Aesthetic qualities should never outweigh practical concerns when it comes to furnishing kitchen space for a large family. Here is why:
A lot of things change when you start planning a family, including your mindset regarding the interiors of your home. Instead of hunting for the style that fits your personal preferences, all of a sudden you find yourself thinking about the functional, safety-focused aspects of each and every detail.
After all, once the baby arrives you will be spending far more time preparing baby food and cleaning that kitchen than trying to impress your friends. That’s why it makes sense to install a family friendly kitchen that will be practical to use and easy to maintain. Here is what you should definitely pay attention to if you are contemplating such a move:
1. Safety before anything else
Fashionable details such as sharp metal edges or marble floor tiles are often not particularly well suited for everyday use by little children. While it may be hard to get rid of your favourite designs, this is a less stressful scenario than rushing an injured child to the emergency room. You want every edge to be rounded and smooth, every shelf and drawer tightly secured and every movable object placed away from child’s reach.
It is impossible to predict what a child might attempt to do if left out of sight even for a minute and you need to eliminate as many potential hazards as possible. You can still try to decorate your kitchen – just not at the expense of safety.
2. Divide the space into functional areas
Depending on the size of your family, you need to decide how to organize the available space. First you have to determine which sections will be used for food preparation and where the kitchen table will be positioned. Then you have to make sure that children have no access to the cooking areas and that no electric cables are crossing frequent walking paths. It is really important that a child can pick something up from the fridge without coming into danger or interfering with cooking activities.
Your kitchen doesn’t have to be huge for this to work. You just need to think in advance and perhaps use a little bit of creativity to fit all the parts together. Leave a designated space for each type of activity and improvise when faced with a tough decision.
3. Make your kitchen labour-efficient
Always keep in mind that your kitchen will be in daily use and plan accordingly. Bright colours may be uplifting and pleasant to the eye, but not so much if they are constantly muddled with fingerprints and food stains. To be truly family friendly, your kitchen must be easy to clean and maintain and able to withstand a bit of chaos without looking terrible.
If you eliminate surfaces that can be easily stained (steel or stone) and shy away from shiny finishes, you can save a lot of time and energy. You want a kitchen that will look all right every day, not something that will require round-the-clock maintenance.