Planning a child-friendly kitchen
The kitchen is where the family reunites after a long day. As a space, the kitchen has always occupied a place of prominence; even during ancient times, people gathered around the fireplace to prepare food, enjoy the company of others, and talk. Therefore, when renovating and planning a kitchen, it is important to make sure that the most important space in the home meets the needs of all of the inhabitants, including the children.
Every hostess has her own dreams and vision of what a perfect kitchen should look like. In most cases, it is important that the kitchen is functional and practical, includes sufficient storage space, and offers modern technical solutions. The kitchen should be primarily based on the comfort of the cook, but also be eye-catching in terms of its design and layout. In addition to cooking and cleaning, security is also important when planning a kitchen for families with children. It is difficult, but not impossible, to take all of these conditions into account and combine them when renovating or furnishing a kitchen!
How to ensure that the kitchen is safe for even the smallest members of your family?
To begin making your kitchen safer, you should start by squatting or sitting in the middle of the floor and looking at kitchen appliances and furniture from a lower perspective – through the eyes of a toddler – than usual. What is tempting to look at from this height, what can you touch or pull onto yourself?
* Ask the furniture manufacturer for child-proof drawers, which cannot be pulled out completely.
* Use additional magnet locks or even cable ties / zip ties to lock cabinet doors and drawers.
* Plan a slightly wider worktop and place the hob further away from the edge. On a multi-plate hob, use the rear plates for cooking.
* Place the built-in oven at a height of at least one metre; if possible, choose a model with a non-heating door and a child lock.
* The corners and edges of the kitchen island and the worktop could be ordered with a round finish, or special cushioned protective pads could be used to cover the corners.
* Consolidate the block of electrical contacts onto the worktop’s background stone or the wall – in the area where you mainly use electrical appliances and kitchen appliances, and where small children are unable to reach.
* Store detergents, chemicals and strong food additives (spicy spices and wine vinegar) in higher cabinets.
* Secure furniture that can be easily moved around (high shelves and cabinets) to the wall.
* If possible, give up using a tablecloth on the dining table. Small placemats or trays are quite effective at replacing a tablecloth that hangs over the edge of the table, while the most practical solution would be to place the child in a high chair.
* A doorstop or wedge could be used to secure doors.
* Do not leave fragile dishes and sharp cutlery in a dishwasher with the open door.
Keeping the child-friendly kitchen clean
In families with children, artificial stone, especially quartz, is best suited as a surface material. It is an ideal material that is easy to clean, with an appearance that is already one part of the kitchen’s design. It is said that beauty and harmonious design are found in the details. As a worktop, quartz is just such a detail. We all know that families with small children and the fast pace of life today means there is little time left over to clean up and maintain exemplary cleanliness. From time to time something is spilled, food slides over the edge of a plate, being guided by a diligent ‘I’ll do it myself’ spoon, or chalk or felt is tested on the wall or the table top. The polished finish of the quartz worktop is very smooth and stain-resistant – it makes life easier and is also very hygienic.
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Lamps and lighting are important!
A quartz worktop is beautiful, and properly chosen lighting for the kitchen makes it even more beautiful. Lighting makes quartz worktops shine, with light giving the kitchen a feeling of cosiness. It is the light from lamps and the sunlight falling through the window that makes the stone come to life, letting us see the different colour nuances of quartz. On the other hand, light also makes the kitchen safer – the fewer dark corners there are, the more likely it is that no one will stumble upon anything!
If you simply hang a lamp from the ceiling, the light produced will not be enough to illuminate the entire kitchen. Ideally, the kitchen could accommodate both general lighting and spot lighting – in particular, spotlights could be placed above the worktop and the dining table. If a dining table or kitchen island is envisioned as a place to be used for both serving and making preparations for cooking, the surface must be well lit. It is easier to keep an illuminated worktop beautiful, because accidental stains and the works of art painted on the worktop by a small family member stand out. Fortunately, cleaning the quartz surface does not cause headaches, because the artificial stone surface does not require special care.