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The kitchen should be the heart of every home, but in order for that to be so, people have to want to be there. Not everyone needs a state of the art, gourmet kitchen, or a bartending and entertaining setup – instead some people just need to design a kitchen around the hectic and busy life of a family.

To help you get the inspiration ball rolling on your kitchen renovations, consider starting with these four priorities:

Easy to Clean and Durable Surfaces

Easy to Clean and Durable Surfaces

Whether your kids are toddlers or teens, they can and will be rough on your kitchen. In this case, maybe skip that lovely but highly stainable concrete countertop. Same goes for any surface susceptible to cutting or scorching. Eventually, your kids will be cooking for themselves, and that doesn’t always go well at first.

Make things easier on yourself by selecting materials that hold up to little kicking feet and spilled orange juice.

Easily Accessible Pantry

Easily Accessible Pantry

Kids are professional snackers. During growth spurts you might be flat-out amazed at how much they can eat. The bottom line is that if you don’t want to be pulled away several times a day to reach another fruit strip or graham cracker, design your pantry with short people in mind. Go ahead and stock the bottom shelves with snacks you deem acceptable, and let the kids help themselves.

Now as for the upper shelves, that can become a haven for your baking supplies, spices, and all the other things the kids won’t care about – but it should be designed to be easily accessible for you too.

More Than One Surface for Eating

Surface for Eating

Nobody wants to admit that they didn’t get around to cleaning up breakfast before lunch rolled around, but believe me, it happens every day, all over the world. A great way to sidestep the chaos of a cluttered table is to have more than one place for eating.

Kids can have their breakfast and snacks at the breakfast bar, with the table being reserved for dinner. Plus, as kids get older and become involved in sports and activities, “mealtime” might stretch out over hours as each person drifts in to grab a plate. Make life easier by serving up late meals at the breakfast bar, long after you’ve cleaned the kitchen table.

Multi-Use Room Layout

Multi-Use Room Layout

The kitchen isn’t just a hub for meals, it’s also the room in which most families do homework, sign papers for school, and keep track of everyone’s schedules.

Even though cooking and dining will be the main focus of the kitchen, planning ahead for these “auxiliary activities” that are bound to happen can make organization and planning much easier.

If you have the room, a small desk area for writing would be an excellent idea. Installing a chalkboard for lists or reminders can also be very helpful.

One last tip: storage storage storage!!! No matter how many kitchen cabinets you have, just assume that you need more. There will be arts and crafts supplies, notebooks, backpacks, science projects, etc. By planning out storage for your family-friendly kitchen in advance, you can give these things a home other than the middle of the counter


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