They say having kids changes your life and every parent knows that to be so very true.
They also know that it isn’t just your life that undergoes massive changes – your home does too.
From creating a nursery and then the ideal kids bedroom to dealing with the rising tide of toys with clever home storage solutions, parents grow used to adapting their home to cater to their new family needs.
When it comes to the kitchen, you’re at the heart of the home and it’s the hub for family life. It would be fair to say that in most family homes, this is the room which gets the most use and draws people together.
From sharing meals to entertaining loved ones, doing homework or baking together, a room which facilitates all the togetherness and activity of life with children is a great addition to your home.
So if you’re planning a new kitchen, how do you get the design right for your family?
Get The Layout Right
The most fundamental component of a well designed family kitchen is done in the design stages – getting the layout right. Think about safety and functionality – an open-plan layout generally works well to keep an eye on young children while preparing a meal.
If you choose a peninsula or U-shaped kitchen, this can help to control the traffic through the room and allow kids to get up and down from the family room, garden & other areas within the home, without coming into the area where hot appliances are located.
Adding an island unit with seating can make the space more sociable, giving the family somewhere to sit and chat while meal prep is going on and making the cook feel a part of the activity. Spend some time playing around with different layouts to understand what will work best for you.
Go For Quality Materials
Family kitchens endure a lot of wear and tear, so choosing durable & beautiful materials is key to achieving a stylish space which stays looking good.
Go for flooring and worktops in particular which are durable and easy to care for – if you have the budget for marble or poured concrete that can work well, or you could consider installing hybrids? These high-tech new floor coverings combine the versatility and warmth of vinyl and laminate and are super easy to clean.
Consider practicality with your choice of cabinet finishes too – lots of high gloss and glass may look amazing in the kitchen showroom, but if you have small children, wiping sticky handprints off them could soon become the bane of your life.
Think About Heights
One thing you may not have considered but which can make a huge difference to your use of the room is the height of your work surfaces.
In a food preparation zone, you will need taller work surfaces which accommodate a standing adult. However, an island worktop may be at the wrong height to comfortably seat a small child or a baby in a high chair.
Your worktops don’t have to be a uniform height – varying them can be a pleasing and practical design feature but don’t forget that your kids will grow long before you think about replacing or renovating your kitchen, so kids not reaching certain heights is only a short term problem.
Hopefully these tips have been useful to you & make your home and kitchen in particular, a more cohesive work and family space.