Creating a Space which works for the whole Family
The kitchen is the heart of the home and should be a space which is functional for everyone who lives there. With elderly parents moving in with their adult children and students returning home from university to spend a few years in the family home to help them save money for the elusive first home deposit, multigenerational living is on the increase. The design of our homes needs to be reflective of this shift. The kitchen has become a space in which to cook, relax, entertain and socialise. Throw in three generations of family trying to use this space for these purposes and some thought is needed in terms of design.
First up to consider is the height of your countertops. Your kitchen may need to include countertops of different sizes to ensure everyone will be able to prep and cook food with ease. Lower countertops can be accessible for wheelchair users and can help toddlers and younger children begin to get involved with food prep and cooking. Higher counters are great workspaces for teens and adults and can be used to keep unsuitable objects away from small hands!
Many hands make light work so make use of the additional helping hands you have at your disposal by having multiple work areas. This way lots of people can get involved with the food prep without falling over each other. If you have the space, installing an additional sink could be beneficial. Farmhouse sinks are perfect due to their deep basin and wise base. They will easily accommodate big pots and pans.
Consider the width of your walkways- multiple people passing and potential wheelchair access means wider walkways are a plus. A wide walkway will help your kitchen feel open and airy rather than cramped. Another good tip is roll-out shelving. Roll-out shelving will make it easier for small children to find and reach dishes so they can help set the table. This type of shelving is also beneficial to older people who may have a limited range of movement. Rounded edges on islands and countertops are also a good choice for both younger children and for those who are prone to bumping into objects etc.
The kitchen may be the heart of your home but it will require your head to make sure it is a space which can be enjoyed and best-used by all members of your family.