In a family home, the kitchen truly is the heart. It’s a place where everyone comes together for mealtimes, a space that is used for work, a place for entertaining guests, and much more. Therefore, the kitchen is no longer solely a place for preparing meals, but much more of a multi-functional room which meets the needs of busy family life.
With that in mind, we take a look at some of the key features you need to consider when designing a family kitchen.
Creating a multifunctional kitchen
Before planning a kitchen, you need to ask yourself a few questions, including who will be using the space? What will they be using it for? Is it a space that will be used for working from home, or somewhere for children to do homework? Do you need to be able to keep an eye on younger children when preparing meals? Does the whole family eat together? Is it a room that will double up as a living space? By answering these questions, and considering the true use of the room, you will be able to start planning exactly what you need.
When creating a space that will be used for various purposes by different members of the family it’s important to get the layout right. While you want to create an open space with a natural flow, also consider restricting passage through certain areas for safety and to limit footfall.
Include various seating arrangements
In a busy family home, it can be difficult to have the whole family together for mealtimes, therefore, it’s popular to have something for every occasion. A breakfast bar, or seating around an island, is the perfect place to grab a quick bite to eat before school or work. Additionally, they are a great way for the chef to keep an eye on children while preparing a meal.
For occasions where the whole family is together for a meal, having a more formal dining table is an absolute must. Additionally, this doubles up at the ideal place for hosting dinner parties and entertaining friends and family.
In kitchens where space is limited, a smaller more informal dining space, such as banquette seating, is a brilliant space-saving solution.
Ultimately, a busy family kitchen needs to be able to adapt to the ever-changing demands of family life. By having various seating solutions, your kitchen can do just that.
Different height surfaces
Creating a kitchen that is designed around the whole family, means designing a kitchen that the whole family can use. A popular way of doing this is to vary the height of work surfaces in different zones around the kitchen. In the food preparation area, it’s essential to consider the height of the person who will be doing the most cooking. However, incorporating slightly lower worktops makes it easier for budding young chefs to get involved. The opposite is also true, that very tall people may find it more comfortable to raise the height of floor cabinetry and work surfaces.
Another thing to consider is the fact that an island worktop might be too low to tuck a baby’s high chair underneath. Therefore, a higher breakfast bar could be a better option here.
There’s no such thing as too much storage
One thing any family will know is there is no such thing as too much storage, and this couldn’t be more true than in a kitchen. With the whole family at home, you will soon learn that you need more space for not only extra food, but also for the unavoidable clutter of everyday life.
With more and more companies offering the chance to work from home, there’s been a rise in the need for storage of items such as laptops, stationery, and paperwork.
It’s important to get the balance right here as if not well-designed, a potentially beautiful kitchen can be made to look smaller with the addition of too many floor or wall units. As contrary as it may sound, floor to ceiling cabinetry is actually a popular choice as it discreetly makes the most of the space available, by creating the effect of a false wall. Alternatively, we have seen a rise in demand for pantries or breakfast cupboards, as an extremely functional storage solution. Open plan shelving has also been making a bit of a comeback in recent years with people choosing to add stylish baskets and boxes to hide unsightly clutter.
Supersize on appliances
When you’re catering for a big family, whether that’s your immediate family or an extended one, it’s important to remember that you need to size up on appliances. That’s everything from ovens and hobs to fridges, freezers, and even dishwashers and washing machines. It’s entirely possible to cope with an appliance that is too big but it doesn’t work the other way around.
Whilst small children won’t eat huge amounts, they will in time turn in to very hungry teenagers and having adequate space for storing and cooking food is fundamental to the functioning of a kitchen. And with older children, comes more washing up and more laundry. Don’t just plan for your family now, but try and look into a crystal ball and estimate what the family’s needs might be in the future too.
A bespoke kitchen is a significant investment, so it’s important to ensure that it will meet the needs of your family for years to come.
Are you ready to start planning your family’s dream kitchen? Get in touch with one of our expert designers today.