Monday, August 17, 2015

My Advice for a Family-friendly Kitchen

Having a family means a lot of changes around the house. When we brought home our first baby, we had a thousand worries about keeping him safe. And we still do! Having children doesn't mean you can't decorate your house in an adult way anymore. But it does mean you need to think about how tiny hands could get themselves in all sort of trouble. Your home needs to be "family friendly", which for some people sounds like a nightmare. In our several house moves, I've discovered that it's much easier than you might think to have a home that's stylish and suitable for little ones. Even the kitchen is easy to design, so it's suitable for the whole family.

Breakfast Bar

Our second home had a formal dining room, but we didn't get much use out of it. I did try to use it now and then, but we mostly stuck to our trusty bar in the kitchen. It's the best way to have somewhere for family time during meals. A dining room is a bit too much when you just want a casual meal in the morning or evening. It's a great place to sit with my children at lunchtime too. We've had a bar in our last two houses, and if we ever moved again (hopefully not anytime soon), I would want to have one again.

Appliance Selection

It might seem strange to think about children when you choose your appliances. But any working parent will know that several things in the kitchen are important. Firstly, you want surfaces that you can wipe down quickly and easily. It's also a good idea to pick things that will help you stay organized, like a refrigerator with plenty of drawers. Try to stick to well-known brands. It's easier to get a Whirlpool appliance repair service than to find someone to fix your obscurely branded microwave. Even if your children are too young to prepare their food now, think about whether they will want to later. If they can't even get the fridge open, they'll struggle to make themselves a sandwich.

Open Plan

Kitchens make great family spaces, so it's best to have room for everyone to move around. You don't want to feel cramped or like it's only a practical room for cooking. You can use the island or bar to sit around and chat or work, as well as eat. Having a kitchen that runs into the living room creates one living space that's great for a family feel.


Considering your kitchen pantry is important. I don't want the kids rifling through the drawers all the time, but they also needs to learn to do things for themselves. If they can fetch their own healthy snack, I don't have to get it for them. You can have a pantry setup so that little ones can reach lower drawers or mommy and daddy approved snacks. But everything else can go away on higher shelves.

The kitchen is the center of the home for a lot of people. If you want to make yours family-friendly, it's much easier than you might think.