How to Correct a Poorly Designed Kitchen

How to Correct a Poorly Designed Kitchen

Sometimes, a kitchen design may look perfectly fine on paper, but once you start cooking you notice issues like lack of storage or work surfaces. This can make cooking a frustrating and possibly difficult task. A poorly planned kitchen typically is one that does not consider the actual act of cooking, and so may have issues like the ones mentioned above. Alternatively, your kitchen’s design may be perfectly fine, but it is so old that it is no longer an efficient plan.

While the size of the renovation you are able to do will vary depending on your budget and space, there are several ways to improve your kitchen’s functionality without doing a major remodel. Having a poorly planned kitchen can make the cooking feel like a chore, and it can be so bad that you avoid cooking altogether. In order to help you discover your inner chef, we put together a quick guide for improving the functionality of your kitchen.

Common Issues

The most common issues with kitchen efficiency come from the lack of proper planning. These issues can manifest in ways like insufficient storage, lack of work surfaces, or even problems with the flow of traffic through the room. Some of these issues can be easy fixes that don’t require a lot of renovation. However, other issues may be impossible to fully solve without taking on a larger remodel project.

If you have the budget and space, many of these issues can be solved through remodeling. However, this process can be costly and requires time and space. For example, one solution to insufficient working space is to install additional countertops. But, this cannot be done if you don’t have enough empty space or a big enough budget. Luckily, there are other options that don’t require that level of time or money.

Work Triangle

A good way to conceptualize this type of renovation project is in terms of the work triangle. The work triangle is a kitchen organization method that focuses on maximizing your efficiency in the kitchen. It accomplishes this by strategically positioning workstations near major appliances in the kitchen to minimize the number of steps the chef takes while cooking.

Everyone’s work triangle will be different, so it will take a bit of planning and experimentation to find a setup that works for you. Planning out your work triangle will also help you identify areas of your kitchen that won’t work for you and will need to be corrected.

Kitchen Traffic

The first of the three issues has to do with kitchen traffic. If your kitchen wasn’t planned properly, you may have the issue of bumping into or almost colliding with others in the kitchen. While this is partly unavoidable in very small kitchens, it is something that can be mitigated through the use of the work triangle concept.

Part of planning out the workstations in the triangle is thinking about what is happening around that area. If it is right next to the refrigerator, you could run into an issue with others getting drinks or other items and possibly bumping into you. While normally this isn’t a big deal, when you are holding a knife and prepping ingredients it can lead to a trip to the emergency room. This is why you should focus on establishing workstations in areas that do not interest the flow of traffic in the kitchen.

Work Surfaces

Not having enough to set up a workstation in your kitchen is another design flaw that can be wildly frustrating. Having to break down and clean up each workstation before proceeding can make cooking take longer and can have a negative impact on the final result. One solution to this issue is to add more countertops or other work surfaces to your space. However, this can be costly and also requires a bit of space.

If you don’t have the budget or space for more countertops, then there are a few options available. One budget-friendly option to solve this issue is to order a rolling kitchen island or baker stand. These can be ordered in a wide variety of sizes and configurations, so finding something that can help your space shouldn’t be an issue. Often, moveable work surfaces like these come have selves below or other storage options, so it can help with two issues at once. Plus, since it is on wheels, it can easily be moved to be most effective.

Kitchen Storage

It always seems like there is never enough space for all the things you want to keep in the kitchen. From utensils to small appliances, being able to properly store all of your cookware helps to prevent your kitchen from feeling cluttered and maybe overwhelming. However, there are some solutions to this issue. Of course, if you have the budget and space, you can purchase new storage options like cabinets. However, if you need less permanent or more budget-friendly options, you will have to get a bit creative.

One way to help with kitchen storage issues without remodeling is to rearrange your cabinets. If the work triangle in mind, you should make a list of all the things you want to store in your kitchen, and then plan how best to store them in coordination with the work triangle. This is also a great opportunity to let go of items you may not use often or at all. So, as you plan out what to store and where, be sure to keep a box handy for items to donate.

If you have the budget and space, purchasing new cabinets or a tall pantry can be a great way to solve your storage issues. A pantry could be great for storing all of your dry and canned food. If you are planning a more involved renovation, adding a base cabinet will also add storage, and when you add a countertop to it you will also have another work surface. There are also lots of budget-friendly storage options like hanging baskets, free-standing shelves, and movable kitchen islands. The exact combination will be unique to every kitchen, so don’t be afraid to experiment and try something new.

Finding Solutions for Badly Planned Kitchens

A poorly designed kitchen can be frustrating and make you not want to cook. The best way to fix a bad design is with a well-planned renovation. The work triangle can be a helpful starting point for thinking about how to improve your kitchen’s functionality. Sometimes it can be as easy as rearranging some cabinets, other times it requires a substantial project.

If you are ready to get started or need assistance, feel free to give us a call at 1-844-326-6680 or an email to Our team of trained cabinet experts can assist you with everything from measuring for doors to kitchen design to ordering.