When you spend so much time in your kitchen, planning an upgrade is extremely exciting. But before you get going, remember you’re not the only one you have to please — the perfect kitchen must look and function quite differently when there are kids to consider.
Your main priority should be making sure that all of the separate elements are suitable and safe for everyone in the household. This can be easily achieved with a bespoke kitchen design, as every single feature can be specifically tailored to your family’s requirements.
Here are some tips for creating a family-friendly kitchen that works for everyone.
Family-Friendly Kitchen Layouts
Kids will be kids, and as much as you might want them to stop running and playing around you while you’re making food, it’s likely that this will happen at some point. So, to keep them out of harm’s way (and your way), plan a kitchen layout that encourages children to avoid the cooking and prep areas.
For example, placing your fridge close to the door will give your children easy access without having to enter the main body of the kitchen. If you want them to lay the table in time for tea, it’s also helpful to position your china cupboard to the rear side of a kitchen island, or in a dresser near the dining table. This means the children can lend a helping hand without getting under your feet as you dish up.
Family-Friendly Kitchen Work Surfaces
A family kitchen can often be a little messy, so it’s important to choose worktop materials that can be wiped down quickly to get rid of any spills and smears. Quartz, for example, is an excellent choice because it looks luxurious, but isn’t porous, making it very easy to clean. It’s also resistant to heat, scratches and stains — ideal for when your children have clumsy moments.
Consider adding gently curved edges to work surfaces near entrances and exits to the kitchen too. This eliminates sharp corners and protects the heads of your little ones as well as your adult hips.
Family-Friendly Kitchen Furniture
Small children will often leave marks and sticky fingerprints on kitchen cabinets. Choosing models made up of simple panels with no crevices will make your kitchen easier to clean, giving crumbs and spillages nowhere to hide. The flat-fronted doors and drawers in our Linear kitchens are ideal for this purpose.
Pint-size furniture is another must-have, making it easier for your children to sit down for tea without assistance. Step stools, meanwhile, can allow them to access hard-to-reach places, like the kitchen sink.
A bespoke kitchen island may make another welcome addition to a family-friendly kitchen, offering somewhere for the kids to help you cook, do homework, or just sit and chat while you’re cooking up a delicious meal. But before you choose your favourite design, you need to consider how to make it as safe as possible.
Many people choose to incorporate a hob into their island so they have an extra cooking zone. If you want to do this, keep your children safe by opting for an induction hob, which has no exposed flames, and safety indicators that flash when it’s still hot. Also consider the height of potential seating areas. A breakfast bar that’s slightly higher than the rest of the island will keep small fingers away from boiling pans, as will a lower table attached to one side of the island. Just make sure there’s plenty of room for chairs to be pushed back without blocking any kitchen traffic.
Family-Friendly Kitchen Storage
Your kitchen storage needs to strike a balance between safety and accessibility. All your tools should be within easy reach for you, but not your kids. For example, instead of a knife block, a wall rack may be a better option, while other potentially dangerous utensils, such as a cheese grater, could have a dedicated drawer secured with a child lock.
A utility room is a convenient place to store things like coats and shoes, and keep your kitchen as clutter-free as possible. If you don’t have space, a cloakroom-style cupboard near the garden entrance is a good alternative, as well as a handy place to keep outdoor toys like balls, skittles and deflated paddling pools.
Our experienced designers are on hand to discuss your requirements and offer more advice. Call us on 0800 389 6938, request a design consultation, or visit your local showroom for inspiration and ideas.