. I’ve seen people do this and it creates issues later on. A retro kitchen in a retro house – yes. Retro kitchen in a super stylish modern home – erm, no. Select a style that suits your whole house. When getting designs done, ask your designer to draw-in other important rooms such as the dining area and family room. Seeing your new bathroom or kitchen in conjunction with the other rooms in your house will give you a real feel for how it will blend in (or not). Here’s an example so you can see what I mean.

Mistake #6 – Doing a rush job

Rushing the design process and inefficient planning are major mistakes people make. Renovating a kitchen or bathroom requires time, patience and dedication – it’s definitely not a 5-minute job! If you don’t have a lot of time up your sleeve, wait until you do.

Mistake #7 – Choosing the wrong materials & accessories

When it comes to kitchens and bathrooms, your choice of building materials, design features and accessories is endless. Do you go for vinyl or acrylic doors? A slide-out pantry or a cargo unit? Ask your designer to go through all the options available so you can choose what’s best for you.

Mistake #8 – Forgetting about practicality

A beautiful kitchen with all the bells-and-whistles might look great but if it’s not functional, then it’s no use to anyone. Don’t get too caught up in the design aspect without thinking about practicality. Does it do all the things you need it to do? Is there good storage? Enough bench space? Should you go for a wall oven or an under-bench oven? Under-bench ovens are great to free up workbench space but then you lose out on the convenience of an eye-level oven. Functionality should always be your top priority.

Mistake #9 – Getting the lighting wrong

Lighting can make or break your kitchen or bathroom. What inexperienced renovators don’t realise is: if you install your lights in the wrong place, you’ll get shadows where you don’t want them. This is a disaster! Lights should be positioned precisely to create a warm, inviting environment. Another thing to bear in mind is, different wall paint colour schemes are affected by different lighting. Get your designer to play around with different wall colours so you can see what’s going to work best in your home.

Mistake #10 – Overlooking the “small” things

Attention to detail when renovating a kitchen or bathroom is a MUST. Don’t just look at the “big” picture, you also need to think about things like counter space, spalshbcks and ventilation. These elements are more important than which shade of cream to go for.

Create your dream renovation by getting things right from the beginning.

If you’re looking for inspiration and tips for your next bathroom or kitchen renovation, check out our free e-book. It’ll tell you all you need to know from what materials and colour scheme to go for to which splashbacks, lighting and appliances to choose.

If you want to sound out your reno idea and talk to experts in the business, contact us here for a complimentary, obligation-free chat to today.

If you liked this post, please share it with any friends or colleagues who are about to embark on their next renovation!