House Beautiful’s Top Kitchen Design Mistakes

I recently read House Beautiful‘s Biggest Kitchen Design Mistakes, and for the most part I agree with their list!

Joan Schlinder

One that made the list was not taking your cabinets to the ceiling.  Leaving a space above the cabinetry typically results  in a breeding ground for faux ivy covered in dust.  Am I wrong? Anywho, do check out the rest of House Beautiful’s no-no’s for kitchen design here.  It’s Decorologist-approved!

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15 thoughts on “House Beautiful’s Top Kitchen Design Mistakes

  1. [email protected] Calling says:

    Hi Kristie, Since I am between House Beautiful subscriptions, I am glad you posted this one! That was an interesting list, and well-chosen as you said, but I really got a laugh at #6. I have yet to run across (or even hear about) a friend or client who felt she needed to change out her kitchen because of the big mistake of, quoting from the article, “Too much Storage.”

  2. Jen C. says:

    i agree! i absolutely despise that area above my cabinets. it has nothing but about 2 inches of dust. (which i prefer over fake ivy.) what does one do with that space? HELP!

    • Peggy @The Decorating Files says:

      Rather than going with a lot of little pieces, try using just a few larger ones. You’ll still have to dust, but it will be easier to do if you have less pieces. If the items have smooth surfaces, they can be quickly wiped clean. Anything with texture will trap the dust more. This is also a great opportunity to bring in lots of color or punches of it as needed to enhance the space. Have fun with it!

  3. Amy says:

    My cabinets don’t go all the way to the ceiling, but instead of empty space there are bulkheads with can lights. All of the top cabinets are within easy reach. The previous owners were not very tall and the cabinets are customized for them. Even the counters are not standard height. Anyway I don’t have a problem with dust collecting, but it does make the kitchen feel really small AND it really cuts into my storage. Hopefully we will be able to take out those bulkheads soon and extend the cabinets up to the ceiling!

    • Kristie Barnett says:

      Although it seems counter-intuitive, cabinets to the ceiling actually make the ceiling appear taller and a room to appear larger. And it’s just wasted space up there, anyway, right? Might as well put it to work!

  4. Peggy @The Decorating Files says:

    Great list and photos from HB, but I have to join with everyone in saying that there is no such thing as too much storage in a kitchen. I will always find something to put in all that space, no matter how big it is! Love the idea of to-the-ceiling cabinets, too. More storage and no dust! It’s a great spot to store things you don’t use on a regular basis. Another good idea for the shorter top cabinets is putting clear or frosted glass in the doors and lighting it from within. You can place decorative pottery or other items inside for display. Thanks for sharing the article Kristie!

  5. joy says:

    I guess the idea of have cabinet not to the ceiling is that, 1, it costs more when adding more cabinet; 2. it’s too high to reach if putting in cabinet. If you store something to such a high location, it may indicate the stuff does not deserve a spot in the kitchen 🙂

    • Kristie Barnett says:

      Yeah, but there are always kitchen items that we only pull out a couple of times a year, right? Especially serving trays for parties/entertaining and seldom-used kitchen appliances. I just added some high shelves in my tiny closet – now I can store out-of-season clothes and such in my closet instead of the steamer trunk in another part of the house (which is where I used to store them). I have a step-stool that I keep in there, so it’s not a big deal to hop up there and get stuff down when needed.

  6. Debbie says:

    I have such envy over cabinets that go all the way to the ceiling. In my teeny tiny kitchen in my teeny tiny house I have to actually use that space to hold essential but bulky things like platters, serving bowls and my Crock Pot. If I could just have doors to cover up the clutter, I would be a happy, happy girl. My teeny tiny budget doesn’t allow for revamping the kitchen, but if it did, I would dig deep to allow for the extra expense of having cabinets all the way up. Definitely would be worth it!

    • claire says:

      I have the same problem of no space and no budget, and I also have to use that space above the cabinets. I have found a good trick is to put things inside nice looking (and neutral looking) basket/boxes, that way things look less cluttered and more aesthetic.

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