Family-friendly kitchen: make it the hub of your home

Amy Buxton Amy Buxton
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Kitchens are so much more than just the room that you prepare food in; they form part of the centre of any family home, offering a communal space for get togethers and interaction that is often negated in living rooms. With this in mind, we think it's a great idea to make your kitchen even more family-friendly so as to encourage everyone, from busy parents through to disinterested teens, to come on in for some quality time, great food and much needed interaction.

Take a look at our ideas for creating a family-friendly kitchen and see if you are keen to put any, or all, of them to good use in your home.

Bring in a breakfast bar

Private Residential Refurbishment, Kent: modern Kitchen by STUDIO 9010
STUDIO 9010

Private Residential Refurbishment, Kent

STUDIO 9010

For families that always seem to be on the go, a breakfast bar is great way to ensure that everyone sits down together for at least one meal a day. Even something as simple as everyone gathering round to enjoy some cereal before going off to work or school can be enough to promote positive mindsets and home harmony.

Family-friendly kitchen ideas, such as this beautiful breakfast bar that has been selected by Studio 9010, promote synergy and harmony not only in a design sense, but a wider family way too, so pass the cornflakes because we are sold!

Invest in an island

Modern meets Edwardian.: classic Kitchen by Rencraft
Rencraft

Modern meets Edwardian.

Rencraft

If a breakfast bar is a little small for your needs why not think about creating a family-friendly kitchen with a large island taking centre stage? Perfect for hungry people to gather around, it also has the added bonus of bringing the chef closer to the diners, allowing for more involved conversation. 

This is a fabulous island unit, which offers bags of storage space, as well as an integrated hob and vast swathes of counter space, making it as practical and functional for the food preparer as it is social and comfortable for everyone else. We can picture a lot of homework being completed here, while helpful parents rustle up some tasty sustenance!

Try a traditional table

If you like the ceremony and tradition of sitting down to eat with your loved ones every evening, a traditional kitchen table is the ideal family-friendly kitchen addition. The perfect location for gathering after a long day, enjoying a home cooked meal and talking about what has gone on, a large family table offers nostalgia, comfort and security all in one.

We are huge fans of family-friendly spaces and can already picture a host of happy children blissfully finishing their homework here, while eagerly awaiting a delicious dinner with the rest of their clan.

Make room for a sofa

Open-Plan Kitchen, Dining Room and Media Room: classic Kitchen by Luke Cartledge Photography
Luke Cartledge Photography

Open-Plan Kitchen, Dining Room and Media Room

Luke Cartledge Photography

Children of all ages, as well as adults, can never seem to resist a well placed sofa in a social room and this example is nothing short of luxurious! We know that not everybody will have a huge room to install a sofa of this size, but the design ethos could be applied to any home to create a family-friendly kitchen that everybody gravitates towards and enjoys spending time in.

A good way to encourage safe play for youngsters, as adults can be vigilant in their monitoring, a sofa in the kitchen means that even when the food isn't ready yet, everybody can already gather to play and begin talking and enjoying quality time together. 

Open out the space

Quebec Way, Haggerston: modern Kitchen by Rousseau
Rousseau

Quebec Way, Haggerston

Rousseau

If individually your kitchen, dining and living rooms are fairly small, have you considered opening them up into one large open plan space? For a truly family-friendly kitchen, we love the thought of having no walls at all, allowing everyone to be in each other's company, even if not directly interacting all the time. 

Older children could be hard at work completing homework on the table, while adults have a catch up over the island unit in between watching the little ones playing on the sofa, making for not only a cohesive and functioning room, but also a terrifically close family that is happy to be in each other's company all the time.

Tune in together

We know some of you will already be feeling uneasy about the idea of installing  television in a bid to make a family-friendly kitchen but it doesn't have to be such a negative thing! Watching educational programmes and the news together is a great way to ensure that everyone has a good handle on world events and enough information to hand for meaningful conversation. An extra television can also be a great way to avoid family disputes when nobody can agree on what to watch in the living room! 

We like the idea of watching a favourite film in the kitchen, as you will be in close proximity to popcorn making equipment, which can never be a bad thing and would be fun for older children having a sleepover.

Mount your messages

Thoughtful finishing touches are what can make the difference between a space that family members don't mind coming into and a family-friendly kitchen they they will love to spend time in. This example is great, as it shows the potential for smaller or awkwardly shaped kitchens to embrace family life, thanks to the fun chalkboard where everyone can leave important messages or information that the rest of the house will see. For larger families, a bigger board could be placed along the opposite wall, perhaps with height markers to track children's growth, as is the tradition in many family kitchens.

For more family-friendly solutions, take a look at this Ideabook: Creating A Child-Friendly Garden.

Do you have a family-friendly kitchen? Tell us in the comments, below.
Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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