Today we are going to look at 15 of the most embarrassingly bad custom kitchen fails.


There are some things that you can do yourself, but some require expert experience. Cerwood has over 40 years experience building custom kitchens, so we know a “fail” when we see it.


We’ll take a deeper look at why these kitchens didn’t quite hit the mark. Let’s see those fails!

While the fridge may seem like the centre of the kitchen, having it literally in the centre of a kitchen is an electrical and functional nightmare. Ideally, you need counter space beside the refrigerator and it needs to be against a wall for easy plug in. 


While the idea of an island is great, it needs to be a certain size to be functional, and not all spaces are suitable for a kitchen island. This is where expert opinion is crucial. While you may have been looking for extra food preparation space, this island certainly won’t do it. 

3. Twisted Piping & electrical - a Safety disaster

Twisting water pipes and electrical cords and outlets is never a good idea. Be mindful of safety when installing pipes and electrical. This may be an area where you need to hire a professional. 

4. Overlapping Drawers and Cabinets

When designing a kitchen, you need to be mindful of having adequate space for opening drawers and cabinets. 

5. Tight for space? Don't mix the kitchen and bathroom

Somehow in this small bachelor space, the bathroom made its way into the kitchen! If you have a small space there is a right and a wrong way to arrange the rooms so that you get everything you need – and don’t have any hygiene issues!

6. Cabinets not being secured properly - accounting for the weight of dishes

This really is a disaster waiting to happen. Along with being a “fail” it is also a hazard and extremely dangerous to you and your family. When it comes to mounting and securing cabinets, if you are not 100% confident in what you are doing, it’s best to hire a professional for your own safety. 

7. Island too small to work on

The purpose of a kitchen island is to be able to work on it, if it’s too small there won’t be adequate work space and then it has no use to you.

8. Outdated Fridge? Don't cover it to match your cabinets!

While your outdated fridge may still work great, it may not be the right fit for your custom kitchen. This concept – covering your outdated fridge in wood panelling to make it match – definitely didn’t work as planned. 

9. Beware of refrigerator doors & cabinets/ doorways

Again, we see doors colliding. Be sure to allow space for all of the doors and drawers opening and closing.

10. Drawers and appliances - you need space to open both!

Because of the overlap shown above, the valuable cabinet and drawer space is useless.

While saving space often seems like a good idea, when it comes to space saving in a kitchen, you have to be very careful. It’s important to consult experts when designing and planning the layout of your kitchen to make sure everything will function properly. 

12. Finishing touches? an exposed air duct instead

When it comes to design, you want all your pipe, ducts, and electrical to be hidden away. Be sure to consider this when planning the design/layout and actually executing the construction.

13. Mixing the bathroom and kitchen? Never a good idea

Eating and going to the bathroom should never mix! No matter how little space you have, you can always make space for separate kitchen and bathroom areas. 

14. Beware of narrow walkways and appliances

Narrow spaces can be a challenge. Always consider the width, including appliance and drawer opening widths. You may need to consider apartment size appliances if the width is too tight. 

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15. Appliance doors and appropriate spaces

Just because you might think you have just enough room to keep your stove and refrigerator next to each other doesn’t mean they’ll actually work or function properly that close together. One common mistake in kitchens is not leaving the space for cabinets, drawers, and appliances to open and function properly.

Avoid Custom Kitchen Fails – Contact Cerwood 


If you are looking for a custom kitchen at a reasonable price, contact Cerwood. You can partner with Cerwood to get the kitchen of your dreams at a price you can afford. Our expertise means our designers can suggest affordable solutions that you might not be aware of. 


Cerwood is a local, family-owned and operated business that truly cares about our customers. Having succeeded in the custom cabinet maker business for over 40 years is proof that our team is the best in the area, and that our customers happily recommend us to their friends and family members.

“…We would recommend Cerwood & Family to anyone looking for a high end kitchen, at a reasonable price! We absolutely LOVE our kitchen!”

– Cathy and Steve B.

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