Everyone knows that the kitchen is the heart of the home. It’s the place where families spend most of their time eating and socializing, but today’s kitchens are becoming even more important as a hub for families to interface and engage.
As smartphones, tablets and laptops become more common in everyday life, a family-friendly kitchen can keep both children and adults less isolated. By designing a space where everyone in the family can interact, the kitchen has taken on a whole new dimension.
Every family is different, with their own special needs and dynamics, so spend some time thinking about what will work specifically for you and your daily routine. You should consider both space and budget when designing your kitchen.
Here are a few ideas and tips for making your kitchen a family-friendly setting that everyone can enjoy.
Design a space that feels open, inviting and comfortable, so that kids and adults will want to spend time in the kitchen. By merging the kitchen with adjoining rooms, you get to stay in touch with your family while cooking or cleaning up.
Many new homes are designed with an open kitchen concept that faces a family room or great-room. Even if you have a smaller space, you can create an open plan kitchen that connects to your lounge area; thereby removing boundaries and creating an open and multi-functional space.
An open floor plan gives you the opportunity to place a couch or chair facing the kitchen strategically. By positioning furniture in this manner, you can conversate, entertain or supervise while you work.
Kitchen islands work great for engaging your family while you’re preparing meals. Islands offer the opportunity for your kids to be nearby to chat, do their homework, use laptops or socialize with guests. If you have enough space, an island is also the ideal place for the kids and friends to hang out.
On the flip side, cooking and food prep areas need to be cleared for handling food without hassle, so you want your design easily accessible to sinks, the fridge and stove.
Another way you can make your kitchen family friendly is to design a breakfast nook. Typically, this includes a bench plus chairs approach to kitchen design and great for families. You fit more people into a smaller amount of space because the bench doesn’t move. You keep kids under control because it’s harder to escape from the area than freestanding chairs. These areas are also great for kids’ birthday parties. This type of setup offers a convenient place for guests to hang out while dinner is being prepared.
Almost all homes have Wi-Fi these days which makes it possible to set your laptop or tablet just about anywhere in the house, including the kitchen. A computer designed corner is the perfect place to catch up on work, pay bills, and have kids do their homework under Mom or Dad’s supervision while meals are being prepared. Just remember to pick a spot outside the main work zone.
When it comes to family-friendly kitchen surfaces, durability is required when you have kids. You want to choose a countertop material that resists fingerprints, such as something with a little texture. You also want it to be easy to clean with a quick wipe and resistant to scratches.
It’s essential to choose slip-resistant flooring, mainly if your family includes children, pets or older adults. You can prevent slips or falls and make your kitchen a safer place to eat, work, and play by installing cork, linoleum, slip-resistant tile, textured vinyl, laminate, or stone tile with a hammered finish.
Designing a family-friendly kitchen takes a bit of planning to achieve what works best for you and your family, but in the end, it will be worth the effort as it will be a place for everyone to gather together, connect, and enjoy.