Expert advice - family friendly kitchen design ideas

Kitchens are the heart of a family home so it's important that this area is practical and functional to suit all ages. We caught up with Rubina at Zara Kitchen Design who shares with us her tips to create the perfect family kitchen!

Is there a particular kitchen layout that works well for families?

Large open plan kitchens are so popular for families as everyone can be together whilst doing their own thing. So while parents are prepping food, they can be keeping an eye on the children playing or doing homework. 

Ideally you would have an area for children to play in that's separate from the cooking area too - island unit and peninsulas will provide a natural divide and stop children running through when you are cooking.

Breakfast bars and island units are a popular choice as they are spacious and allow the family to cook together. Even at a young age, there is room for young children to help prep food at an island or breakfast bar and become involved.

For families that are slightly more limited on space and can't have the popular island unit, we recommend that you incorporate a peninsula like the one below, so you can create the kitchen diner experience for your family. Seating next to the kitchen is ideal for young children to do homework under parents watchful eye!

Kitchen by Zara Kitchen Design


In terms of finishes to cupboard and doors, do you have any advice for families with young children? 

Gloss units are a good option for young families - not only do they look modern but they are easy to wipe down and clean. Matt laminate is a great choice too as you can also get anti-finger print finishes which is perfect if you have small children.

In terms of style, a flat handleless door is a good option as again it's easy to clean with fewer places for food and dirt to get trapped! There are still so many families that choose the shaker kitchen style as it looks so homely, just bare in mind that they need a bit more maintenance than a modern kitchen.

Kitchen by Zara Kitchen Design

Are there particular surfaces that take more wear and are childproof?

Quartz is a popular choice as it's both stain and scratch resistant and comes in a range of options in price. Natural stones such as marble look beautiful but are more prone to staining, so are not the best option for young families or if you do a lot of entertaining. Worktops such as wood require maintenance in order to stop water marks, so again not the easiest option for a family unless you are prepared to oil it regularly.


What appliances are the safest when you have a young family? 

Induction hobs are a must have in any young family kitchen - there are no naked flames and only the pan gets hot, so there will be no residual heat around the hob area. They also heat up far quicker than gas so are a time saver for busy families!

Built in ovens at eye level are also very practical as there is less opportunity for a toddler to try and open the oven door or play around with the knobs and switches. Also think about incorporating a hot water tap which is safer than a kettle and looks much more streamlined and fuss free.

Kitchen by Zara Kitchen Design


Do you have any tips that make the kitchen safer for children? 

Choose a handleless kitchen where there are no knobs or handles to get caught on. This look is so popular right now and looks great in a modern kitchen.

Soft corners and edges on worktops are a great idea, especially when you have toddlers running around, and also remember to leave plenty of room for children to move through the kitchen easily!

Is there anything else I should consider when designing a family friendly kitchen?

Remember that the kitchen should be fun in a family home, so include the children in the process. When children are given the choice they go for bright colours while the parents will ultimately go for something more subtle. But you can take inspiration from your children and be playful and creative by adding pops of colour or a quirky design element!


Published: April 30, 2019

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