According to surveys, Americans are evenly split about whether the kitchen or living room is their favorite room in the house. Given how much we enjoy our kitchens and the amount of time we spend there, it is easy to see why it is one of the most frequent renovations.
There are many reasons to renovate a kitchen, including the following:
- Return on investment (ROI): Even a minor kitchen remodel has an ROI of over 80% on average. Moreover, a kitchen that increases your enjoyment of your home produces a positive ROI until you sell it.
- Functionality: Kitchen technology changes quickly and new appliances and materials bring new kitchen functionality.
- Style: Since the kitchen is one of the rooms in which you spend the most time, it should reflect your personal style and provide a comfortable environment. Over 75% of homeowners change their kitchen style when remodeling to better suit their individual preferences and tastes.
- Accessibility: The changing dynamic of the family often means that three or more generations are living together and using the kitchen. A kitchen that can accommodate grandparents, parents, and the little ones is a more functional kitchen.
One powerful reason to renovate a kitchen is to make the kitchen more friendly for children. When renovating a kitchen, you have a number of considerations and design options to keep in mind. Here are three ways to renovate your kitchen to make it more kid-friendly:
Part of renovating a kitchen to accommodate your children includes creating a safe environment for them. There have been great advances in cabinets that you can use to make your kitchen safer.
Pull-out drawers in cabinets allow you to use your cabinet space more efficiently and minimize the risk of your pots and pans crashing down on your child when the child opens the cabinet door. Similarly, cabinets can have integrated latches to keep toddlers and infants out of cabinets while granting older kids access.
For pantries and pantry cabinets, you can include built-in step stools to help kids reach upper shelves. You can also create a niche in your kitchen for storing a portable step stool to reach the sink and countertops.
Food safety and proper hygiene are also a design concern when accommodating kids. You can easily sanitize microbe-resistant countertops, like quartz and granite, to prevent the spread of foodborne bacteria and other viruses like the common cold.
The cold is a fairly hardy virus that can live on surfaces, such as countertops, for up to seven days. Once transmitted, the cold virus can cause symptoms that can last anywhere between 48 hours and 14 days, although the average person makes a full recovery in about ten days. Choosing countertop materials that can be sanitized will keep your young chefs free from bacteria and viruses.
Similarly, touch-free faucets reduce the risk of cross-contamination that occurs when germy hands touch the faucet to turn it on, then touch it again after washing to turn it off. These faucets can also promote handwashing without the risk of burning young hands since you can pre-set the water temperature.
If your children are going to help out in the kitchen, you will need to provide them with the workspace and storage they need. Making your kids climb onto a chair or stool to use your workspace will inevitably lead to spills and falls. Rather than a single-height countertop, you may want to consider adding a lower countertop for your children to use as a workspace.
If you do not want to be stuck with a lowered countertop after your kids have grown up, you can include an island or bar with fixed or attached seating. This will reduce the risk of your child falling due to their seat moving unexpectedly. Alternatively, you may want to re-design your kitchen to include space for a work table or rolling cart the children can work at.
Moreover, children need accessible storage for their cooking tools, plates, utensils, and cookware. To accommodate them, you can plan storage space at their height for their exclusive use. Alternatively, pantries or pantry cabinets can include lower shelves set aside for your children’s use. When making any of these structural renovations, you will likely want to rely on the help of a professional as 87% of homeowners do. If you are not replacing your cabinets during the remodel, you can use the opportunity to rearrange your kitchen storage to clear out some lower cabinet space for your kids.
Style can be a difficult consideration because the kitchen is the center of a family’s life in the home. Therefore, the kitchen should reflect the family’s style rather than being decorated like a child’s bedroom. On the other hand, there are a few ways that you can create a kid-friendly style.
- Add some color: Colors can be used to make a space more inviting and homey. Bright colors will also reflect light and make the space feel larger than it is.
- Choose materials wisely: You will want materials that are not fragile or prone to damage. Glass cabinet doors and expensive Italian tile may look nice, but can be easily damaged and create a safety risk when broken.
- Fingerprints: Remember, you will need to clean anything you put into your remodeled kitchen. Stainless steel appliances and glass surfaces tend to pick up fingerprints, smudges, and smears.
- Feng Shui: Even if you do not believe in chi and energy flow, Feng Shui design principles can contribute to your kitchen re-design. Mirrors, for example, reflect energy back into a room, but also make the room look twice as deep.
Redesigning a kitchen to appeal to your children’s cooking interests can bring a family together. We spend most of our time in the kitchen and cooking together can help children develop an interest in food and nutrition.
When remodeling your kitchen to make it more kid-friendly, just remember to think proactively about safety, make your kitchen more accessible, and create a shared sense of style. After they have grown, your children will thank you for your efforts to include them.