The kitchen is the heart of the home and a place where many families spend much of their time together. In a busy household, the kitchen has a number of functions and often doubles as a place to socialise as well as prepare food. For families with young children, it’s important to design a kitchen which is both safe and functional. Here we take a look at some of the best ways to create a family friendly kitchen without compromising on style.
Open plan kitchen
Open plan kitchens are ideal for families because they allow everyone to congregate in one room. Removing walls and partitions helps create a social environment where everyone can enjoy spending time together, without getting in each other’s way. They are also great for being able to keep an eye on little ones from a distance when you’re busy preparing food or cooking.
Island or breakfast bar
If you would like seating but don’t have room for a dining table and chairs, a kitchen island will provide an excellent space for children to sit and eat their meal or do their homework as you continue get on with other jobs. If you don’t have enough space for a standalone island, a breakfast bar may be a great alternative. There are a great variety of compact and clip on highchairs available now which allow you to have young children seated safely at breakfast bars without them taking up a huge amount of floor space.
Child friendly worktops
Choosing a child friendly worktop is important when remodelling or refitting your kitchen. Little ones are notoriously messy, so it’s necessary to choose something that will withstand drops, knocks, spills and the general wear and tear that comes with constant use.
You’ll also want something that doesn’t stain or chip and is easy to wipe clean to hide sticky finger prints. Corian, Minerva and Quartz are hard wearing and durable and are an excellent choice for child friendly kitchens. Wood worktops can create a feeling of warmth add a natural element and after years of wear they can be sanded down to look brand new!
Consider choosing a design with rounded corners to avoid nasty bumps to heads or things getting caught.
For the ultimate family friendly kitchen, you may want to consider lowering a section of your work top so that your children can easily reach when they want to help with cooking. Once they grow out of it this it could be turned into a handy storage space or even a quirky seating area.
Non slip flooring
Kitchen floors need to be hardwearing to withstand constant use throughout the day. They also need to be non-slip to prevent children hurting themselves and easy to keep clean. Karndeans Korlok, Natural Stone or Porcelain tiles make an excellent choice because they are durable, waterproof and resistant to most stains.
Children are inquisitive and love to look in cupboards and drawers, therefore, we recommend installing Child Safety Catches, for cupboards and drawers to keep potentially dangerous items safely locked away. As children get older, slow close doors are an excellent investment as they can help prevent fingers getting trapped. They will also prevent doors being slammed and stop excess noise.
Choosing the right cooker
The cooker and hob can be considered the most hazardous appliances in a kitchen, but there are a number of small changes you can implement to ensure maximum safety for your children. You may want to consider an induction hob, which only heats up metal objects directly above the ring. This will stop your children accidentally touching the stove coil or naked flame. Consider hobs such as the Neff range with twist pads. the magnetic user friendly twist pad can be removed at any time rendering the appliances inactive. It may also be beneficial to have your cooker installed above floor height so that your children can’t reach. Neff’s range of slide and hide oven doors are great to help ensure that whatever you’re cooking gets to and from the oven safely.
To avoid nasty burns, a boiling tap may be an excellent choice as they are difficult for children to use with a safety setting to help prevent accidents. If you prefer a conventional tap, we also supply faucets with a maximum temperature option so you can completely control the temperature of the water your children have access to.
If you would like more information on designing a family friendly kitchen or would like to make modifications to your existing space, please get in touch with our team of kitchen design experts. They will be more than happy to offer helpful advice and guide you through the design process.