• How to Design a Family-Friendly Kitchen

  • The perfect kitchen will look different for everyone, largely due to the fact that we all have different family dynamics, routines, rituals, and lifestyles, which means the ideal kitchen is not one-size-fits-all. The kitchen is thought of as the heart of the home, where family recipes are shared and events from the day are discussed. Ideally, a family-friendly kitchen would adapt to changes in life, evolving alongside the family. Here are a few things to keep in mind when considering how to build your dream transitional kitchen that will grow with you and your family.

    Counter Tops

    When it comes to countertop materials, consider lower-maintenance materials such as engineered quartz, stainless steel, butcher block, and granite, which are easier to care for when compared with other options that require spills to be wiped up immediately to avoid staining. 

    For a kid-friendly kitchen, parents or parents-to-be should consider the option of variable-height countertops. Some sections of countertops can be lowered so it is easier for kids to reach. Lower countertops also enable the use of chairs which are a safer and more comfortable option for children than bar stools. Desk-height countertops offer a useful space for doing homework in the kitchen instead of at the dining table. 

    A lowered countertop also makes a nice surface for baking prep – you will find it to be easier on your arms when rolling out dough! A family-friendly finishing touch is to round out the corners of your countertops, which can make the kitchen safer for small children.

    A kitchen with a lowered countertop for seating. 


    Because the primary culprit of dust is people, the more people you have living in your home, the more dust you might find collecting on surfaces around your kitchen. If you don’t want to spend too much time scrubbing your kitchen cabinets to keep them clean, you might consider shaker style or slab doors that don’t have nooks & crannies for dust to get trapped in. Intricate cabinet styles can tend to collect dust more quickly. 

    Certain paint colors and finishes also hide dust better than others. For example, dust will blend into a weathered finish with variations of color, but be more obvious on solid-colored cabinets. Dust and dirt will be more visible on stark white or black cabinets than on off-white or grey cabinets. Glazed finishes also help hide dust because the glaze finish fills in cracks where dust may otherwise accumulate. Wood stains are also generally easier to maintain than painted surfaces because they hide scratches well and if damage is visible, touch ups are generally easier to mask and blend in.

    With more hands in the kitchen, you also have to think about cabinet hardware. Fingerprints and smudges easily show on chrome and stainless steel while finishes such as nickel, bronze, and enamel hardware will help camouflage signs of heavy use.

    Similar to countertops, if you have small children, you can dedicate a lower shelf to store dinnerware so they can easily grab what they need and learn how to set the table and put dishes away themselves. Cabinet organization is more important than ever if you have a lot of cooking equipment and serveware in your kitchen arsenal. 

    The good news is, with cabinet refacing, you don’t need to get completely new cabinets to give them a new look. It cuts down on the amount of labor and is a money-saving option when it comes to kitchen renovations. 

    Slab-style cabinets are easy to clean. // Credit: The Spruce (via Kraftmaid)


    For a growing family and for those who love to entertain, lots of storage space for perishable items is essential. Additionally, parents with younger children should store snacks on lower shelves and drawers to make them more easily-accessible. If you’re a parent to a growing teen with friends who like to stop by, you might consider purchasing a larger refrigerator. Those who don’t like to cook very often (or don’t have the time to do so) may look into refrigerators with large freezers to store frozen items for longer shelf life and ease of meal planning.

    Smart refrigerators, a newer concept with many benefits for growing families, come with a built-in touchscreen that performs functions such as meal planning, calendar reminders, and recipe finding. It even tells you if you left the fridge open, which may come in handy for parents!


    Dishes can easily pile up with multiple mouths to feed. A large, deep sink that can hold more dishes and make washing bigger pots and pans much easier. Depending on what cookware you use, you may opt for a single or double-bowl sink. For example, a large single bowl sink makes it easier to wash large roasting pans that can be more difficult to clean in a divided sink in which both bowls are smaller. However, some families who cook together may appreciate the ease of multi-tasking in a double-bowl sink.

    Another useful addition to consider is a touchless faucet for hands-free cleaning. This is especially helpful for families with young children or elderly members. Pair the automatic faucet with an automatic soap dispenser and all hands will be squeaky clean with minimal effort! 

    Yes, you are seeing double. Double farmhouse sinks exist!  // Credit: Heather Hungeling Design


    Make your kitchen safer for cooking (and also more inviting) with good lighting. Task lighting should be installed above countertops, cooking surfaces, and above the sink so you can clearly see what you are doing. Adequate lighting is also beneficial for kids who like to do their homework in the kitchen!

    Other than task lighting, recessed lighting can be helpful in ensuring the kitchen is well-lit. There are a number of factors to consider when choosing lighting fixtures, a professional installer can help you choose the one that’s best for your kitchen and your needs! 

    A well-lit kitchen is warm and inviting.  // Credit: LTD Commodities


    The kitchen is an area with high foot traffic for most households and is also subject to oil splatter and accidental spills so choosing flooring that is durable and easy to clean is a must. Like countertops, there are a variety of materials to choose from such as hardwood, laminate, limestone, and tile, depending on your style and budget. Laminate is a budget-friendly choice that offers the look of hardwood for less. It’s a popular material for many kitchens today due to it being low-maintenance, durable, versatile, and cost-effective. 

    Ready to Bring your Ideas to Life?

    As the heart of the home, we know your kitchen should be a functional space that caters to your family’s lifestyle and serves as a gathering space for family and friends. There’s quite a bit to think about when putting together a kitchen that checks all your boxes, and that’s where a kitchen renovation professional can help. Get in touch and start building a family-friendly kitchen that you will love!