7 Ideas When Renovating A Family Home







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Whether you have young children or are planning to start a family in the not too distant future, making sure that your home will be robust enough to cope with a busy family is important.

We share some of our practical tips that you can incorporate as part of the renovation to make sure your home is more kid friendly!

If you are thinking about a renovation project in the near future and need some help finding an architect or architectural designer, we can match you with the most suitable ones for your project.

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1. Choose the flooring carefully

If you have a young family, the floor will take a lot of abuse and you don't want to be sent into a frenzy every time there is a spill or a knock - so choose flooring that is hard wearing, easy to clean and maintain.

Wood or engineered wood looks beautiful, but unless you are happy for it to take some chips and scratches (which can often add to the charm!) then consider a different option. 

In the kitchen and bathroom, porcelain is a good option as it is so easy to maintain and won't stain - bear in mind it will be harder for small children during the tumbling over phase though!

Another option is a vinyl which now comes in the most amazing tile and wood effects as well as some really fun patterns, so it's a perfect option for around the home. It’s also a softer surface than a tile or wood and is extremely durable and hard wearing.

When choosing a carpet, carefully consider the fibre and finish. Wool is a hard wearing option so go for an 80% wool and 20% man-made fibre mix, the man-made fibre will make it easier to clean up stains. 

A loop pile will take more wear and won't flatten over time, particularly on areas such as the stairs where little ones like to bump up and down. Lastly, opt for either a stripe, pattern or a carpet with a fleck. Should there be any accidents, these will be more forgiving than a plain coloured carpet!

Stunning Amtico flooring is tougher than a wooden floor in a busy family home. We love this light oak in the home of Insta account @the_berry_build

2. Go for easy clean walls!

With advances in modern technology, there are so many great kinds of paint where you can easily wipe away marks from the walls. 

Most well known paint brands have easy clean and durable paint, such as Dulux Easycare which is stain repellent, meaning liquid stains simply bead on the surface of your wall, with marks easy to wipe away too.

3. Plan the layout of the kitchen 

Kids love to run around the house and have plenty of space to do so. They also gravitate to the kitchen when the grown ups are there, so plan the layout well to avoid accidents when they are passing through!

Make sure you leave more than enough space between the island unit and cabinets. We recommended that you leave at least 90cm between the island unit and the cabinets on either side, however if you have a busy family home you will want this to be an even larger gap. 

If you are short on space, a good option is a peninsula rather than an island - this will leave more floor space and allow the kids to run through. 

Have a good think about where you cook and where you will position hot pans while you are preparing dinner. You want to avoid walking across the kitchen with hot boiling water, so ideally the taps would be near the hob. 

A practical kitchen with the island against the wall to create a large walkway by Zara Kitchen Design

4. Choose easy to maintain kitchen finishes and practical appliances

In terms of worktops, quartz is such a popular choice as it's easy to clean and is less prone to staining. Natural marble is beautiful but can be marked easily, so it's not as good a choice in a busy family home. Natural wood is also a timeless looking worktop but requires maintenance to avoid water marks.

For units, modern matt cabinets work well as they are less prone to showing fingerprints. If you want to cut back on the cleaning, a handle-less finish is easy to wipe clean rather than a shaker style kitchen with handles. A painted kitchen can be repainted if there are any marks over time too. Although gloss units can be easily wiped, fingerprints will be more obvious.

In terms of appliances, induction hobs are the safest option and a built-in oven at eye level is a better choice than a range oven which is often too easy for little hands to play with.

Go for curved edges on the worktops so when the small children are reaching that height, they won’t bump into any corners. 

5. Think about how you will live

If you are remodelling or extending, it's a great time to think about where your young family will play or study whilst you can keep an eye on them. 

If you have the space for a playroom, a great idea is to have it just off of the kitchen with double doors - you can open them when your children are playing but easily shut them at the end of the day, hiding the mess.

If your children are at the stage of doing homework, a large open plan area means that they will be able to sit at the dining area and still be there with you and interact, rather than being in a separate room. If you are fortunate enough to have the space, open plan living is perfect to socialise together as a family too.

Child friendly streamlined kitchen with plenty of built in storage in the extension area by Unagru Architecture

6. Plan the storage and furnishings 

Ideally during the renovation you would fit the TV to the wall rather than it being on a cabinet so it can't be easily touched and accidents are avoided. If you love displaying photos, candles and flowers, go for high shelving rather than side tables which are often too easy to reach.

Your home will ultimately have toys everywhere but you want to be able to tidy this up quickly at the end of the day. Choose plenty storage where you can throw toys, books and crafts away to make your home look tidy and relaxing in the evening. 

We have seen great ideas such as TV cabinets that also include storage, storage under sofas or simple shelving with storage cubes that can be bought to suit your decor.

7. Make sure it works for years to come

It might be that your children are very small, so your immediate focus is on making it work for toddlers. If you are planning on living in your home for many years to come, think about how it will work for teenagers.

Although the large open plan space works amazingly well for young families, it's worth keeping a separate lounge for when your children are older and either they (or you!) need your own space.

If you are renovating the bedrooms, it's worth incorporating a small shower room in the children's bedrooms so that they have their own space in the future when they no longer need baths. You really don't need a large area to make a wonderful shower room, it may also increase the value of your property too.

If you are thinking about a renovation project in the near future and need some help finding an architect or architectural designer, we can match you with the most suitable ones for your project.

Find an architect

Published: June 16, 2022

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