When you plan a new kitchen, it is important that your design meets the needs of everyone in the home who will use it, including teenagers, babies and young children. A kitchen is more than just a space where food is prepared – it is a space where the family comes together and socialises. You need to adapt the space to accommodate everyone in your family, including any new additions that come along in future. At Mayfair Kitchen Studio, we have helped many customers in the Cheshire and Wirral areas and beyond create their dream kitchen with their families and children in mind. Here’s how to create the ideal family kitchen through great design.
Whether you have or are planning to have children, it’s important to consider how you’d like your kitchen to be laid out. You need to consider whether you want to make an area of your kitchen completely child-free, or create an island, a peninsula or a U-shape design that sections off an area at one end. The right design will ensure that younger members of the family are safely out of the way when you are cooking and preparing food or using sharp utensils. If you’d prefer to have a space that is easily accessible by the entire household, an island or L-shape kitchen may be the best design for your family.
Always let your kitchen designer know how old your children are in your family and whether you’d like a designated ‘safe space’ to cook in. It’s also worth thinking about how accessible you’d like other appliances such as microwaves and washing machines to be for older members of the family such as teenagers. Think about where you’d like the family to sit in your kitchen and where this seating area is in relation to food preparation areas. By putting seating areas away from ‘safe zones’, you can keep a closer eye on younger children while keeping them safe from hazards.
Think about whether you have space for an island in your kitchen, as this can prove useful when you have children. If your island has seating for family members, it can be used as a space for entertaining, eating, doing homework or activities with your kids, or relaxing. Having a sink built in to an island can prove useful for clearing up spillages that come with family use.
You should also consider alternating the heights of your work surfaces so they can accommodate things underneath them in terms of storage (such as high chairs), or create a breakfast bar, which can be great for older children and teenagers.
If you have young children, you’ll need to think about safety and how you use your appliances. An induction hob is much safer than a gas hob because there is no flame and the surface keeps cool, even when cooking. An induction hob also normally has child safety locks. The installation of a boiling water tap can also be more safe than using a kettle, as the action of twisting and holding the tap to turn it on is much harder and it cannot be knocked over like a kettle. Handle-less kitchens are also popular with families because they make it harder for young children to open cupboards and storage facilities.
If you have a busy life and a big family, choose appliances that will make life easier and help with your workload. Opt for a dishwasher that cleans at very high temperatures, a fast-cook oven, and a large load washing machine and tumble drier that is designed to deal with copious amounts of dirty clothing and bedding.
Glossy, shiny or dark surfaces might look amazing, but are not very practical when you have young children. Sticky fingerprints can be a constant problem in a family kitchen, so make sure that your surfaces and worktops are easily wipeable, don’t require constant treatment (like real wood surfaces), and do not show up handprints. Consider matt surfaces, or quartz or stone worktops. Also think about this when choosing your doors for your cabinets. Silestone has antibacterial properties, making it a great choice for a family. Also consider a hard-wearing floor in your kitchen that can (literally) take anything life throws at it.
Think about how your family is growing and whether there will be any new additions to it in future. Consider extra space for storage, how much fridge storage you need for extra food and space for rubbish bins. You’ll also need to think about dining arrangements and whether you have enough space for your family kitchen table, as well as an oven that has space for the cooking of more food.
If you need help designing your family kitchen, we can help at Mayfair Kitchen Studio. We cover the Wirral and Cheshire areas, and have helped many customers design and create the family kitchen of their dreams. Get in touch with us today to discuss what you require from a new kitchen.