8 ways to create a family-friendly kitchen
Create two rooms in one
The kitchen in this Bridgehampton, New York, home blends seamlessly with the family room. "I wanted an all-purpose room rather than a traditional kitchen," designer Eldon Wong says. "I wanted it to look more like a family room. The idea was, let's make this a multifunctional space that we can use 24/7. It's all about being with friends, cooking, gabbing, watching TV." A stainless-steel Sub Zero 601R and a Bosch dishwasher are practically the only visible appliances in this kitchen, furnished with wicker chairs from Restoration Hardware, a vintage settee, and a coffee table from Pier 1. Harry Bertoia barstools from Knoll pull up to an island made from vintage drafting tables.
Keep it organized
In her Ridgewood, New Jersey, kitchen, Nicole Hough designed the kitchen to fit with the period of the house while updating it with modern conveniences to make it family-friendly and highly organized.
A built-in armoire has a bottom row of drawers for kids' stuff, a kitchen island offers ample seating, and pots are easily accessible since they're hung on either side of the stove.
Designer Megan Rice Yager created a cozy family gathering spot in her Sun Valley, Idaho, house.
"Those chairs were a gift from my mother-in-law, and my husband remembers them from his childhood," she says. "I needed to make them work in this context, so I had blue linen slipcovers made. Now they're more kid-friendly." Reproduction French farm table from Charles & Charles. Chairs slipcovered in Pindler & Pinder's Tyrone Irish linen. Hanging lamp from Lars Bolander.
Add a blackboard
A blackboard in a kitchen makes it easy to write down reminders, grocery lists, or even an inspirational quote for everyone to see, such as this one, in Marin County, California, weekend house designed by Kim Dempster and Erin Martin.
Subway tiles by Heath Ceramics. Gemini ceiling lights from Alfa. Paint is Benjamin Moore's Snow on the Mountain.
The kitchen of this New York home is "command central of a very active household," designer Robin Bell says. Carrara marble and maple butcher-block countertops add an old-fashioned, settled look. "They're porous, so time and wear will inevitably confer imperfections – your family's history in stains and rings. Treasure them!" she says.
Add a little color
"The owners didn't want a white kitchen, but they want it to be a bright, interesting room — the whole family spends a lot of time here," designer Nancy Boszhardt says about her clients with two teenage daughters. To give the Westchester, New York, Tudor personality, she painted the kitchen cabinets a light sand color and the large island a dark midnight blue to help it recede. The hood was designed by architect Radoslav Opacic. Countertops are Jerusalem Gold limestone slab. Custom barstools are upholstered in Brunschwig & Fils leather. Faucet from P.E. Guerin.
Try kids'-height furniture
In this Hewlett, New York, kitchen, designer Dionne Trifiro added a baking stand from Smallbone. "I'll often tuck marble into a place where there's not so much traffic," she says. "The big square drawer has stainless-steel inserts for flour and sugar, and the lower level is just the right height for little helpers."
Raised kitchen cabinets
Raised cabinets from Smallbone in this New York kitchen make for easy cleaning. Designer Eric Cohler says it didn't take much to convince his clients to install them. "They have two dogs and children constantly in and out of the apartment. And this is a family in New York that actually cooks!"