Keeping my kitchen well stocked with the things I need is an important part of maintaining my home. And when the family is growing, it can be even more complicated to manage the ins and outs of a kitchen. Here are a few of the most important items I would recommend to make sure that your kitchen can completely accommodate your family, even as it continues to grow and change over time.
One of the best things I would use to make a kitchen more functional is to add in an island. A kitchen island will bring more usable workspace to your kitchen, provide an additional spot for seating, and give you more storage space as well. If you are running out of counter space, an island can ensure that your family members can all gather around and help with meal prep, or simply chat while eating breakfast on bar stools. As you find ways to make your kitchen more accommodating to your family, don’t neglect the benefits that a kitchen island can bring to make your space more usable and fun for the whole family!
With kids running around, I would contend that every surface in your kitchen needs to be durable and stand up to the wear your kids will put them through each day. Choosing durable materials should start with the floor and counters and extend to all the other elements of your kitchen. Quartz and granite are both great options for countertops that are low maintenance and can last forever. For your floors, look at tile and vinyl options to find the best fit. Finally, I love high quality cabinetry that brings style and function into a kitchen. With durable materials, parents don’t have to worry about their children potentially damaging the kitchen. Instead, you can focus on the meals and memories you can make inside.
A Larger Fridge and Freezer
A small fridge and freezer may work for a small family, but a larger family needs more room to hold the food they eat each week. I know I do! Choosing a larger fridge and freezer will better meet the needs of your family and give you a little more room to spread things out so you know what is available and don’t end up wasting the food you have purchased. A fridge with other amenities like an ice maker and water dispenser can also be great for growing families. Newer fridges come with many features that make it easier to conserve energy and ensure that kids can have easy access to the things they need.
More family means more things, and those things all require a place where they can be easily accessed and still out of sight when they aren’t in use. Storage cabinets can bring style to meet your storage needs, as can kitchen islands. Finding other ways to build in space can be difficult, but besides adding more cabinetry and an island, I would say a more intuitive pantry space is a great next step. You can maximize the storage space you already have as well, using shelf organizers and pull-out drawers to grant easier access to every bit of space you can.
A Pot Filler
Having a pot filler is a huge benefit to a growing family. Moving from the stove to the sink with heavy pots of water is incredibly difficult, especially for children who are old enough to use the stove but not quite strong enough to carry huge pots of water. Generally, it is pretty easy to bring a water source to the stove and have a pot filler inserted by a plumber. Just talk to them about what you are looking for, so they can set you up with the best possible option for you and your family.
A Great Layout
More than any individual element of your kitchen, the layout completely defines how easy it is to use your kitchen productively. One of the most important elements of the layout that I’ve found is the direction of traffic. That means you want significant amounts of space between counters so there is enough room for your whole family to navigate the kitchen comfortably, and appliances near other appliances (like putting the dishwasher next to the sink) to require less movement. With more space to get around and a good layout where it is easy to get from fridge to stove to sink, life in the kitchen is much easier.
A lot of the furniture in the kitchen is fastened to a wall. However, I think having a few pieces of furniture that can be easily moved around is helpful for large families as well. Having stools and even a bench that you can move around in your kitchen will make it easier for kids to be able to help with kitchen tasks, for instance. It’s important to have a variety of movable furniture that can make your kitchen both more comfortable and more functional.
It is also important to make sure that you have an organizational system in place to ensure things can run smoothly despite the chaos of children and family. Make it a point to go through your kitchen items on a regular basis and get rid of things that are out of date, duplicated, never used, or broken. Also, having a white board in your kitchen can help you to track tasks and manage your kitchen. Last, I like to have small organizational tools in my storage space, like dividers and smaller containers for various pieces of kitchen equipment.
Putting together the perfect kitchen for a growing family is no easy job. But it’s quite possible to design a space that gives you room to have fun, create delicious meals, and bring your family together. Follow these simple tips and you’ll be well on your way!
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