Want to plan a chic kitchen renovation that works for everyone in the house? We called in an expert to take us through what makes the most family-friendly, modern kitchens.
The kitchen is the hub of the family home and if it’s ugly, cramped, chaotic and splattered with gunk 24/7, then it’s going to get you down. A kitchen revamp, even if you’re the CEO of multiple small children, can be relatively easy when you have a good set of plans.
New mums are often told they’ll need to concede a chic kitchen in favour of functionality and safety of young ones – but this isn’t the whole truth. In fact, good-looking kitchen architecture is more achievable than ever thanks to tech created to reduce labour and time in the kitchen, but also emphasise design and functionality.
So, how to create a chic kitchen that works for everyone in the house? We called in an expert to take us through what makes the most family-friendly modern kitchens.
Plan the size, then add some
“The kitchen needs to be easily accessible and spacious enough to accommodate parents preparing and serving food.” says professional builder and property developer, Brendon Fordyce. The Gold Coast-based, father of two has built and designed many homes over the years for both owner occupiers and investors. He’s also built and renovated his own homes – all while living on site with his wife, kids and adorable dog.
Brendon explains further that your kitchen isn’t just a room in the house, “it forms a part of a larger space that is the most central point of the home. Rather than a kitchen being a segregated room to prepare food, it’s where most of the bonding occurs nowadays in the home and everything flows from that point outwards.”
Open plan design is one of the biggest trends to emerge in modern kitchens, particularly attractive for young families who want to both cook and keep an eye out for young ones in the living room.
Look into a ‘broken-plan’ design, which is a slight variation to open-plan except you divide the open space in semi-permanent and subtle ways using shelving, partitions, half walls or a split-level. If done correctly, this will retain that sense of openness, flow of light and cohesion between spaces while still offering a sense of separation and privacy.
Child-proof doesn’t mean style proof
Considering most home-kitchens are filled with hot appliances and sharp objects, it can be tricky preventing kids from getting into areas that are off-limits. However there are plenty of child-proof hacks you can work into your kitchen design to avoid any nasty accidents, says Fordyce. “With the amount of products out there making the kitchen safe enough for young children you can still achieve that designer-look you’re after like magnetic child-proof locks for cabinet doors and drawers, cool corner protectors, and ovens with good safety features”
Related post: Tips to safeguard your property
Finesse the mess
The butler pantry proves that design history has a habit of repeating itself with this renewed kitchen trend. You’ll have seen these popping up on multiple cool-mum instagrams, the butler’s pantry is basically a mini-kitchen within a kitchen, hidden out of sight behind a door or wall. Its main function is to provide space for food storage and desktop appliances as well as preparing food and cleaning up without ruining your main kitchen’s look.
The size of a butler’s pantry will depend on what you choose to store in there but ideally it should be a minimum 1.6m wide for a single run, keeping in mind your microwave, coffee machine, wine fridge, bulk food items and table linens creating a functional and practical space. We also love personalising the interior with made to measure pantry labels.
Islands in the sun
“I personally love an island bench top” says Brendon, explaining that the kitchen island has become a staple in open-plan designs. Besides providing additional storage it also offers the ideal set-up for family gatherings and casual dining.
An island is great for kids, who can use the space as a homework zone or to help with meal preparations. Consider curved surfaces and rounded corners on your bench top as this will eliminate potential hazards that may occur at a small-person head height.
The heart of the home
Mother of three, Liza Jovaise, recently completed a home reno that was a contemporary kitchen design with a classic Hamptons-style feel to it. It had natural stone countertops, white subway tiles on the walls, a large island bench top and a butlers pantry.
The Hamptons design aesthetic has been ruling dream kitchen Pinterest boards for the better part of the last decade for good reason. Although the vast features that define it may seem like ginormous additions in your kitchen reno project, it’s important to remember that a kitchen remodel is an investment that should last at least 10-15 years.
Investing time and money into your kitchen will almost guarantee increased buyer interest and higher sale price when the time comes to sell the nest. Until then it’s probably the room you and your family will spend the most uninterrupted quality time together – it’s their space too so also maybe choose washable paint for your walls, a good rule generally, and invest in a few packs of washable markers and let the kids go wild on the walls sometimes.
Financing a home reno project
It might be tempting to rush into your home reno project and fund it the easiest way with quick, easy credit like a personal loan or credit card. But this can cost you many thousands more in interest in the long run.
Using equity in your home may be the better option for you. Adding in a review at the same time may lower your overall interest rate, saving you money and providing something extra for that brand new stainless steel fridge!
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This article is prepared based on general information. It does not take into account individual financial objectives or needs and is not financial product advice. You should always undertake your own independent property research.