Not all kitchens are designed with families in mind. This is unfortunate since the kitchen is often the place where kids do homework, parents make meals, and families discuss their days and find solutions to problems.
You’re not stuck with an unsuitable kitchen forever, however. Kitchens can always be updated to meet your needs. In fact, such a renovation may be one of the wisest decisions you’ll make, as it will likely raise your property values and lead to a quicker sale when the time comes. Consider these family-friendly kitchen renovations for the benefit of your family both now and in the future.
Open-Concept Floor Plans
Those in the market for a forever-family home often put an open-concept floor plan at the top of their must-haves list.
“For families with young children, an open plan kitchen means being able to do the dishes or prepare meals while keeping an eye on children in another room,” says an article from property management firm Green Residential, pointing out that it also raises property values. “Giving kids a view of mom can also keep them out from underfoot while she works.”
Creating an open-concept floor plan may be as simple as knocking out a wall and adding a bar or island. Don’t try to do this on your own, however. The wall separating your kitchen from your living spaces may be load-bearing, and it would be catastrophic to knock it down without properly reinforcing it.
Raised Wall Oven
The oven is one of the largest safety hazards for families with small children. The solution is a raised oven that’s built into your wall. This is a popular kitchen feature, largely because you don’t have to bend over when checking food or pulling things out of the oven. It makes removing large things like a full turkey much safer and simpler.
Adding a wall oven to your existing kitchen plan may require some space planning. You’ll need to keep your stovetop and find a space on the wall that can sustain this new feature. It might require removing cupboard space, so make sure you’re willing to make this sacrifice.
Large, Walk-in Pantry
When you’re trying to keep your busy family well-fed at all meals and snack times, you need a lot of food. Your fridge is likely overflowing, and you might even have a second one in the garage to hold extras. You’ll also need ample space to keep all your snacks and dry goods.
Convert a corner of your kitchen into a glorious walk-in pantry where you’ll never run out of space for your food essentials. If you don’t have the space, look for ways to increase existing cupboard space. You might extend them all the way to the ceiling or cut off a portion of cupboard/countertop space so that you can install a large pantry instead.
With a larger pantry, you’ll have a little more flexibility to give your kids access to the snacks you want them to eat. Promoting self-sufficiency in the kitchen and healthy eating habits is important to consider,” interior designer Mary Jo Pierce told HGTV. “If you can, make it easy for kids to make the things they like to eat.” She recommends hiding the unhealthy food deep in your large pantry and putting out the healthier snacks so that kids are more likely to eat them.
Kitchen Island with Seats
You’ll never regret having a large island with several bar stools so that kids can gather while you’re cooking dinner.
“Everyone ends up in the kitchen anyway and having family members standing around only causes traffic issues,” Emily Hoefler, kitchen design specialist, told Improvenet. “Make sure everyone is comfortable (and give yourself space to cook) by having designated seating.”
Even if you’re not actually utilizing the kitchen for its intended purpose, this provides an excellent space for you to sit with your children while they work on homework, practice their reading, or talk about their days.
If you don’t have the space to install a kitchen island, consider a breakfast nook or a portable bar that can be placed against a wall, out of the way. This way, family members have a place to congregate without being underfoot.
There’s nothing better than a well-planned kitchen space where everyone can spend time together comfortably. Memories will be made, families will grow closer together, and your home will be worth more to both you and your pocketbook.