Fresh Design Solutions for a Stylish and Functional Family Kitchen
A kitchen can be much more than a lab for culinary experiments. It can serve as a social hub of domestic life, where we can spend quality time as a family. The only problem is that there are so many moving parts to keep a close eye on. Moreover, you need to consider your present and future needs, the age of the children (if any), your stylistic preferences, budget, etc. Through it all, you also must find ways of blending functional and stylish features. Seems like too much ground to cover? Don’t fret-we got your back.
Choosing the layout
Picking the optimal layout is paramount, and it all depends on how you intend to use the kitchen and whether you have (or intend to have) kids. For instance, parents seeking a child-free zone often opt for a peninsula or U-shaped layouts with closed-off access at one end. On the other hand, those who want a busy, child-friendly space, lean toward an open-plan kitchen with an L-shaped or island layout. This kind of layout enables easier oversight and a free flow of traffic. The point is this: make sure to weigh the pros and cons before taking the plunge.
Appliances and safety considerations
Regardless of the layout, you always want to have a safe and functional cooking area. For instance, if you have teenagers who need access to microwave and refrigerator, it is best to position these appliances around the periphery, away from the cooking zone. Some appliances are safer— this is the case with induction hobs, especially when compared to gas hobs that feature an open flame. Likewise, you may want to go for a boiling-water tap instead of a hazardous kettle. Finally, invest in fridges and cupboards with doors that are lockable.
Play it smart and save space
As space is always of essence and clutter and mess are never a welcome sight, you should ensure you have ample storage for all child-related items, as well as kitchen supplies, food, and utensils. Custom-made and built-in storage is a real life-saver here. Beyond that, consider other neat solutions like space-saving under-sink water filters. Aside from providing you with clean and healthy water, these devices allow you to make the most of every inch and also help you maintain the visual appeal. Once you set order in the kitchen, you can start throwing in some accessories for splashes of style and color.
The island: the heart of the kitchen
Work surfaces should be adjusted to the person who does most of the cooking. That being said, it also makes sense to introduce surfaces at different heights. Note that classic island worktops don’t have enough space for a baby high chair to be tucked under, whereas breakfast bars allow this convenience. Parents with young children should also pay close attention to where the kitchen island is and how well they can observe the little ones from there. Islands with seating and induction hobs are a sound option for a multi-purpose kitchen with a dedicated dining area.
Choice of materials
When it comes to materials, it is always preferable to have low-maintenance surfaces and finishes that are not prone to smudges. That is to say, matte surfaces make your life easier, unlike gloss ones. The same goes for textured stone and wood. For worktops, most homeowners stick to materials like quartz, which are durable and also stain-resistant. You can follow the same logic when pondering flooring. Concrete and porcelain are heavy-duty materials that can endure a lot of foot traffic. It helps that they also look good— it’s a win-win.
A family-friendly kitchen is a pure joy, even when domestic life gets hectic and messy. To make the magic happen, though, you need to plan ahead of time, put in hard work, and dedicate resources. The goal should be to have an adaptable space that meets the needs of all family members, the space you will not outgrow after a few years. Whether you are sprucing up or building a kitchen from scratch, try to foster that fresh and welcoming feel. Let the kitchen be a true heart of the household.
This article was a contribution from Lillian Connors ...
If one thing is true about Lillian Connors, her mind is utterly curious. That’s why she can’t resist the urge to embark on a myriad of green living/home improvement projects and spread the word about them. She cherishes the notion that sustainable housing and gardening will not only make us far less dependent on others regarding the dwellings we inhabit, but also contribute to our planet being a better place to live on. You can check her out on Twitter and LinkedIn.