Creating A Child Friendly Kitchen

*This is a collaborative post

Some say 'the kitchen is the heart of the home' where the whole family gathers to be together and enjoy some quality family time. As families change and grow, we embrace open-plan living, we are tending to spend more time together in one room, and that room is often a multi-purpose kitchen/dining/living room. But with your little ones running around and playing, how can you make your kitchen child-friendly?
Shaker kitchens retailer Harvey Jones uses their expertise to share some advice on how you can make your kitchen a safe place for your children.
Keeping them safe
Whilst you are preparing dinner, you’ll need to keep a close eye on the little ones whilst keeping the other on your cooking. An island, table or breakfast bar in your kitchen is a great space for the children to gather and watch you work. I wouldn't recommend putting a hob on the kitchen island, but If you do then think carefully about the island’s arrangement and the kind of power you choose for your hob. A bar that’s placed at a slightly higher level than the rest of the island will guard against small fingers, while an induction hob with no exposed flame and safety indicators that flash to indicate if a zone is still hot is a good choice. A table at a slightly lower area but attached to one side of the island is also a clever option. Just make sure there’s plenty of room for chairs to be pushed back without being in the way.

No matter how many times you tell children “don’t run”, do they ever listen? Kids will be kids and as much as you might want to stop running and playing in the kitchen, they probably will continue to do so at some point. A layout that encourages children to stay out of the cooking and prep areas is best to keep them out of harms’ way. Think about placing your fridge to one side out of the main body of the kitchen so they can safely access it to get their own snacks or drinks while you are busy. If you want them to help you lay the table in time for tea, then it’s also worth placing a cupboard on the rear side of an island or to store things in a dresser near the table so they can help without getting under your feet as you dish up.
Make sure all leads are kept high out of the way, and boiling kettle or pans are pushed as far back as possible. Turn saucepan handles away from reach whilst in use too.
Bringing the outside in
The fresh air does everyone a world of good – and whilst we can never rely on the weather, a kitchen that flows onto the garden, with folding doors and flooring that sieges seamlessly from one space to another, avoiding any trip hazard, is a great way to encourage your small ones to venture into the garden.

Lighting both indoor and outdoors is vital for creating the perfect atmosphere and mood in your kitchen area. If you have bi-fold doors, think carefully about how they might look both during the day and at night, avoiding that ‘wall of black’ that is often the result of large expanses of glass. Ensuring the garden is illuminated, both by directional spots inside and specialist garden lighting outside is one way to keep the garden feeling part of the space whatever the time of day. I recommend purchasing a few solar powered, pretty lanterns to really set the mood and beautify your outside space. If you have decking, then placing spots around the edge will not only show where it ends but can also add a little sparkle during night-time dining.
Keeping the kitchen clutter free
A utility room near to the kitchen is the perfect area to hide away any clutter that family life brings – dirty shoes, laundry, coats and more can all be stored – or hidden – away in your utility so your kitchen can remain clutter free. Although, many of us in the UK don't have the pleasure of a utility room so instead make use of the storage you do have. A neat and tidy under-the-sink-cupboard can suffice for all your cleaning products, and contemplate purchasing a shoe or coat rack. A good alternative to a utility room is to incorporate a cloakroom-style tall cupboard close to the garden entrance. You can use this to hold outdoor paraphernalia including shoes and coats as well as for storing outdoor games – balls, skittles and deflated paddling pools for instance.

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