It’s often said that the kitchen is the heart of a house, and in a family home that couldn’t be truer. Although the living room might seem an obvious place for family to gather, with the increasing interest in open plan living, the popularity in kitchen diners doesn’t seem to be ceasing. Kitchen diners are brilliant for making the most of available space, making a little house seem much bigger than its footprint suggests.

Friendly kitchen
Friendly kitchen

          If the kitchen has room for a full size dining table go for a sturdy design. Roomes has a gorgeous Bordeaux style distressed finish, which with children in the house is a wiser choice than a smart polished top that isn’t very child-friendly. Distressed wood ages well with knocks and scratches integrating into the surface.

Matching wooden chairs are also a good strong family option, they’ll absorb the shock of being knocked to the floor by overzealous kids running away from over boiled carrots on Easter Sunday. Rigid plastic formed chairs might look stylish, but they can be a bit brittle, shattering with a tad too much rough and tumble.

To allow for when extra little ones visit, add a sofa that can be against the wall for everyday storage and use, but can be pulled up to the table for busy days. It’s amazing how many little people will happily share a sofa if they know behaving well means they all get a slice of chocolate cake, and it’s easier than raiding the garden shed for spare deckchairs for children to sit on.

Although kitchen paint is essential, it might be worth tiling behind work surfaces, so that when little hands are making a mess creating cupcakes and muffins, it’s easier to clean up. Make sure the lighting is sufficient to minimise injuries while cooking, but also to show up any kiddie mischief!

Installing a decent music system is a great idea too, meaning sing-a-longs round the table can help keep hungry children occupied while they’re waiting for dinner. Likewise, with the rise of flat screen TVs, a small wall mounted TV can be useful for watching cooking shows and following instructions while cooking.

Another major function of kitchens is usually as a cut through to the back garden so if there’s one thing every kitchen needs it’s a decent backdoor mat. Because no matter how sturdy and protected the table, chairs and walls are, it’s the floor of any family kitchen that takes the real bashing over the years.