Designing a family-focused kitchen

There’s just something about the kitchen that has a habit of drawing families together. After a long, hard day at work and school, the kitchen becomes a natural gathering point, enabling parents and their children to share stories about their day, prepare an evening meal, and catch up with work and study. While every kitchen should be functional and serve its owners’ needs, it’s becoming more and more popular for families to create a space that’s as stylish as it is practical. Move over bedroom, lounge, and bedroom, it’s your kitchen’s time in the limelight.

The following tips should give you a few pointers for getting started. However, don’t allow them to stifle your creativity. It’s time to let your imagination run riot.

Make the most of the space available

Unless you’re the proud owner of an unlimited budget and room to spare, you’re going to need to be considerate of the space that you have available. What kinds of surfaces, storage, and dining space do you have, and how can you make each work for you? Choose practical flooring and surface materials, being mindful of spillages and accidents that are likely to occur in a family household. How will your family use the kitchen? What amount of time are you going to spend gathered together? Only once you can answer these questions can you begin to plan your dream kitchen.

Think about theme

Consider the décor that runs through the rest of your house. Are you a contemporary family keen on shapes, contrast, and subtle shades, or do you prefer all things vintage and homely? Would you say that your style is rustic and inspired by the countryside, or do you favor bold patterns, bright colors, and quirky designs? Planning a new kitchen is your chance to harness your imagination and to create a space that your whole family will enjoy. Just be sure to choose appliances and accessories that will support your style and your family’s dining habits.

Combine work and play

If space allows, think carefully about combining work and play within your kitchen; sure, you’ll need to be able to cook in your kitchen, but could you also work, study, play, and eat there? The introduction of an expansive table, breakfast bar, or island will give you plenty of surface space upon which to study, while a play corner for younger children will keep them close at hand while you catch up on chores or prepare the evening meal. You could also think about lowered surfaces or introducing a step. Children love to help out around the home, and the lessons that they learn about meal preparation now will stay with them forever.

Embrace natural light

Nothing appeals to families quite like bright, airy, and open spaces. Regardless of the size of your kitchen, there is a way to create the illusion of space: embrace natural light. Whether it’s brilliant sunshine or overcast outside, a constant stream of natural light will work wonders for the darkest nooks and crannies of your home, including smaller kitchens that may have been designed as an afterthought. Window shutters look fantastic in just about any kitchen, and will give you the opportunity to control the flow of natural light into you home. Combined with a well-placed mirror, shutters will transform your kitchen into a space in which you’ll all want to spend time.

Experiment with color

Nothing says fun and family quite like color, and there are so many ways that you can incorporate various shades, hues, and patterns into your kitchen and dining space – without compromising the functionality of the space. Patterned tiles and countertops will turn any kitchen into a haven for the family, while colored drapes, blinds and shutters, or wall hangings will add pops of pigment to an otherwise plain room. You could even consider incorporating a feature wall with color-it-yourself wallpaper; the kids will love spending time on their new project while you work or cook, and you’ll find yourselves the proud owners of a unique work of art.

Accessorize for your family

There can be little doubt that technology is king in many households; whether your kids are old enough to appreciate it or not, you’ve no doubt thought about the impact of technology upon your family. You’re perhaps keen to keep phones, tablets, and computers away from the dinner table, but I’d urge you to think twice about banishing technology altogether. Smart devices and apps that sync phones and appliances can make family life fun and convenient. You’ll also want to ensure that you have ample outlets for any tablets or phones that you might use during your downtime.

Inspiration for your new family-focused kitchen can be found all around; from Instagram and Pinterest to a myriad of interior blogs, the internet is filled with ideas with which you’ll fall in love. How you choose to decorate and accessorize your kitchen is up to you, but remember what it is you want your kitchen to represent. Is it a relaxing space, the hub of the home, or somewhere to eat and reflect? Will you cook and run, or hang around a little longer to make family memories? Take your family members into consideration when decorating your new, family-focused kitchen. Above all, remember that this is your space – enjoy!

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