The kitchen is the engine room of family life; pre-pandemic data shows that households with children were spending 44 minutes per day preparing food and clearing up afterward. This number is likely to have increased since working from home and remote learning have become more common, but even without revising that figure, that’s nearly an hour a day of casually chatting to your kids about school, friendships, or their interests, before you add in the actual time taken to enjoy your meal together. If your kitchen is struggling to accommodate the family time you crave, maybe it’s time for a redesign. It doesn’t have to blow the budget; with a little careful planning, you can keep your kitchen essentials to hand, and simply rearrange and update your layout and workspace.
As a guide, the industry standard is to spend around 10% of your home’s value on significant remodeling projects. So, if it’s a total renovation you’re after, that’s roughly the budget you should have in mind, although this is of course scalable depending on your available spend, and your vision for the space. Start by thinking big: what does your dream family kitchen look like? Where does everyone eat and chat? Is it light and airy or dark and intimate? What makes it unique to you and your loved ones? Are you a huge smart tech fan or do you prefer traditional touches? Work with a professional to write down your wishlist, cost it out, and then see how you can prioritize to achieve your goals.
Make every day easier
While the big picture is important, don’t forget to think about the everyday chores that come with family life. Make a plan for where the recycling can be sorted, where cleaning products can live safely, and most importantly, where the family’s laundry can be cleaned, dried, and ironed. If you’re not able to have a separate utility space, this is going to be a key part of your family kitchen. The Bureau of Labor Statistics confirms that the average family household spends just over 20 minutes per day on laundry. That’s over 2 hours per week where you will need a dedicated space to take care of it. Think also about ways you can encourage independence in your kids and teens; even decisions like whether you choose a front or top-loading machine can make a difference, as front loading machines are easier to reach for shorter family members, as well as often having the greater capacity and stain cleaning power.
Celebrate your family
On top of your overall vision and attention to everyday details, bear in mind that this is your family’s kitchen and is unique to you. While you might not want to make it too quirky in case you want to sell the property in the near future, you can still make it feel personal. Perhaps you’d love a space to display your kids’ drawings, or a smart notice board to keep track of everyone’s clubs and activities. Maybe you’d love a kitchen garden to encourage your kids to grow their own ingredients; experts suggest that growing food can help fussy eaters to feel more involved and willing to try new tastes and textures.
Redesigning your kitchen to fit your family’s life may seem daunting at first, but the rewards make it well worth it. From creating a prepping and dining space that lends itself to easy chatting and connecting, to taking the hassle out of everyday chores, a well-designed kitchen makes for a truly happy home. Stamp your family’s personality on it too; after all, it’s the heart of your home.