In collaboration with Used Kitchen Exchange
The kitchen is one of the best rooms to spend time in as a family. Rather than solely being a space for cooking, it becomes a place for the family to gather, do homework and catch up. Ideally the perfect family kitchen would be enormous with lots of different surfaces but there isn’t always the budget or space for this. Instead, you should focus on creating a practical space which grows with your family and serves multiple purposes.
A Family Kitchen Should…
Be Designed with a Family in Mind
This might sound obvious, but there are lots of things that you can look for when kitchen shopping so that you can be sure the design will work for your family. If you have a large family, a U-shaped kitchen will minimise access and ensure the kids don’t get in the way whilst you’re cooking.
Open-plan, or an L shaped kitchen is much better if you’d like your kitchen to be for everyone to enjoy at all times. You should also consider the age of your kids when you look at the cooking area – do you have teenagers who regularly access the fridge? Or do you need to keep an eye on little ones whilst you cook at the stove? If it’s the latter, a central island which you can sit them at may work well. Storage is also really important in a family kitchen – places to put baby food, sterilisers, and bibs and so on.
As the family grows, you’ll need more space to store food and utensils. Storage for dangerous items such as knives should be locked and you might want some low cupboards where you can put children‘s plates and cups, to stop them climbing on surfaces. If you think you need a new kitchen but you don’t have a showroom budget, check out Used Kitchen Exchange, an affordable and professional re-seller of used kitchens.
Your kitchen will have to stand up to stains and years of wear. You will need to choose a work surface which is tough but still looks good. One popular worktop material for family kitchens is laminate – you can make it look like other more expensive materials and it is cost-effective. Granite and wood are other great choices. You should also make sure your walls are easy to clean – a tiled backsplash will make splashes from the hob stress-free, and you should use grease resistant paint everywhere else.
Have an Eating Area
Lots of house buyers list having an open-plan kitchen/dining area as a priority, so having an eating area within the kitchen makes sense both practically and for the sake of future profitability. However, it isn’t always possible to knock down a wall and make an open plan space. If your kitchen is too small for a dining table, swap one of your counters for a breakfast bar instead.
Have A Place to Relax
With the kitchen being the heart of the home, it should have an area where you can unwind and relax at the end of a long day. Lots of homeowners choose to have a sofa in their kitchen, in a separate ‘zone’ from their cooking and eating areas. If you opt for a wipe-clean fabric such as leather, it won’t take on cooking smells and will be easier to clean in the event of a spillage!
Be Child Friendly
Kitchens can be a hazardous environment – especially for children. Cupboards and their contents are a particular area of fascination for kids. In order to keep your kids safe, always use child-locks, but you could even go a step further and look for soft close cabinets. Some families have even reported that choosing handleless units has removed temptation to open cupboards for their little ones.
What does your perfect family kitchen look like?