Many young families considering a kitchen remodel look to create a space that works for the hectic lives of all family members – children and parents alike. Unlike trying to create a gourmet kitchen, a family-friendly kitchen is about creating an adaptable space that will work for the family day in and day out as the family grows and evolves.
If you’re considering creating a family-friendly kitchen, it is important to ask yourself how each family member uses the kitchen, how often you cook or entertain, and what works and what doesn’t work about your current kitchen space.
Below we’ve compiled some features we think would be important to consider to make your space more family-friendly and adaptable for kids and family members of all ages.
Open Floor Plan
In many homes, the kitchen and living room are the two most frequented rooms – and one often opens into the other. The open floor plan is appealing for many families as it allows one family member to cook or clean while simultaneously watching small children or staying in touch and involved in conversations with older kids or guests.
When choosing which materials to include in the kitchen, consider which materials are easy to clean. For example, quartz countertops will be easier to wipe than natural stone countertops.
Easy Access Pantry
Food storage is a top concern for families, yet the pantry doesn’t often get much attention during the planning process. Pantry cabinets with drawers that fully extend make it easier to reach items. Parents may also want to consider designating lower level pantry drawers filled with parent-approved foods to kids so they can reach items themselves and feel self-sufficient.
There are a few appliances that can be installed so younger family members can more easily help themselves to beverages and snacks.
Some refrigerators include configurations with separate drawers on a lower level that can be convenient for families to stock snack items that are accessible for small children to reach on their own. Additionally, separate refrigerator drawers are available for those with the space (perhaps if you have a larger kitchen) that can be filled with snacks, drinks and be placed outside the main cooking area, ensuring children can reach snacks without getting in the cook’s way.
In addition to countertop and upper cabinet microwaves, it is possible to place a microwave drawer in a lower cabinet, freeing up countertop space and making it more convenient for smaller children to reach and prepare their own food items.