Are you planning to redesign your kitchen? Well, with a large family to cater for, there are a few things you need to be mindful of to ensure that the heart of your home is up for the job of working hand in hand with the requirements your family has…
Go open plan
Any kitchen that’s suitable for a large family needs to be open plan. That’s because there’s nothing to be gained from cramming the kids into a tiny space, so knock down non load-bearing walls and open up the area so you can design the space in the way that suits you best. You’ll find that you can configure your kitchen furniture in the right way if you’re not constrained by unnecessary walls and doors, having complete freedom over decisions such as where to put the fridge and where to position the family seating area. Where will you place the table and chairs? And do you have room for a sofa at one end of the room, for example?
Hide everything away
While open plan is a great idea, open shelving is less so. While many stylish homes are opting to remove cabinet doors in favor of displaying everything from kitchenware to the breakfast cereal, this design only works if you’re prepared to do some serious styling and organizing on a regular basis to prevent it from looking messy. So, with a large family, this style might be best avoided. Instead, opt for full kitchen cabinetry, hiding your everyday essentials away behind solid cabinet doors. While you’re at it, why not hide your appliance behind your cabinet doors too? Some appliances are beautiful enough that they make great design statements on their own, but for a streamlined kitchen design, integrated or behind-kitchen-cabinetry models like these are the way to go.
Easy to clean cabinetry
On the subject of kitchen cabinetry, make sure yours is coated in a material that’s easy to wipe clean. This might mean choosing a particular style of paint that can be scrubbed clean, or choosing a gloss finish that’s easy to wipe – rather than groaning with despair when your brand new kitchen cupboards are stained with apple juice and pasta sauce.
Add a large kitchen island
No family kitchen would be complete with a large island in the center of it. An island is a great idea as it’s likely to be somewhere your children will congregate, telling you all about their days and helping you while you use the generous surface area for food preparation. More often than not, many families end up eating at the kitchen island too, making it an important feature of the room.
Install easy-to-clean surfaces
While you might love the look of natural worktops and floors, they do have a tendency to stain due to their high levels of porosity. So, opt for man-made materials (including laminate) if you want something that can cope with spills, splashes and sauces without staining. Also, if you can, choose materials that absorb shock well – you’ll need it if you have heavy handed teenagers or uncoordinated toddlers picking up breakables.
If you have the space, it’s worth accounting for the fact that your kids are going to want to help themselves to healthy snacks such as fruit and vegetables and other ‘parent approved’ foods. So, make sure you’re designing your kitchen in a way that accounts for easy-to-reach places that your kids can easily access: we can’t promise they’ll always favour an apple over a chocolate biscuit, but it’s worth making some food available to them to encourage independence, self-sufficiency and healthy eating habits.
Kid-friendly preparation areas
Finally, if your budget stretches this far, consider adding a work station or two that your kids can comfortably reach. A worktop at kid-height means they can comfortably assist you with meal preparation, teaching them essential skills and ensuring you’re spending lots of quality time together. But don’t worry if this isn’t an option for your family kitchen – a stool and some careful supervision means they can help you anywhere in the kitchen, baking, stirring and learning important kitchen skills from an early age.
Will you be incorporating any of these ideas into your family kitchen?