Upgrading or remodeling your kitchen is one of the most common and exciting home improvements out there. Not only is it great to bring new colors and layouts into your home, but changing the kitchen can also dramatically improve the functionality of your space and the value of your home.

Unfortunately, many homeowners fall into three common traps when they plan their kitchen upgrade, ultimately wasting their time and money. Here are the three biggest mistakes to avoid!

Picking Trendy Over Functional or Elegant

Renovating a kitchen is a substantial investment; this new version will serve you and your family for years to come. You might also have to explain your choices to skeptical buyers five or ten years down the line. Most importantly, though, the kitchen is a central place in your home, and its design should bring you joy for a long time.

By selecting classic fixtures, colors, and design elements, you can guarantee that your kitchen will still look elegant years later. If you want to add a trendy touch, consider accessories or inexpensive, removable features, anything from refrigerator magnets to wine glasses or cute cooking utensils.

Overlooking the Lighting

Inadequate lighting in a kitchen is a terrible problem, but few homeowners consider the lighting situation when they redesign the space. The most common mistake is falling in love with the design of a specific light fixture without considering placement options or the level of illumination it can provide. When it’s time to pick out light fixtures, make sure you know where you need illumination–like over the stove or sink–and what levels of lighting your current lights provide.

Not Thinking About Actual Kitchen Use

Your kitchen is one of the most-used rooms in your house, and you should keep that in mind when you are redesigning it. Take the time to think about how you and your family use the space, what problems you are currently dealing with, and the most common traffic patterns. Once you’ve considered movement and cooking spaces, move on to thinking about what you will be storing in the kitchen. If you are doing a significant renovation, it can be worth the extra money to install cabinets or other storage, especially suited to your needs.