If you’ve got kids in the household, you probably want to make sure the space is functional and family-friendly, while still being fashion-forward — a tall order, no doubt. But something that’s completely possible, especially in this day and age.
Just keep in mind how you plan on using the kitchen, and what currently works and doesn’t work in the space. That way, you know what direction to go when making certain decisions in regards to the layout, appliances, and everything else you’d normally find in a standard galley.
With that in mind, I’d suggest you consider the following when designing a kitchen for adults and kids alike:
- Open floor plan. Oftentimes, the two rooms that get the most play in a family home are the kitchen and the living room. Rather than going traditional, blur the lines and create two rooms in one. With the right design, the kitchen can blend seamlessly with a family room, creating a multifunctional space where you can cook while keeping an eye on the kids as they play — out of your way, no less.
- Non-work zones. Positioning certain appliances and storing certain amenities on a single wall can help keep kids out of your work zone. Let’s say, for instance, you put the fridge and microwave next to a pantry, yet away from the range and sink. You can now cook in peace, while the kids grab an afterschool snack.
- Multipurpose island. No other feature in a family-friendly kitchen gets more use than an island. Obviously, it adds counter space for food prep but can also serve as a snack bar, a place for weekday breakfasts, and a spot for the kids to do homework. Get a few speakers in the space, and you can throw on some music and relax with a nice glass of wine at the end of the night.
- Accessible pantry. Storage can be of great concern for many families. Designing a new kitchen with an accessible pantry gives you plenty of room for groceries and provides the opportunity to designate lower shelves for kid-friendly foods, which can promote a little self-sufficiency for tikes.
- Breakfast nook. Another multipurpose option for a family-friendly kitchen is a breakfast nook, banquette, or whatever else you may want to call it. The built-in bench not only allows you to fit more people in a much smaller space but can be used for extra storage space. And if you go with an indoor-outdoor fabric for the cushions, you’ve just made it that much easier to keep the whole area clean.
- Easy-to- clean surfaces. Nothing gets dirtier in a family-friendly home than the kitchen — with the bathroom being a close second, of course. Besides indoor-outdoor fabric, you hshould consider choosing other easy-to- clean surfaces for the space. Quartz, for example, isn’t as porous as other surfaces — plus it’s durable and a bit more shock absorbent than other materials.
- Refrigerator drawers. Refrigerators come in all sorts of configurations, and a family-friendly kitchen will often have one that include separate drawers conveniently located in arm’s reach for children. That way you can stock them with food for kids and plays into the whole self-sufficiency discussed with the pantry.
- Camouflaging cabinets. Cabinets inevitably lend a sense of style to any kitchen. But they also showcase those sticky fingerprints. Instead of choosing high-gloss cabinetry, opt for antiqued, distressed, or stained surfaces that hide smudges and smears — until, of course, you have a chance to clean them off.
If you’d like to learn more about making a kitchen more family-friendly, please feel free to contact Fair & Square Remodeling. We can discuss your ideas for the space and make sure they work for your home, lifestyle, and budget.