Thursday, August 09, 2018

Home Style || Making Our Kitchen Family Friendly

As you may know we are in the process of having our kitchen done and what seemed like an easy task back in February when we started has become an ongoing battle that finally seems to be working out.

Part of our design and planning is making the kitchen family friendly. We are spending a lot of money so we want to look after it, but at the same time we don't want to be overly precious, we don't want to feel mad at the kids for having accidents, spilling drinks and just doing things kids do, we also want them to be safe!

Here's a few things we've had to think about in order to make our kitchen how we want it, whilst remaining family friendly;

A 'dirt' friendly work top

Obviously we will try and keep our worktops as clean as possible, but with pets and sticky fingered kids around, we needed something that wouldn't show up every speck of dust and wouldn't need constant wiping to look nice. Life's too short to spend hours every day perfecting a white work top and actually we very nearly went for a plain white. Instead though, we've opted for a high quality laminate that is super easy to clean, hard wearing and has a kind of stone/concrete look to it. Although it's still light and bright, it won't show up every single little thing and will be a little more forgiving in use.

Hardcore warmer floors

At the moment we have awful dark rock hard stone tiles, which look nasty and have rough grout which is impossible to get clean. Even when scrubbed with bleach, it still looks dirty so it's a completely losing battle. We've opted finally on a high quality vinyl flooring, much like that you'd find on a shop floor. This flooring is thick, not like the off the roll vinyl, it's hard wearing, easy to clean and we've gone for a light oak colour with a slight vintage/reclaimed look to it as we want to tie our modern kitchen into an industrial setting. I love putting old with new, so this will work so well with the units and work top, with a nice mix of materials.

Clean simple units

We've gone full circle a million times looking at kitchens. To start with we wanted a farm style set up with a shabby chic look, we then flicked to the other end of the scale with bright white high gloss doors, but we've finally settled on a simple pale grey matt door/drawer kitchen, with no handles, a metallic inlay and some under unit lighting - I'm SO excited! We loved the white kitchens but every gloss one we saw was covered in finger prints and often look warped with light shining on them. We liked the idea of the white making the room lighter, but much prefer a slightly darker classier looking unit with actual lighting instead of relying on reflective surfaces. We opted for ones with no handles just because it's one less hazard for our clumsy kids to walk into, but also looks really sleek! We've also got soft closing mechanisms to stop little fingers getting trapped - and also because it's just cool isn't it?

Tiles galore

Apparently lots of people opt for no tiles now, but with kids baking and me cooking, we definitely need a good tile back splash in all the food prep areas. We've gone for a simple matt finish but easy to clean geometric tile that can take the splatters of a four year old cracking eggs, but also look great.

Safer ovens

We've always had a classic oven with dials, but we are now going to add an induction hob that will be cool after use as well as a simple single electric oven with a safety catch and digital buttons for the hob which we can lock and won't have the kids accidentally switching it on which has happened before.

Boiler move

We've also opted to move our boiler upstairs which is being done as we speak. The boiler has been a big ugly feature in the kitchen and it will now be neatly tucked away, save us a fortune in gas and keep our house at a constant temperature. The kids were always banging on the boiler, we were always worried it would break being over 50 years old and it's one less thing to think about now. Moving it has also given us a lot more space as it had to have units built around it, it's made a huge difference.

Hoping it will feel this spacious!

Making space

Lastly and something that has made the biggest difference in terms of making it a better space for our family, we are increasing the floor space by taking out a wall, opening up and squaring off arches and losing some pointless furniture. The kids will have more room, we will feel less enclosed and have gained a good few square metres in space with just a few simple changes.

Esentially, it's all about safety, ease of cleaning and looking great at the same time, I think we may just have cracked it. Next month our kitchen renovation should be in full swing and I can't wait for the day I can finally share the finnished look we've gone for! I have everything crossed that it all goes smoothly and I'm so happy we've finally settled on all the things we want to include.

Is your kitchen working for your family?