There is no doubt that the design of your home can make a huge difference to how you live in the space. And when you're a busy family with young kids, having a space that works for you (and not against you) becomes even more important. With the kitchen being the heart of the home, it's a space that the whole family spends a lot of time in. This is why I always put a lot of emphasis on creating kitchens that really work for my clients - and hopefully my 5 tips below can help you create a family friendly space that everyone can enjoy!
1 | Have an appliance cupboard or butler's pantry
Whether it's the breakfast rush before school or the dinner rush after sport's practice, a hidden designated spot for appliances will be a life changer. This keeps your appliances away from your main benchtops whilst still being easily accessible. And once you're done, you can shut the doors and hide all that clutter. If you have enough space, a butler's pantry with a benchtop and a door works beautifully. However, a smaller appliance cupboard with pocket doors within the main kitchen also works well!
2 | Have an open plan kitchen
Having an open plan design with the kitchen, lounge and dining in one large space will make it much easier for you to keep an eye on the kids. Incorporating an island bench that faces the lounge/dining is a also great idea. Not only does this make it even easier to watch the kids as you can face them whilst working on the island bench, but having the 2 points of access makes it more functional when you have multiple people (including kids) helping out in the kitchen.
3 | Create a study nook
A fun idea for a kitchen is to add a study nook where kids can play or do homework whilst you're cooking, making it easy to keep an eye on them. You can also add a blackboard or pinboard to this area as a fun way to keep track of events, or help with meal planning or grocery shopping. If your kids have phones, laptops or tablets, you can also add a charging station inside a drawer or cupboard within this area!
4 | Select easy to clean materials
Surfaces that are easy to maintain are a must when you're a busy family. For benchtops, I always suggest to go with a reconstituted stone, corian or porcelain over a natural stone, which requires a lot more maintenance. For splashback, it is often best to avoid tiles (especially near the cooktop) so wrapping your benchtop up onto the splashback is a great idea. When selecting cabinetry colours and finishes, think about fingerprints, especially on darker colours. There are a few options such a Polytec Venette and Laminex AbsoluteMatte which are fingerprint resistant and really easy to wipe!
5 | Keep appliances away from little fingers
Obviously, it is important to keep things that can be accidentally turned on away from where toddlers can reach. My suggestions for avoiding this includes selecting wall ovens over underbench / freestanding ovens (which will also be a lot kinder on your back!), going with gas cooktops that have the knobs in the side instead of the front, or even better, go with an induction cooktop instead. Having an appliance cupboard or butler's pantry will also help keep small appliances away from little hands as you can just shut the doors when not in use.
I hope these tips have been helpful for you! If you are planning to build or renovate and want to get in contact with us, you can do so by filling out the client contact questionnaire below,
Have a wonderful week,