FAMILY KITCHEN CABINETS
Nowhere does the kitchen play such a central role in a family. The kitchen is the place where everyone meets. To cook or bake, do homework, or chat. However, when living with children, particular demands on the kitchen are always made, and many factors need to be considered – such as safety, storage space, hygiene, and functionality.
Table of Contents
WHAT ARE FAMILY KITCHEN CABINETS?
In general, family kitchens are kitchens where adults live with underage children. So they are kitchens for families: no matter in multi-generation households, in classic family models, in patchwork families, or in a family with one or two adults together with one kid or two.
Family kitchens are equal to eat-in kitchens. These kitchen plans take children and their needs into account and focus on family life. No matter how the family kitchen was planned, it fulfills very different functions with or without a seat. They eat together there, celebrate children’s birthdays or help children with their homework. In short: daily life in the family circle takes place in the eat-in kitchen. The kitchen is the central place in the apartment or house. A unique feature of the family kitchen in contrast to other kitchen concepts is the issue of safety. Because in hardly any other room is there as many dangers as in the kitchen.
Four key aspects when planning a kitchen for the family:
- Available space: storage space, overview, and freedom of movement
- Organization of processes: ergonomics
- Heavy Duty Protection: lifetime
- Reduction of dangers: safety
HELPFUL TIPS FOR PLANNING AN EAT-IN KITCHEN CABINET FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY
The family kitchen is a multifunctional space. When planning the kitchen, involving all family members and considering their different needs is advisable. For example, children like to watch adults cooking, so the work surface should be large enough for children to sit down. And colored kitchen fronts are also well received by children. The visual effect is significant, but space requirement is another crucial factor. The larger the family, the more storage space is needed, and the better organization is required. I have summarized eight practical tips to avoid the worst mistakes when planning your family kitchen cabinets.
Tip 1: Plan enough storage space in the family kitchen cabinets
Storage space is essential in the family kitchen, especially when crockery, glasses, cutlery, cooking utensils, kitchen appliances, groceries, and numerous kitchen gadgets have to be accommodated. To optimize the available space, modern storage solutions are necessary. Full-extension cupboards are a must in kitchens where several people live. Additional storage space can be created with the help of plinth drawers. Equally important is whether the full height of the kitchen is used with the wall units, especially with small ones. This is an essential consideration in three or four-room apartments where kitchens are often narrow or even part of the living space. It is only advisable for families to do without wall units if alternative storage options such as showcases are available.
When considering purchasing a large refrigerator for the 178 cm, the niche is a sensible investment. Ideally, the fridge has more than 200 liters of usable capacity. Depending on how large the family needs for cooling and freezing capacity, a fridge-freezer or side-by-side refrigerators with even more space would also be nice options. And for food storage, setting up a utility room is worth considering.
Kitchen designs that allow more storage space than others are more suitable for families. Simple kitchen units, for example, are hardly the right choice for a family. When buying a family kitchen cabinet, it is better to opt for a U-shaped, G-shaped, or L-shaped kitchen. These kitchen designs offer significantly more storage space thanks to well-thought-out corner solutions. Their structure enables better and more efficient walking routes.
Tip 2: Create an overview – it can be achieved with the right kitchen design
However, the aspect of the overview should not be underestimated. If there is enough space and the lines of sight of the stove and preparation area are well-chosen, you usually have a good view of the children. This is an advantage, for example, if children are playing in the living room or cooking with friends. An open-plan design, in which the boundaries between the living, dining, and kitchen areas are fluid, is ideal for families. Kitchens with a cooking island are particularly perfect for families.
Cooking islands are often costly, but Parlun is a direct manufacturer of kitchen cabinets from China; you can buy high-quality family kitchen cabinets with cooking islands at an affordable price. Contact us for a free catalog and quote.
Tip 3: Think about enough freedom of movement in family kitchen cabinets
If there is an emergency, freedom of movement plays an important role. This ensures that processes in the kitchen are safe, efficient, and ergonomic, even in shaking situations. Kitchens with less than 1.20 m of space between the kitchen cupboard and the kitchen island or between two kitchen units usually allow little freedom of movement – especially when the kitchen cupboards are opened on both sides at the same time. Therefore it’s highly recommended that the eat-in kitchen be spacious so that several family members can move freely. Usually, designers would leave enough space between the kitchenettes. Alternatively, they use sliding doors or install drawers in small family kitchens. Furthermore, the kitchen furniture would also live longer and withstand when children open or close the kitchen cupboard door improperly and forcibly.
Tip 4: Integrate a dining area into the family kitchen cabinets
If space allows, seats in the family kitchen should not be missing. There are different possibilities for this:
- Various kinds of kitchen counters
- Extended worktop (extension table)
- Attached is the countertop
- Dining table and dining area
The kitchen counter can be easily moved with an extended worktop, which either stretches down to the floor or is supported by supporting feet, and this creates a small dining area in the form of an extension table. If the countertop is placed on a kitchen island in the direction of the living room, the island also serves as a space-saving dining area. These are the ideal solutions for small family kitchens in big cities.
However, choosing a dining table for the large, open kitchen makes sense. There is room for the whole family at the dining table, and nothing stands in the way of eating together. Counters are often used as room dividers in spaciously planned family kitchens and combined with an additional dining table in the open living area.
Tip 5: Include ergonomic issues in kitchen planning
Ergonomics is a big issue, especially for families with children: if you often have to lift your children, you want to protect your back. And kitchen cabinets which would make it easier to access the stored goods should be considered. Instead of a standard cabinet with shelves, a kitchen cabinet with drawers is a better option. A kitchen cabinet from Parlun is ideal for storage. Thanks to its full-extension design, the cabinet contents are easily accessible from all sides.
It is best to put things that are often needed – such as crockery, glasses, or cutlery – in such a way that they are within easy reach of all family members. According to the ergonomics, the area directly under the worktop is ideal. This is recommended for adults from an ergonomic point of view. And as for children, they can also reach things independently or help set the table.
The correct height of the worktop is also essential for ergonomic reasons. Anyone who spends a lot of time working in the kitchen appreciates that. Ideally, the optimal height of the worktop is around 10 to 15 cm below the elbow.
The family kitchen should not only be adapted to its users in terms of ergonomics, but the processes must also be well organized – i.e. so that the walking distances are as short as possible. Especially in the morning, when it comes to packing the lunch boxes, efficient process organization is helpful and saves time and energy.
Tip 6: Pay attention to the durability and quality of the materials you choose
In family kitchens, materials should be used that look as flawless as possible even after 15 or 20 years, when the little ones have long since grown up. Hard-wearing materials help the kitchen survive teenage parties or cooking with friends. In addition, the maintenance in family kitchens should be as low as possible. Scratches and fingerprints are usually less visible on matt kitchen fronts, especially on fronts with anti-fingerprint surfaces, which are the ultimate solution for households with children. On the other hand, high-gloss kitchen fronts are easy to clean.
What materials are suitable for the family kitchen?
Kitchen cabinets made of solid wood ensure a good room climate. However, impacts and cuts leave clear marks on their fronts. Veneer fronts can swell when they come into contact with water. Lacquered fronts are sensitive to scratches, and fingerprints are easily visible on them. Foil fronts are sensitive to heat and acidic substances. Laminate fronts are highly recommended for families with children, as these kitchen fronts are usually insensitive to scratches and characterized by high heat resistance.
Laminate worktops, i.e., worktops made of laminate, are often the first choice if you are looking for cheap and easy-care material. However, laminate worktops are not cut-resistant. Worktops made of artificial stone, mineral materials, or ceramics are considered as robust as natural stone; their sensitivity depends heavily on the type of stone. On the other hand, solid wood worktops can swell, and clear marks are often left when it gets cut but can be sanded down by a specialist. Signs of wear, such as small scratches, likewise can appear on glass countertops.
Tip 7: Make the kitchen childproof
The well-being of the children should be taken into account when designing the kitchen. We do not recommend using handles that take up space and that children could bump into or be hung on to. Instead, handleless kitchen fronts or kitchen furniture with recessed grips or ledges should be preferred.
A plinth step makes the edges of work surface which are either rounded off or protected with corner protectors, safely accessible for children. They can easily participate in the cooking process and are not tempted to climb onto the worktop. Functional bases have a resilient tread that ensures a secure footing thanks to the firm locking.
A simple yet effective way to protect children in a family kitchen is to install a stove guard. The grilles are often inexpensive and easy to be assembled. It is not uncommon for them to be equipped with a switch cover to switch on the stove easily. We also recommend cookers with retractable control knobs available from many Chinese manufacturers.
Modern kitchens with induction hobs are also becoming a bit safer. In contrast to ordinary glass-ceramic hobs, children would not burn their hands here because induction hobs generate heat only when there is a pot or pan on them.
Installing ovens high up in the family kitchen is not only to protect your back. Especially when baking, children often come dangerously close to the hot oven. A retractable oven door prevents children from bumping into the oven door.
Kitchen appliances and cleaning supplies should be stored where children cannot reach them – ideally in the wall units. In addition, a child safety device for the refrigerator might be necessary.
Drawers with a soft-close mechanism prevent children from squeezing their fingers, even if they forcefully close the drawers. You should ensure that they cannot simply be pulled out when it comes to drawers. A childproof lock can also be installed to make kitchen drawers and cupboard doors childproof. This also makes sense if there are sharp kitchen utensils such as knives or scissors.
In addition, securing the sink area should be considered because hot water from the kitchen faucet risks burning children’s hands. Fittings can remedy this with temperature limitation or scalding protection. The trash can is often located in the sink cabinet. Parents could opt for lockable waste separation systems so that children do not pick up the rubbish themselves.
As far as the materials used in the kitchen is concerned, you can achieve a higher level of safety if you ensure that the furniture emits as little formaldehyde as possible. Corresponding certificates or seals show information about how safe the furniture is. However, the Chinese directives regarding formaldehyde leakage from the furniture are now so strict that there are hardly any concerns.
Tip 8: Ensure good hygiene in the family kitchen cabinets
Why is good hygiene important, especially in the family kitchen? On the one hand,food is processed here that will be consumed later and should therefore not be contaminated. On the other hand, children constantly touch the kitchen surfaces, whether while playing or cooking. Poor hygiene can quickly become a health risk.
With the following simple measures, you can do important hygienic preparatory work: washing your hands and food, whether it is of plant or animal origin. Ideally, hands should be cleaned several times while food is being prepared. So that the kitchen faucet itself does not become a hotbed, faucets with sensor control are suggested. The water flow starts contact-freely and hygienically with the appropriate fittings, which is extremely practical when you have a child in your arms.
More tips for good hygiene (not only) in the family kitchen cabinets
- Wash tea towels and other kitchen textiles at frequent intervals
- Always clean potential sources of germs such as sponges, cloths, or dish brushes and replace them if necessary
- Do not prepare eggs, fish, and other raw foods directly on the worktop (danger of salmonella)
- Clean food surfaces such as cutting boards and use crockery and cutlery regularly
- Clean the inside of the garbage can and refrigerator regularly
Attention: Too much hygiene is not good either. Disinfectant residues should therefore always be carefully removed.
OPEN OR CLOSED EAT-IN KITCHEN FOR THE FAMILY
When planning the family kitchen, whether there is enough storage space, overview, and freedom of movement, it must be clarified whether it should be open or closed. Both planning forms offer families advantages. Parents can watch their children while cooking and unloading the dishwasher while playing in the living area with open kitchens. Closed kitchens, on the other hand, can be closed. Children are not tempted to turn on electrical appliances or play with dangerous kitchen utensils.
PURCHASE FAMILY KITCHEN CABINETS FROM PARLUN
Suppose you intend to purchase furniture for a family kitchen. In that case, we suggest you get intensive advice from a kitchen specialist, precisely because a family kitchen is seldom a run-of-the-mill one but has to be tailored to the individual needs of the whole family; you should take your time and consult a real professional, who they know best what options are currently available on the market and carry out analysis for detailed needs.
Be careful with kitchen sellers who want to lure their customers with discounts or unusual price models. Especially if you want a well-planned family kitchen, the price shouldn’t be the decisive purchase criterion. This does not mean that a family kitchen has to be expensive per se because budget and requirements can be easily reconciled in an intensive consultation.
Alternatively, you could consider looking for manufacturers with comprehensive advantages. Parlun is one of them, which is a direct kitchen cabinets manufacturer from China and also has long-term partnerships with many other high-qualified Chinese manufacturers of home furniture one-stop solutions. You can get suitable kitchen cabinets of high quality but at an affordable price from us. Please get in touch with us for a free catalog and quote.
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