3. The Regret: I'm really steamed at the sink
The first time I cooked pasta in our new kitchen, I realized that placing the sink in the corner with a cabinet above it was a big mistake. When I pour out the hot water, the steam has nowhere to rise except straight in my face. I did it to save space, but I should have stuck with the original plan and situated the sink under a window. —Diane Landtroop, Cold Spring, New York

Better Bet: Don't get cornered
Many homeowners find that placing a corner cabinet above the ­corner-situated sink is a tight squeeze, where steam and sloshed water often backfire. What's more, the triangular cabinet configuration can be impractical. Stuff gets lost in its depth, and there's always a chance as you stretch to reach what you want that something else will fall out and crash into the sink.

4. The Regret: I work harder than my appliances do
I wish we'd invested in a larger-capacity refrigerator and a second dishwasher when we designed our kitchen five years ago. With three children, our fridge is overflowing, and I am constantly unloading and reloading the dishwasher. —Suzanna Dutton, Richmond, Virginia

Better Bet: Maybe it's time to upgrade
It may seem extravagant, but new energy-efficient appliances might save your sanity, along with some money on your energy bill. Energy Star—qualified refrigerator models use high-efficiency compressors, improved insulation, and more precise temperature and defrost mechanisms to improve energy efficiency. They use 40 percent less than conventional models sold in 2001. Rather than swap out your current fridge, you might also consider adding a refrigerator drawer or two for additional food storage. If your kitchen is large enough, you could also add dishwasher drawers that allow you to wash your prep, breakfast, or lunch dishes and still have room for dinner dishes later on.

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