The kitchen is so often the center of home activity, and it’s even more so when there are kids around. But setting up a space that can handle everything from homework and play dough to family dinner takes a little thinking. Here are 12 ideas for designing and organizing your kitchen to make it the bustling but not chaotic (at least most of the time) hub of family life you want it to be.
Half wall. Carving out a half- or third-height wall will give you the easy flow of an open-plan space without giving up much storage. Install cabinets on the kitchen side and slide your dining table up near the other. The top of the partial wall can also act as a buffet, perfect for setting out plates and dishes of food when dinner is ready.
Barn-door cabinets. Does your family have a cabinet-door-closing problem? If you are tired of walking into the kitchen to see every single cabinet door flung wide open, perhaps it’s time to ditch the doors. Barn-style sliding doors are the perfect compromise between traditional doors and open shelving — they let you hide the mess but leave some things open and airy. And no one will ever forget to close the doors again.
Easy-care surfaces. Marble counters are gorgeous, but they stain — and it’s not fun to be constantly reminding (read: nagging) others to wipe up spills immediately. Avoid tile, or if you must have tile, choose forgiving dark grout rather than white. Stainless steel, Corian and engineered quartz are great tough countertop materials; butcher block is great too, if you can embrace the inevitable scratches as part of the charm. Classic linoleum and Marmoleum floors are easy to maintain; wood is fairly easy too, although spills should be wiped up right away.
12 Ideas for a Family-Friendly Kitchen