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Kitchen Furniture

Published on September 23rd, 2021 | by The GC Team

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Six tips for creating a family-friendly kitchen

By Charlie Smallbone at Ledbury Studio

The kitchen is the true heart of any family home. A place in which to gather to cook, work, relax and entertain. To create the perfect family-friendly kitchen, I start by spending quality time talking to the family, finding out about how they live their lives and what they want from their kitchen. A kitchen must be able to meet everyone’s demands, whatever the time of day. The only way to learn this is to sit down with the client and chat. Although this can be a lengthy process, it is invaluable.

My key ingredients for making a kitchen family friendly:

Hard-wearing worktops: Choose practical materials for worktops and splashbacks; something hard wearing that’s not going to chip — a granite for example, or a good quality manmade quartz such as the Airy Concrete Caesarstone (shown). Quartz has many benefits. It is easy to maintain (soap and water will do) and its strength is comparable to that of granite. And because it is engineered, it is non-porous, making it scratch- and stain-resistant as well as impervious to cracks, chips, mould and mildew.

Painted cabinets: All our kitchen cabinets are hand-painted on site. Painted doors are ideal for family kitchens because you can simply sand them down and repaint them when they need a refresh. Not only is this a great way of renovating your kitchen without the expense of replacing whole cupboards, but it also presents the opportunity to switch-up their colour and give your kitchen a new look. To complement the aged, hand-finished solid zinc doors in this kitchen, cabinetry features a specially commissioned paint-effect created on site by Ledbury Studio’s resident artist Emma Culshaw Bell.

Efficient working space: When planning a family-friendly kitchen always think about efficient working patterns. Where is your hob in relation to your sink and fridge? You don’t want too much space between the key working areas of your kitchen. Have you got sufficient work surface surrounding the hob and oven so that there is somewhere to place hot pots and pans? And if you are going to put hot dishes directly onto the worktop, then you’ll need to choose a material that can cope with that.

Access to the garden: If possible, open up your kitchen to the garden with patio doors. For parents with younger children, it allows them to prepare dinner and keep an eye on what’s going on in the garden. And as kids get older, easy access to an outside space where they can blow off steam is always a benefit. In this particular project, the owners chose Crittall patio doors that add an industrial vibe to the kitchen.

Somewhere to sit: A practical consideration for a family kitchen today is somewhere to work for both adults and children. We include USB points and charging sockets for phones and iPads on the island or wherever they’re required. And you need somewhere to sit in the kitchen – whether that’s a stool or round a table. It should be comfortable enough to spend a morning or a whole day there if you want to.

A multi-tasking island: As hard working as it is aesthetically pleasing, the beauty of an island is that it provides additional space for food prep and storage – essential for a family kitchen. And by incorporating a breakfast bar, it can be used for casual dining too. The secret to a successful island is thinking ahead: how it will be used, its position in the kitchen, and the all-important material used for its worktop.

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