Childproofing your home, especially your kitchen, is a parental necessity. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have a beautiful place to call your own too. By making some simple, careful decisions about your kitchen, you can create a stylish, functional and engaging space for cooking and eating. After all, encouraging a healthy relationship with food is important for both your and your child’s well being.
Colour - for mood and appetite
You might not immediately notice the colours in a room, but psychologists have always said that it has a massive impact on us regardless. Colour associations can, subconsciously, affect how we feel and act, especially over long periods of time. Chefs avoid “hot colours” like red in their kitchens because it can encourage anger, likewise sports teams avoid calming colours such as green or pink which stop them from getting “pepped up”.
Two of the best colours for your kitchen, for mood, are yellow and white. Yellow is associated with happiness, sunlight and appetising food. It can even energise you and improve blood circulation. White walls on the other hand has been associated with purity, happiness, blissful living and peace of mind.
Outside of impacting our mood, white is also the best choice for a kitchen that is destined to hear the pitter patter of tiny feet as it makes a room appear cleaner and more spacious. This makes it the perfect colour for the inevitable clutter that comes with a busy lifestyle or when the kitchen itself is quite small.
Invest in worktops that can take a beating
You may be tempted to buy the cheapest worktop available, but as a busy parent it will be in your best interest to view your kitchen worktops as investments. Throughout your years as a parent a worktop will see an incredible amount of wear and tear, with messes only set to increase once your child grows taller and is able to reach it!
While materials like linoleum or wood are popular choices in many homes, they aren’t very child friendly; the former being easy to rip and the second prone to staining and discolouration.
Steel and quartz worktops on the other hand are being recommended more and more. Granite and quartz worktops experts, Modern Worktops say that they’ve seen a huge increase in customers asking for quartz worktops because of its cleanliness benefits. Hygienic and resilient worktops that prevent anything from settling, staining or even scarring them are a huge bonus in a family home.
Quartz also offers the attractive style of other stone worktops, with flecks of colours and a range of shades available. While Steel, more attune to professional kitchens, is another good option for a more modern family home as it is easier to keep clean and bacteria free than other materials, like wood or granite.
While these materials may be a little more expensive than laminate worktops, they will last you far longer. And they are able to hold onto their sleek, modern appearance despite years of use and without the painstaking maintenance that comes with cheaper materials.
The height of your shelves and worktop
Children are great investigators, hugely inquisitive and completely unaware of home dangers. Starting from the grabbing and touching stage, your child won’t stop opening doors, picking up things they find and generally exploring. While this is key to their development, as a parent you’ll also want to take some precautionary safety measures.
Normally this means putting things high up and fortunately for parents, high cabinets are in fashion for a modern kitchen. High cabinets are the ideal place to keep electrical equipment, and draws with child locks create a safe space for potentially dangerous utensils like knives. You can even get plastic child locks for drawers and cupboards to suit the colours of your kitchen, allowing them to blend seamlessly.
You should also place child locks on lower cupboards that you don’t want kids to have access to. The alternative, if you have the space, is to fill a child's height cupboard with healthy snacks and plastic cups so that children have the choice of serving themselves once they are a bit older. This will also encourage them to engage with what is happening in the kitchen, with their food and cooking.