It’s time for another: “Spot the Kitchen Errors #7”

Decent sized kitchen. Lighting seems inadequate, but could be me...


Here’s the evidence:

  • relatively nice-sized kitchen
  • nice landing spaces by all the appliances and sink
  • good upper storage
  • not bad lower storage
  • refrigerator is hinged correctly so that the door opens away from the landing counter
  • enough room for a couple to work in but not much more

Here are the questions:

  1. What’s the biggest error?
  2. What minor design flaw do you think makes Kelly screw up her face?
  3. What do you think could have made this kitchen better?


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  1. The things that annoy me the most, just looking at it, are 1) the treatment of the entire area above the range – from the wood-clad soffit to the ridiculous trim on either side; 2) I feel that maintaining the “hallway” area next to the kitchen rather than incorporating it into the kitchen is a big waste of useful space; 3) the over-mount sink in stone; 4) the inconsistant width of the upper cabinets, most particularly the huge cabinets in the difficult-to-access corner near the sink; 5) the low level of visual contrast, and therefor interest (my goodness, the edge of the cabinet near the sink practically blends into the floor!); 6) the plug locations appear to be all to the left of the stove, and are in both the wall and the 4″ backsplash, and aren’t even aligned — sets my teeth on edge; 7) light placement without regard to location of kitchen tasks. Additionally, I think that over-the-range microwaves are insufficient for ventilation, and the full backsplash behing the stove transitioning into a 4″ backsplash of the same material on either side is stupid-looking, but those may be personal preference issues.

  2. In addition to the problems already listed (bland, poor lighting, dishwasher location? etc.)
    The uppers on the left side of the kitchen, above the toaster, look extremely difficult to access.
    I would want to look out that beautiful big window while puttering in the kitchen, not stand with my back to it.

  3. The Microwave is installed too low, and probably insufficient venting for a Gas Range. And there is not much to like in this Kitchen.

  4. Is that a TOP-MOUNT sink in granite? Sacrilege!
    Yes, hiding the ductwork for the micro was clearly an after thought. If it were electric, you could just recirculate thus not needing the ducting. Could have at least run crown across the top of it to make it look better.
    Looks like there is overhang on both the end and back of the peninsula. So, how about a DW and end panel since there is clearly not space in the corner – nor should anyone ever put a DW in the corner. EVER.
    I can’t see in the picture, but where are the outlets on the backsplash? I assume they aren’t the angled strip ones under the cabinets. No light rail either.
    Could have done a better job staging for the pic. A lonely sad toaster and paper towel holder (on the counter!). Window treatments?
    No pendants above the peninsula? Also, where are the switches to the cans (that better be on a dimmer).
    I know I’m just being picky….

  5. Looks like a retirement condo show unit.
    Recognize the bland paint… hoping buyers can “visualize” and extrapolate their own personal taste.
    Functionally –
    Lighting? Why avoid direct lighting the range and sink?
    And I HATE the range hood detail. Less is not more here. “Less” drew my immediate attention to the awkward block of nothingness that anchors the room.

  6. I assume that the soffit above the range is there to hide the vent ductwork. Looks like they tried to disguise it as part of a focal area surrounding the range. But just missed. Either run the surround and trims to the ceiling and add crown molding at the ceiling in this area, or play it down by painting the soffit area to match the walls and run the crown at the top of the cabinets straight across the cabinet above the microwave.
    Speaking of which, if I remember, Kelly, you’re not a big fan of over the range microwaves. Especially over a gas range. Looks like there might be enough room beside the refrigerator to place the MW there, or I might build in a “spacesaver” microwave in the cabinet to the left of the range to get it closer to the sink.

  7. fransikaner says:

    This is the contractor-grade apartment special from hell and the reason homeowners are conditioned to accept mediocre design.
    1. This is a shot in the dark, but I don’t see a dishwasher.
    2. Has to be the backsplash not going all the way up to the cabinets.
    3. Put in a 4′ range top with BIG red dials. Potential buyers will overlook all the shortfalls

  8. NordeastB says:

    1. The short cabinets.
    2. Beige paint with a beige-ish granite countertop.
    3. Eliminate the carpet and extend the tile to the outer wall.