Today’s families are so busy with soccer practice and PTA meetings to sleepovers at friends’ houses and work obligations, they are constantly off in different directions. However, despite all of these obstacles to togetherness, there’s one place where the family still congregates: The Kitchen. Make your kitchen as inviting, comfortable, livable, and homey as possible. The following shows a few ways to transform your kitchen from a space that’s not just about cooking, but also about connecting with family and friends
1. Create a Kids Zone in the Kitchen
This is a fact: Moms are often preparing meals in the kitchen while kids roam freely throughout the house. There might be times you want them under your watchful eye or simply crave their company – the simplest way to draw kids to the kitchen is to give them spaces of their own.
Adding stools to the side of the kitchen counter or island opposite your work zone is an easy yet effective way to create room for kids and teens to do homework, play, snack or just hang out. The best part is – When they’re not in use, stools can be tucked under the overhang for a tidy aesthetic.
Just make sure to include one thing all of today’s wired kids need: adequate outlets for laptops, iTouches, iPads, cell phones, and other must-have electronic devices.
2. Encourage Access
While the idea of being surrounded by your happy, busting brood is delightful in theory, in reality this scenario can quickly go south. Why? Because in addition to being loveable, kids are also demanding. Near-endless requests for everything from cups of milk to snacks from the fridge can make getting anything done a challenge. Unless you help them help themselves, that is.
Shallow base cabinets stocked with kid-friendly plates and glasses; refrigerator drawers loaded with healthy, appetizing after-school snacks; and a handy microwave drawer all mean dinner prep can continue without a hitch.
3. Fuse Style and Substance in the Kitchen
That all-white kitchen you’ve always fantasized about may have to wait until your kids head off to college. In the meantime, seek out materials that satisfy your style without sacrificing durability like quartz countertops.
Almost essentially maintenance-free, and are also resistant to just about everything — we’re talking stains, scratches, heat, acid, and impact. And because quartz is available in a huge range of colors and patterns, you’re sure to find a look you love.
Perennial homeowner favorite granite, meanwhile, merges a high-end look with equally high performance. Because let’s face it: Spills happen, and when they do — wouldn’t you prefer something that wipes up quickly and leaves no evidence behind like quartz?
The same concept applies to upholstery. In addition to the usual suspects like vinyl, cotton and microfiber, you can use outdoor and all-weather fabrics are not only available in a multitude of patterns and colors, but also offer extreme durability.
4. Make the Kitchen Multi-Purpose
Today’s open living designs throws out conventional ideas about what should take place where. After all, life is dynamic and fluid, so why should your kitchen be closed in and stagnant? Rather than thinking of the kitchen solely as a place to eat, reframe it as all-purpose room. Comfortable furniture, inviting color fabrics and warm lighting add up to a softer space where people will tend to gather.
One final way to get bodies in the kitchen? Add a television. While this may not initially be your vision of the picture-perfect kitchen, consider this: the average mom spends 1,117 days of their lives in the kitchen over the course of her lifetime. That’s three whole years! When you think about it that way, why shouldn’t you have something to help you pass the time?
If the thought of having a television in your kitchen still makes you cringe, the latest breed of innovative television-camouflaging cabinets can give you a potential solution.
5. Organize and Optimize
Anyone who’s ever fought the losing battle of a clean kitchen versus constant influx of backpacks, permission slips, schoolbooks, jackets, tools, projects, and sports gear understands how quickly chaos can take place without proper organizational mechanisms in place. Taking control means integrating ample storage in the form of cubbies, hooks, and shelving so that there’s a place for everything aside from your floor and countertops.
One other organizational tool for today’s busy households is a Blackboard. Ideal for everything from jotting down reminders to sharing inspirational quotes to posting the evening’s menu, blackboards are the perfect combination of fun and functional. Plus, your kids will love adding their own creative touches.
Ultimately, while the kitchen is the heart of any home, the people who populate it are what keep it beating. Incorporating these five tips into your kitchen design supports its status as a vital space that can easily keep pace with the fast-paced rhythm of modern family living.
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Choose to have an amazing day….Jeff