Kitchens are the heart of the home. But, if you have children or fur-children, they want to be involved in the hub of the home too. When designing a new kitchen remodel, remember to think about making it kid and pet friendly.
Kid- & Pet-friendly Kitchen Remodel Ideas to Try
Here are some ideas for kid and pet friendly kitchen design – ensuring they will have many years of enjoying the space as well. Including children in the meal prep can be some of the most precious memories made – and it may even entice that picky eater to try more of the food!
And, having a comfortable spot for your furry best friends in the room of the home where you spend a good deal of your time is essential – a safe spot for them to rest as well as incorporating a place for their eats and treats that can be either displayed or placed in a hideaway drawer that can be closed whenever needed.
Islands are a necessity for a kid-friendly area in a kitchen. It is preferable to have the “kid area” of the island away from any food prep areas and from the hot stove area. Counter height tops as well as safe, secure stools under the overhang are a great way for kids to eat an after school snack or to do that dreadful homework. Add drawers in the island that are easily accessible by the small ones to get their utensils or cooking tools to help mommy or daddy prepare that delicious meal.
If there are any restrictions or disabilities involved like wheelchairs, counter height seating doesn’t work as well for this – so add a drop down counter area for these kiddos. And, if the children are home schooled, then this entire island bar area can become the “school zone” during the school hours. Incorporate drawers with dividers to organize all the necessary school supplies.
It is essential to provide easy access for the little ones to their eating supplies and cooking tools. Have some shallow base cabinets to store kid-friendly cups, bowls, utensils, and cooking tools so that they can independently retrieve these items on their own without having to climb up onto a countertop to get to the higher cabinets.
Integrated Step Stool
Kitchen islands or under the counter cabinetry can be designed with hide-away, pull-out step stools for children to access when they want to “help mommy or daddy prepare the meal.” This provides a safe, stable surface for them to work that brings them comfortably up to the counter height so that they can dig in and help.
Many refrigerator designs now have pull-out drawers on the bottom to store drinks and snacks. Easy access to these items allows them to come home from school and get their snacks and drinks without interrupting the adult who may be in the middle of dinner prep.
It also gives them a feeling of independence for choosing their own snacks and drinks each day.
Make sure to think about types of countertops you are considering if you have children that will be using the kitchen area. Choose surfaces like Corian or Silestone which are both kid friendly. Both resist staining so a spill of juice won’t be the end of the world. It’s also a bit of a safer surface for sitting glass or more breakable items. And Silestone is non-porous so nothing can seep through.
Stove Warming Drawer
Adding a warming drawer under the stove is a genius idea for kid-friendly kitchens. This allows for prep ahead for those crazy nights of running to sports games or practices. When everyone is home, just grab the plates and dinner is ready and hot.
Make sure that you provide your little ones who want to be involved in meal prep the appropriate tools that fit their little hands and peek their interest with fun colors.
Here are some examples:
- mini roller pin
- rainbow colored measuring tools or ones in their favorite colors
- mixing bowls with slip-proof bottoms
- miniature cooking utensils are a must for whisking, flipping, scraping, and mixing
- safe, kid-friendly kitchen shears – and they make these in really fun handle designs
- for the older tikes, a plastic paring knife allows them to be involved in the slicing/dicing efforts but are a much safer option than a regular paring knife – adult supervision is obviously still needed
- cutting surfaces in shapes and colors that are fun and many styles provide a small ledge so that liquids stay on the cutting board
One of the top pet injuries in a home is cats burning their little paws when jumping onto stovetops. Induction stovetops are a great option to help offset this risk. They cool much quicker than other cooktop options; hence, there is less time for a mishap.
If a convection cooktop is not in the budget or if you do not prefer this type of stovetop, make sure to cover hot burners directly after cooking until they are cooled to prevent possible injury.
How to aesthetically place your pet’s feeding station is a challenge in any room but especially if you prefer them to be in the kitchen area of the home where other family members are also eating.
Two great options are:
Cabinet/Island Feeding Stations
When designing a kitchen, integrate a small nook in the kitchen island for your pet’s food and water. This keeps it out of the line of traffic and keeps it tucked away and more out of sight for you and your guests but allows your pet to nibble or drink any time they desire.
Hide-Away Feeding Drawers
Or if you prefer to have it completely out of sight if needed, you can have hide-away drawers installed in the island or a side cabinet. This keeps it out of sight at all other times other than feeding time.
However, you may have to integrate another option for water availability unless you want to be pulling the drawer in and out each time they want a drink – unless you are only closing it when you have guests.
Food Storage Drawers
Pet food is not cheap and keeping it fresh, dry, and bug free if you buy in bulk can be a challenge. Adding a drawer with containers dedicated to pet food is a great option. They don’t take up much space in your kitchen design but can save a lot of money in the long run.
Pet Bed Area
Pets want to be near their families and families spend a lot of time in the kitchen. Our furry friends love their naps though so providing them with a safe, comfortable spot in the kitchen to curl up is easy to incorporate into the design.
Place them in an open space of the kitchen island if they prefer to be very close to you, or in a side cabinet that is dedicated to them specifically, or under a window bench which is typically dead space anyway.
Pets love to look outside to see what’s going on – we know they need to inform us if anything “unusual” is happening outside so give them dedicated, comfortable space to do this.
Install a bay or bow window and place a pet friendly cushion on the large ledge area of these window styles. Use a material for the cushion that is durable enough for pet use and is machine washable.
If a kitchen remodel is on your mind and you have children and/or pets you want to be sure are as safe and comfortable as the adults in the new space, contact Shakespeare Home Improvement to help you design a beautiful, functional kitchen that’s inviting for all the family members – human and furry!
Shakespeare Home Improvement Co. is Lancaster, PA’s premier kitchen remodeling. We can fit all your needs, especially creating kid and pet friendly kitchen. If you are interested in remodeling you kitchen, contact us today for your free estimate. We offer StarMark Cabinetry, which has many cabinets with internal and external organization to fit you busy family.