For many families, the kitchen is the heart of the home where we all gather to cook, socialise and speak about our days. Therefore, the design of kitchens for families is essential in creating a positive and sociable home environment.
Benefits of a well-designed family kitchen
– Less stress with food preparation
– A sociable area for family time
– Safety for young ones
– Easier and quicker to clean
Over our thirty plus years, we have designed and installed a wide variety of family kitchens (view our case studies including family kitchens here) and are more than happy to advise on layouts, materials and storage options. Combined, these can make the perfect space for your family, whether you’re interested in a complete refit or a partial refurbishment.
Open plan kitchens are ideal for families as they make the most of the space and allow you to keep an eye on children and talk easily. It’s very popular to opt for a stand-alone island in the centre, or off-centre, of your kitchen to maximise surface space and provide an additional seating area. On an island, you can prepare food with children finishing up their homework on the other side, which can be designed to also work as a breakfast bar.
Surface materials that are easy to clean save families a lot of time making surfaces germ-free and looking their best. Matt surfaces come in a variety of styles, including Quartz, and always look presentable as fingerprints and smudges don’t show up as much. Another option is textured stone, which has a more rustic aesthetic.
It’s worth playing around with several work surface heights in a family kitchen; higher surfaces for food prep and lower surfaces for activities and baking with the kids. By having ‘adult-only’ zones you can set rules that encourage safety in the kitchen.
Particularly important for large and young families, you want to keep surfaces as clear as possible, with wires concealed and potentially hazardous equipment stored out of sight. Deep cupboards are ideal for buying and storing supplies of items such as hand wash, dishwasher tablets, and cleaning products, while soft automatic closing doors add a touch of luxury.
If space allows, it’s a good idea to allocate children their own drawer with their own plastic cutlery and items you’re happy for them to access. It’s a productive way of getting them more active in the kitchen and could be used to get them more engaged with healthy food.
You can ease the pressures of family life by choosing modern appliances that automate tasks and save your time after work. To accommodate freedom of choice, it’s advised to install multiple and spare sockets at key locations for ease of use. Consider fast-cook ovens, combined washer-dryers and even touch free taps, which we’ve written more about on our blog here.
As you choose appliances, concentrate on what they do for you, how you see yourself using them and how they could improve on your current setup.
Look to the future
As families are constantly evolving, plan ahead and have a kitchen that’s built to last. Will your fridge be big enough if you have another child? How many seats do you need for an average family gathering? Do you have room to have breakfast as a family before work and school?
In the same way, it’s also useful to research the latest smart technology to future-proof your upgrade. We have recently been installing kitchens with smart fridges and washing machines that let you see if you’ve run out of milk, and set a programme while you’re away from home via the Home Connect App.