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5 Worst Kitchen Designs vs 5 Best Kitchen Designs


What makes a kitchen bad? Only when you compare the best against the positively ghastly does the difference become crystal clear. We invite you to view the gallery and compare for yourself.

Fix It Renovation newsletter April 2014

What was the designer of this house on? Really, a fishpond, in the middle of the atrium? With a kitchen right beside it? We’re still trying to figure out how you get from the bottom of the stairs to the kitchen. And why there’s a door opening straight into the pond. No prizes for guessing what happens if you push your breakfast bar stool too far back…

Fix It Renovation newsletter April 2014

There are a multitude of sins here. With a view like that, we can see why they’ve put in a picture window, but why block half of it with a raised stove back and bench? And was the wall oven an afterthought? Wrong location, wrong height. Unless of course the primarily kitchen user is wheelchair-bound or a little person. If so, we apologise to the designer.

Fix It Renovation newsletter April 2014

Where do we begin? Sinks located away from fridge and cooktop. Cooktop lacking counter space on both sides. Poor triangulation and workflow. And don’t get us started on those dangly lamp things.

Fix It Renovation newsletter April 2014

On the face of it, there’s nothing wrong here. We like the timber floors and the white walls and ceilings create an illusion of greater space. But wait a minute – what’s with the hanging shelves? And what’s that behind them?

Fix It Renovation newsletter April 2014

Only when you see the kitchen from this angle can you tell how poor this layout is. A little alcove, a complete waste of space – so let’s make a feature of it by signwriting random words on the wall. Oh dear. The photos don’t show the rest of the kitchen so we don’t know how much room the designer had to play with, but surely that raised floor, half-wall, sink bench and suspended shelving could have been shuffled around a bit more creatively and functionally? 


Fix It Renovation newsletter April 2014
Photo via

This kitchen was voted the Worst Kitchen in America by DIY Network and Food Network Magazine from 20,000 photo and video submissions. We can’t understand why. After all, the black appliances all match. There’s no shortage of reading material on top of the fridge. And the switch hanging out of the wall has the flexibility to be accessed by small children as well as adults.

Fix It Renovation newsletter April 2014

The DIY Network team had a field day with this one. To open up the cramped kitchen, they demolished a dividing wall. They created the classic “kitchen triangle” between the stove, sink and fridge. Nice. But we would have liked to see more bench space on either side of the stove and a closer link between the “triangle” and the bench/storage space at the far right end of the kitchen. And have you ever tried to sit in one of those wire dining chairs?

Fix It Renovation newsletter April 2014

Here’s a kitchen we rate. Open, modern and sleek, this kitchen connects wonderfully with the outdoors. We like the contrast between the white kitchen and the black wall, and painting the ceiling beams white has ensured they don’t look too heavy and low. But there’s those metal chairs again…

Fix It Renvoations ezine 2014

Photo via

This was the House and Garden Kitchen of the Year last year. With two sinks, three workspaces and stainless steel drawers for storage, the Canterbury kitchen is supremely practical yet has brought a light and airy atmosphere to the 1885 house, thanks to the high stud and skylights. Amazingly, the builders discovered an old well by accident. Although House and Garden neglected to photograph it, it has been glassed over and lit up to make it into possibly the most extraordinary feature you’ll ever see in a kitchen.

Fix It Renovation newsletter April 2014

We’re going to end this gallery on a zen note. We like the sublime balance of timber and stone, artistry and functionality, natural and manmade, simplicity and complexity, and light and dark in this kitchen.

Compare this to the kitchen above with the goldfish pond beside it and let us know which you prefer.

Then talk to us about designing and constructing your new kitchen.

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