Gone are the days when the kitchen was just a place to cook. It’s now a place where you catch up with family and friends, the children do their school work and where you relax with a glass of wine at the end of a long day. As a busy family, you need a kitchen that will fit in well with your lifestyle. If you’re wondering how to get the ideal family kitchen, here are some features to consider.
Before you can think about the features, you need to consider how you’re going to be using the kitchen. Will it be used by toddlers or teenagers? Does your family all eat together at the same time, or do they come and go? Thinking about these factors will help you determine how your kitchen can help with your family lifestyle, rather than hinder it.
Open Floor Plan
The ultimate goal for a kitchen is one that has plenty of space, and the best way to do this is by making it open plan. It will turn the kitchen into a sociable space, with different zones for all the family to enjoy. You can have a breakfast bar for eating quick meals and doing homework, and a sofa for family and guests to sit on whilst they chat to the cook, or for the children to sit on whilst you cook so that you can keep an eye on them.
Easy to clean
Messy kids who always want to help when you’re cooking? Teenagers who neglect to wipe up any spillages? You need work surfaces that are easy to clean. The best options are glass, stainless steel and granite. It’s best to avoid wood worktops as they can be harder to clean. If your children are young, don’t forget about your cupboard doors, as they may wipe their hands on them! As for the splashback behind the hob, stick to wide tiles which are easier to clean.
Every good family kitchen should have a central hub – a space to do homework, quickly eat breakfast in the morning, enjoy an after school snack and have a catch up after the kids have gone to bed. The best way to do this is to install a central island, with seating on one side to face the prep area, so that you can chat to whoever is cooking easily. You could also use a breakfast bar.
The kitchen floor in a family home should always be hardwearing and slip-resistant to avoid any accidents. If you choose a material like vinyl, it will cushion any falls and the appearance of it can easily replicate higher quality materials such as wood and stone.
If you’re stuck for space in your family kitchen, you’re going to have to be creative with your storage. You should have lots of drawers and pull-out shelves, and shelves in areas you hadn’t even thought of – in corners, above the windows. If you have a spare room close to the kitchen, you could convert it to a utility room and put your washer/dryer, dishwasher and your fridge/freezer in there to save space.
How to Make Your Kitchen Eco-Friendly
If you’re thinking about purchasing a new kitchen, but you’re worried about the environmental impact, there is a way to actually help the environment. Rather than buying a new kitchen, you could buy a used one and re-decorate it to your taste. Not only will this save you money, you’ll also be helping the environment by re-using a kitchen that may have been sent to landfill unnecessarily otherwise. You should always purchase a used kitchen from a recognised re-seller such as Used Kitchen Exchange. They will inspect a kitchen for its quality, and you can arrange to view it before you buy. You can even continue the cycle, by selling your current kitchen with Used Kitchen Exchange – they’ll take professional photos and list it on the site, so you can relax in the knowledge that you have done something great for the environment (and your bank account!)