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November 20, 2015

The Family Friendly Kitchen

The kitchen is the heart of the home and the crazy hub for a busy family. It’s where you cook and eat as well as gather, organize, play, do homework, charge the phones and laptops, throw your keys, and go through the mail- so creating an environment that is functional for the whole family is crucial. Here are some handy tips to help you maintain an efficient, family-friendly kitchen for preschoolers and grown-ups alike.

Keep it Functional

  • Your space plan should give you uninterrupted flow from the fridge to the sink to the stove, and if possible give yourself a clear view of the table or wherever the kids are hanging out.
  • Open shelving offers quick access to everyday items such as mugs and cereal bowls. Drawers and shelves with full-extension guides make it easy to reach things that get pushed to the back, helping cut down on food waste.
  • Things move quickly when everyone’s waiting for dinner. Store pots so they’re easily accessible, and consider quick cook appliances such as a speed oven. A large sink is a good idea when cleanup time rolls around.
  • Create a message center with a blackboard and some floating shelves for keys, phones and mail. Liberate your countertop from papers, lists and reminders by hanging a cork board and calendar on a wall or inside a cabinet door.

Make it Kid Friendly

  • Easy-to-reach refrigerator drawers are super convenient, providing separate areas for things that the kids might want such as yogurt, snacks and drinks.
  • Dish drawers provide easy access for little ones and encourage them to help themselves.
  • If there’s an aspiring chef in the house, a 30” baker’s height countertop is a fun idea (and convenient for you when baking). Kid-height furniture encourages participation and keeps them busy.
  • Keep a step-stool handy or have one built into the cabinetry at the sink so little ones can reach.
  • Rounded edges on countertops help avoid bumps on the head.

Make it Easy to Clean

  • Low maintenance is the key phrase here. Stay away from tile countertops that require grout. Consider a smooth, durable, stain resistant material such as quartz which makes a beautiful choice for the modern kitchen.
  • Large format tiles with narrow grout lines are a good for the floor- the less nooks and crannies, the better. Round out the transition between the floor and toe kick for a seamless sweeping experience.
  • When choosing your cabinet style, consider a minimal design such as a flat panel. Dirt and grime builds up everywhere, so the less molding and detailing the better. The same goes for hardware- choose a smooth style that won’t collect crumbs.
  • A stainless steel or tile backsplash is way easier to wipe down than a painted surface.
  • Undermount sinks eliminate dirt collecting around the edges. Styles with rounded corners are easiest to clean.

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