Your Long Island kitchen isn’t just a room where you store food and prepare meals for your family. It’s the place where everyone in your household gathers throughout the day to swap stories, share conversation and enjoy each other’s company. The best kitchen remodels in Long Island reflect that greater purpose with designs that bring people together. Achieving that convivial atmosphere without compromising style and functionality isn’t always easy, however.

Here are seven common pitfalls to avoid when updating your hard-working kitchen to enhance your family’s life at home.

1. Not Setting Clear Design Goals

It’s easy to focus all of your attention on selecting products, materials and finishes when there’s so many options, but don’t lose sight of the reason that prompted you to remodel your kitchen in the first place. Whether you want to improve your kitchen’s functionality, ambience or style, creating a wish list helps you define and set clear design goals. Organize the list according to your personal priorities, and allow your goals to inform every design decision and purchase.

2. Sacrificing a Functional Floor Plan for Style

Artful color schemes and eye-catching materials help you achieve a sophisticated style in your new Long Island kitchen, but for long-term satisfaction, it’s important to consider functional aspects like traffic flow and work patterns as well. Think about the tasks and activities that you and your family perform within the space, and arrange the floor plan to avoid traffic jams. A well-planned layout can save you from having to constantly double back to complete tasks.

3. Skimping on Poor-Quality Cabinets

Kitchen cabinets not only provide space for the more than 800 items stored in the average Long Island kitchen but set the tone for the room’s overall design as well. For lasting style and functionality, ensure that the cabinets that you choose are solid, sturdy and strong, inside and out. Take advantage of modern advancements like self-closing drawers and pull-out pantries, and invest in cabinets that will continue to function well and look great for years to come.

4. Lack of Countertop Space

One of the most common kitchen remodeling mistakes is designing a kitchen with too-little counter space. Although the size and shape of your kitchen plays a determining role in how many square feet of countertops that you can squeeze into the space, careful planning can help you make the most of this valuable real estate. Base cabinets equipped with roomy drawers, for example, can provide easily accessible storage for the small appliances that typically clutter countertops.

5. Not Paying Enough Attention to Lighting

Nothing makes a kitchen look drab and dull like inadequate lighting, yet it’s often the last design component that people consider when updating their kitchens. Lighting should provide ample illumination for key activities and offer enough ambient light to imbue the space with welcoming warmth. For countertop tasks, undercabinet lighting is a must. Recessed lights set on dimmers put you in control of the amount of light in the room, day and night.

6. Not Keeping Resale Value in Mind

According to the nation’s leading remodeling publication, you can expect to recoup up to 75 percent of the renovation costs of well-designed and artfully appointed kitchen. Homebuyers look for kitchens with modern appliances and quality materials. While you want your new kitchen to look fashionable and personable, it’s best to avoid trends that may make the space look outdated after just a few seasons. Stick to designs that offer long-lasting appeal.

7. Forgetting About Maintenance Tasks

When selecting materials for your cabinets, countertops and flooring, keep upkeep tasks in mind. Make sure that you understand what it takes to care for materials before shelling out your hard-earned dollars for them. Look for features that reduce the time that you spend on cleanup chores too, such as a sink with a pull-out faucet or self-cleaning oven.