The kitchen is often much more than just the place the meals are cooked. In many households it is the center of family life. The eat-in-kitchen may be the only place parents and kids regularly spend time together, reconnecting after a busy week or celebrating birthdays and milestones. The kitchen is where a mother passes beloved family recipes down to her children, and it’s the destination for most children’s first fire and sharp edge safety lessons. The kitchen is also the key to setting real estate prices in most cases, and a good kitchen can seal the deal even if much of the rest of the house needs work.
But what if your kitchen needs work? If you have kids and pets, you’ve probably found yourself frequently overwhelmed by the constant foot traffic, the spills, accidents and injuries that can slam the breaks on an otherwise fantastic day. So if you’re going to either renovate or completely redesign your kitchen, here are a couple of tips to for a kid friendly kitchen design.
Safety is often your number one concern, as the kitchen can create a whole host of dangerous situations if you don’t consider your kids and pets when making design choices. Start with safety latches on all low cabinets. This is most important for those under the sink cabinets that house all of your cleaning products. These days you don’t have to sacrifice design for safety. You can now purchase safety latches that work with magnets. The magnet locks require special keys, and once those keys are waved across the surface the cabinet will open. Perfect for a classy kitchen and low-profile look, while still insuring the safety you need.
Although dogs and cats seem to usually land on their feet, kids have been known to hurl themselves across a space with little regard for their bodies. As most kitchen floors are slippery hardwood or tile, you’ll have to think of solutions on behalf of your little daredevils. Avoid sharp edges and corners on your countertops and tables. Your kids may still bruise themselves if they bang into a rounded counter, but they won’t have any of those horrible eye injuries or punctures that could leave permanent damage.
The last safety issue is the stovetop. Obviously make sure you sit your children down and talk to them about safety around the stove, so they know never to use it without a parent present. But kids have been known to break the rules from time to time, and cats will wander across any surface they can reach. If you have the room in your budget, consider switching out your traditional stovetop for an induction cooktop. This incredible device will only heat up if it has a metal pan or pot laid on it. Otherwise it will be cool to the touch, even when turned on full or right after the pot is removed. If you don’t have room in your budget for this sort of fix, try an inexpensive burner cover that slides over the stovetop when not in use. It’ll prevent your cat from burning his feet, and keep your child’s fingers intact. If you’re still not 100% content with that, you can also buy child locks for the burner switches, as long as it is a manual stove.
Now that safety is handled, consider other practical and visually appealing design choices. If you can place the garbage can on a sliding rack inside a low cabinet, you’ll greatly reduce the chance that the family’s furry friend will spread trash all over the floor. If you have a table or a dining bar make sure there are stools and chairs your children can reach, so they can join the meals without assistance. And consider an open cabinet at the end of the kitchen island to house your pet’s food dish and accessories. You can have it placed at the proper height for his digestion, while making sure it’s up off the floor and out of the way. This is just the beginning of what you can do to design a kid and pet-friendly room. Check out some of the kitchen renovations perth websites, to find some incredible examples of what’s possible at every budget.