Your kitchen is likely to be a hub for your family – a space where you can enjoy some of the most important moments of the day, share stories and significant conversations, and organize the rest of your lives via calendars and fridge magnets. It’s only right, then, that your kitchen’s design is focused on your family’s needs, ensuring that everyone is catered for – in more ways than one. While you’ll need to leave plenty of room to carry out the practicalities, such as cooking, there’s no reason why your creativity shouldn’t be given full reign in your kitchen. Who knows what you’ll create once your imagination engages?
As well as creating a space that’s comfortable, open, and inviting, you may wish to make the following considerations when creating your family-friendly kitchen.
Make it interesting
Your kitchen is probably the most practical room in your home, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t also be stylish; color can become king wherever you choose to impart your creativity, after all. Family-friendly kitchens are those that engage their occupants, so consider bold bursts of color and interesting textures to get you started. Combinations of wood, metal, fabrics, and stone can work incredibly well together and will draw together a kitchen that’s both functional and effortlessly beautiful. Remember that family kitchens should be low maintenance, so choose materials that are going to be easy to keep clean. If you’re nervous about using too many colors, choose a neutral scheme and accessorize your space with brighter hues instead.
Create a space that’s for children
Encourage your children to engage with kitchen activities, and remind them that this is a space to be used for family time and for fun; settling down to use the kitchen together can be a great way to create memories and strengthen bonds. Create a space that’s as open and versatile as possible, enabling you and your children to make the most of every nook and cranny. You may also wish to stock your cupboards with brightly colored pots, pans, and utensils, which are bound to attract tiny fingers and curious minds. Clear surfaces with plenty of space work particularly well for children, as do lowered sides and steps and lowered drawer spaces. Children need to be able to access their utensils with ease.
Bring work and play together
Keeping an eye on children while you’re cooking can be a hassle. If you’ve been blessed with a particularly large kitchen, consider introducing elements of a playroom, including kids’ furniture, cushions, and toys, and lowered worktops in one end. Not only will you be able to create a room that’s cozy, comfortable, and multifunctional, but you’ll also save yourself a little space elsewhere in the home. As your children grow, the play space will become an integral study space, and provide a little room for you to complete important paperwork of your own. Make your kitchen interactive, and consider the technology that you’re likely to use; do you have enough charging points for laptops, tablets, and phones, for example?
Harness natural light
Natural light is one of the most beautiful resources to which we have access. Brightening dark corners, opening up smaller spaces, and creating the illusion of grandeur, natural sunlight can transform any room – particularly cramped and cluttered kitchens. Families tend to thrive in bright, airy rooms, so give your kitchen the burst of life that it’s crying out for with a set of interior shutters. Shutters can be customized to match just about every theme imaginable and will enable you to control the flow of light into your home with ease and convenience. In addition, these decorative window dressings can reduce noise from the outside world and create a comfortable temperature when you’re battling the seasons.
Make storage safe
If your kitchen is to be completely family-centered, you’ll need to think about secure storage for sharp utensils, cleaning products, and delicate crockery. If children are to use the space to its full potential, they must be able to access its cupboards and surfaces without fear of injury or upset. To the best of your ability, keep your kitchen well organized and tidy, and consider using high shelves, drawers, and cupboards for anything that must remain out of a child’s grasp. You may also want to purchase a packet of door locks, ensuring that dangerous chemicals or breakable items are well and truly safe from curious little fingers. There are other benefits to keeping your kitchen well organized, of course; your family will be able to access everything that it needs, including calendar dates and utensils, if things are always where they’re expected to be.
While it’s certainly important for functionality to reign over all else in the kitchen, there’s no reason why your cooking and dining space can’t be fun and family-centered. Indeed, with a few simple design choices and carefully considered accessories, your kitchen has the potential to be as comfortable and characterful as the rest of your home. In order to harness the room’s potential, consider asking your children how they’d use the space. A room that grows with your family is going to be the most adored, and useful, in the years ahead.