Designer    Feature 02 Dec 2013

Family Friendly Kitchens: Designer Graeme Smith on delivering a kitchen design for all the family

Graeme Smith, Senior Designer at PWS on how to deliver a family-friendly design that ticks all the boxes

Planning a family-orientated kitchen involves consideration of workspace, ergonomics, visual appeal and other requirements to make a kitchen inviting, practical and safe.

The kitchen continues to morph into the main living space so requests for settees, audio-visual hubs, window seat and even a desk are increasingly commonplace. The key is to bring all these requirements together, creating a design where these multi-functional elements all blend seamlessly together.

Of course, in a child-friendly kitchen the first consideration is safety. So aside from the considered storage of knives, heavy products and chemical products being out of reach, don’t overlook the potential dangers of sharp edges, especially on worktops which may be all to easy for a child to knock a head on.

Working around busy families, who may all be doing different activities, the design will naturally gravitate towards a less formal and more relaxed place to interact. Aesthetically, areas will be generally defined by function so create a flow through the zones whilst introducing features to unify and harmonise the space.

Furniture can be carried through to a living area in the form of sideboards, window seats and TV units. Meanwhile soft furnishings and colour will create a cohesive feel to the scheme, with accent colours echoing from one area to another. You can always propose a child-friendly décor, for example, suggest painting one area with blackboard paint, helping to keep the children occupied and encouraging their artistic side.