Family focused, ageless kitchen and bathroom design is an essential part of remodeling or designing your space. Whether you plan to have a large family, expect to take care of aging relatives, want to live in your home long past retirement, or simply want to ensure a versatile space for any occasion, designing a family focused multi-faceted space will add value to your home and make using these two rooms much simpler.
For The Kitchen:
Everyone in the family uses the kitchen, as it acts as the central “hub of the house”. The most important aspect of family focused, ageless kitchen design is to create a space that comfortably accommodates everyone and still leaves room for cooking, entertaining, and is easy to clean. In order to prevent bumping elbows in the kitchen, and frustrating maneuverability issues, incorporate features that make life easier, along with additional space and dual functionality.
A family focused kitchen layout should have enough space for all activities–which may mean sizing up or incorporating new features, depending on who uses the kitchen and how they use it. Some families may need to ensure space for kids to do homework, while others might prioritize craft projects for mom. More still might prefer more storage and cooking space as opposed to free space for play or alternative functions.
Regardless, a family focused kitchen will usually consist of an area for cooking, plenty of cabinets or shelving for storage, and space for eating or entertaining. This arrangement could mean that your kitchen has the layout for a 6-seater table or something as simple as bar seating–it really depends on the size of your family, age of your children, and whether you use the kitchen for different purposes.
There are many different countertop options, but the two primarily used in updated kitchens are quartz and granite. Choose quartz countertops for a scratch and stain resistant surface that still looks just as luxurious as granite and will last a long time with minimal damage.
In addition, a major aspect of flexible design includes aplenty of space for everyone to use the kitchen–often at the same time. Consider getting a large sink and plan on plenty of counter space beside it to keep the work contained for easy mealtime prep, serving, and cleanup. A kitchen island is a great way to incorporate more counter space, bar seating, and additional cabinet storage, without making the kitchen feel too crowded. By separating the cooking and prep area from the rest of the kitchen, you don’t have to worry about running into other people as they get silverware or plates, or risk bumping into hot dishes or stovetop creations.
Install some cabinets or drawers at a shorter height (for children, shorter family members, or those that might have difficulty reaching up high), and a few taller cabinets for extra storage that are more convenient for taller individuals and can store items that are less frequently used. If possible, allow for extra space in the kitchen between cabinets, sinks, and appliances to make maneuvering easier and reduce the chance of injury and accidents.
Opt for drawers on smooth tracks that shut softly. This fixture choice prevents any damage from slammed drawers or any pinched fingers or hands.
For The Bathroom:
The bathroom may be the smallest room in the home, but it can pose the largest struggle for families looking to design a space that fits everyone’s needs. From lack of storage, to differing heights to use mirrors and showers, bathroom design can pose a problem to those unfamiliar to creating a space that works for everyone. For bathroom design, think of both the long and short term by adding neutral fixtures and personalized elements to the space.
When it comes to using the bathroom and how high certain items should be, not everyone sees eye-to-eye. Even if you have small children, select a standard height toilet and vanity. It can be tempting to choose for a taller or shorter vanity–especially if you are especially tall or have young children that struggle to reach the sink. However; a standard size counter and toilet better options, since they offer more flexibility for everyone who might use the bathroom and are more universal, should you ever choose to sell your home.
As kids grow, the “kid” size versions of these features will not grow with them as they get older and taller. You can always use a step stool or something similar in order to give younger kids the boost they need to reach the sink or toilet, and they will outgrow the need for extra help soon enough.
Bathtub or Shower
In order to accommodate a everyone in the family, and potential guests, consider installing a shower/bathtub combination with grab bars and a non-slip bottom. This ensures that small children and elderly relatives alike can safely use the space and is an added bonus for adults that plan to stay in their homes after retirement. Likewise, you may want to opt for a showerhead that is adjustable to multiple heights, so small children, elderly grandparents, and growing teens and adults can all use the shower without issue.
Because the bathroom is often the smallest functional room in the home, it’s important to have plenty of storage for all toiletries and items involved in your family’s daily routine. Include cabinet storage at normal and child height for personal items (their toiletries, towel, bath toys, etc). This feature makes it easy for children to reach the things they need and offers a designated space to pick up after themselves and keep the bathroom clean. For families with more than one child or individual that uses the room, creating a designated drawer or cabinet for their things ensures no fighting over space and provides a feeling of ownership.
In terms of layout and fixtures, it’s best to design for functionality and then decorate with the primary user of the bathroom in mind and get input. For example, if your child loves a particular character or theme, add a few of these personalized touches to help them feel more at home in the space without changing permanent fixtures. However; when it comes to fixtures, try to stick to more neutral tones that will still be relevant as children age. Your child will prefer different designs as they age and develop different interests, and when they leave home you will still have a functional and beautiful guest or secondary bathroom fit for an adult. This design goal can be accomplished by choosing towels, accessories, shower curtains and more items that they love.
If your bathroom is primarily for guests, choose neutral tones and modern features. While you may select more comfortable or high-end options for your master suite or own bathroom, a guest bath is the chance to design well without breaking the bank. If the bathroom serves as a space for grandparents or needs to be accessible for individuals with disabilities, install safety grab bars, non-slip mats, a shower seat, and an open or low entry shower-bathtub combination to reduce the risk of injuries.
For family-centric custom kitchen and bathroom design, contact KDC Fairfax. We offer a variety of gorgeous, durable materials that are perfect for any family home!