When I started designing the Kitchen for our new home, every choice I made was centred on how we live and how we will use the space. As a mummy to two little girls who love to cook, having them in the kitchen is a joy but it can also be very stressful. Trying to cook with children in a kitchen that wasn’t designed to accommodate them is almost impossible to achieve. So here are some things I applied to our design to make our kitchen child-friendly:
An open plan kitchen is the most ideal and kid-friendly layout because it will provide you with plenty of space and storage. The thing I dislike most about separate Kitchens is isolation. Cooking in a separate space from the living room takes the beauty away from family dinners. For me, cooking in a space where I can see my girls play and have a conversation with my husband makes cooking an enjoyable activity that I look forward to every night.
I have always wanted an all WHITE Kitchen! Yes, girl I know you feel me. White cabinets, white marble Carrara stone benchtops, white overhead cabinets on white subway tiles. White, white, white, white! But after having our kids, the thought of a white kitchen gives me a mini heart attack!
Picking the right cabinet colour is the most important thing to achieving a kid-friendly kitchen. The colour shouldn’t be too light or too dark, as you don’t want it to show every bit of dirt that lands on it. That said, Wood-look cabinets are also a great option for kids. The texture or grain effect easily camouflages messy fingerprints and stains. When it came to picking our cabinet colours, I decided to go with the colour seal grey by the Polytec – Formica range. I absolutely love this colour! It’s a soft dusty grey with hints of black undertones in it, making it very forgiving on marks and stains. I also love that It is a very elegant and classic colour, that will date very slowly if ever.
A lot of people seem to believe that a gloss finish is easier to clean than the standard Matt finish. From my experience with gloss finishes, I have to disagree. Apart from the fact that fingerprint marks reflect more on gloss finishes, dirt also sticks on gloss more easily. Save your self a headache and skip the gloss if you can. My absolute recommendation for kitchen cabinets would be velvet or textured matt finish. These finishes are easy to clean and very low maintenance.
POWERPOINTS AND ELECTRICAL APPLIANCES
You can never have enough PowerPoint’s or DGPO’s in a Kitchen, I’m sure you have heard that one before, and guess what, IT IS TRUE! However, you do need to be mindful of where you place them and make sure they are out of reach for the children. I always suggest that my clients place at least 2 DGPO’s near the cooktop or stove and 2 others somewhere in the rest of the Kitchen. This creates a more flexible space, allowing you to work in different places or with many appliances on at the same time.
If you have little children, avoid placing DGPO’s on the side of the Kitchen Island or on low levels. The sad reality is children will use anything they can find to poke into electrical outlets. By placing DGPO’s high above the counter keeps then safe from unwanted kitchen accidents.
Now, let’s talk about the floors! We walk on them, we dance on them, we sit on them and we sometimes even eat off of them, well the kids do, almost always. Therefore choosing a floor finish to compliment a kid-friendly Kitchen is a major decision. When we decided on what flooring we would install in our home, we took our time and chose carefully. We needed to make sure that the floor we chose could easily be cleaned, was soft on the foot, was warm when it’s cold, was cool when it’s hot, could hold a few spills and hardly ever showed the last time it was cleaned. Yes, we were asking for a miracle but we really wanted a low maintenance floor.
After looking around we fell in love with a hybrid vinyl plank system – it ticked all our boxed and more. Most hybrid floors are waterproof, pet-friendly, easy to maintain and have excellent thermal rating, exactly what we wanted for our home. Honestly, our floor choice has made life slower and easier. No more panicking when some curry or beetroot lands on the floor, one easy wipe with a wet cloth and all is well.
So there you have it, my top 5 tips to creating a kid-friendly kitchen! I hope these tips help you create the perfect kitchen for the family.