Despite pursuing a career in PR, I have always dreamed of an alternative career in interior design, but just never done anything about it – well, that is apart from spend a small fortune in pursuit of putting together the ‘perfect house’ for us to live in and to jump in both feet if anyone ever asks for my advice on styling their home! But I’ve had to adjust my desire for perfection since Allegra came on the scene and we had to accommodate her wealth of belongings and some plastic toys alongside the more stylish wooden ones! Anyway, if you’re wondering how to plan a stylish yet child-friendly kitchen for your home then wonder no more: here are some top tips from John Lewis…
If your family is expanding, you’ve probably already experienced the conflicting goals of designing a stylish kitchen while also making it liveable. This common area is often the centre of any family activities, which makes it one of the most challenging rooms to design. But style and convenience don’t have to be mutually exclusive if you search for smart decorating solutions that are as functional as they are visually appealing.
Once you’ve sorted out where to put the tumble dryer and whether you’ll invest in a dishwasher, it’s really all about the details. And if there are kids to consider while you plan the layout of your kitchen, these five tips can help:
1. Put the microwave within reach: for children who are old enough to grab their own snacks yet too young to cook, consider getting cabinets with a built in space just for the microwave at about your waist level. This will ensure that kids don’t have to reach over their heads to warm food, which could become a hot spill hazard. Add a door to the custom cabinet space to make it easy to camouflage when it’s not in use.
2. Remember the kids when it comes to organisation and storage: you’ll want to find a place for all the pots, pans and canned goods, but remember to save a low-level space just for the little ones in the family. It can be a bottom cabinet or a bottom drawer, just as long as it’s within their reach. This is the ideal space to store after-school snacks and items for packed lunches, instead of placing them in an already-full pantry.
3. Make your kitchen low-maintenance: if you have smaller kids, there’s a good chance that you simply don’t have a lot of time to clean your kitchen. The go-to material for floors that can be easily wiped is tile, but this can also make toddlers’ tumbles more painful. Opt for a stylish hardwood like bamboo to have floors that easy to clean yet ideal for smaller children. You can use a similar material for cabinets if you want the same quality for your storage space’s exterior.
4. Use a cork board instead of the refrigerator door for messages: every proud parent wants a space to display their offspring’s works of art or good grades, but posting them on the refrigerator door with colourful magnets will probably clash with your smartly chosen kitchen decor. Instead, install a corkboard on the wall near the kitchen entrance to keep these items prominently displayed yet not out of place. You can also use this corner as your “communications centre” where you post family reminders and shopping lists.
5. Invest in a charging dock for phones: if you don’t want a clutter of phones charging on your countertop, search for a phone dock with multiple outlets. These charging stations often provide a way to charge without cords while they blend in with the surrounding decor. This tip is especially helpful if you have teenaged kids with lots of gadgets.