When building a kitchen there's a natural inclination to discuss the 'look' first - glass or paint? Wood or quartz? Picture: Supplied

Too often, expert insight is overlooked which can drastically impact the finished project. 

Industry experts from The Studio Collection – members of the African Institute for Interior Design Professions - have outlined some of the more common mistakes people make when planning to re-model the kitchen. Remember too, to take what the knowledge you acquire and apply it to your individual circumstance.

Form over function

When building a kitchen there's a natural inclination to discuss the 'look' first - glass or paint? Wood or quartz? But, before you rush into the mood-boards and start plotting out the look of your kitchen, think deeply about your lifestyle and how you use your kitchen. Do you entertain? Do you cook yourself or does someone do it for you? 

Do you have young kids that are going to scribble on everything? Are you a particularly messy cook? These considerations are the most important starting points because they will ensure that your design is fundamentally practical and certain features are given priority. 

For example - the fact that you entertain might call for a double island. The fact that you're a messy cook might call for porcelain tops. The fact that you have young kids might call for high-quality laminate doors instead of painted ones.

Settling

Finding a kitchen company or interior designer you trust is important for a number of reasons - the key one being how they specify their work. Unfortunately, many local interior design professionals have a limited source of supply when it comes to finishes, and this often gets presented as "the best that’s out there". 

As a consumer, you need to ensure that you do your homework and understand what's possible in terms of design and finishes so you aren't beholden to the advice of designers with a limited source of supply. Empower yourself with this knowledge and you'll feel a lot more at ease during the specification process.

Taking a short-term view

Kitchens are one of the longest lasting investments you will make in your lifetime. You might change your car every few years, but most people live with a kitchen for the better part of their lives. 

With that in mind, it's important to think about how the design you choose might age. It's not always possible to predict, but a kitchen designer worth his weight should have a good idea of design features that are trend driven versus ones that are more timeless. 

We all want a certain element of trendiness in our homes, but ensure you aren't fitting your house with the kitchen equivalent of bell-bottoms - something you might come to regret in years to come.

Skimping

As mentioned, most kitchens are for life, so you should ensure that you are always getting the best possible work you can afford. Cutting corners on your design, or skimping on the materials or company you work with will only come back to haunt you in the years to come. 

Peeling edging, discoloured materials and frustrating designs are the hallmark of skimping on a kitchen, and when it comes to the most used room in your house, you should avoid this situation at all costs.

Decorex Cape Town will take place at the Cape Town International Convention Centre from May 1 to 5.