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By Blog Owner 10 Sep, 2015

No mom ever poured pancake batter in the shape of a snowman for herself. Kitchens are meant to be kid-filled. Whether you're a grandparent, rearing a gaggle of little ones, or think you might want to one day, it's important to consider the kid-factor. After all, you want to make sure they can reach the counter to bake those chocolate chip cookies; and that they won't burn their hand when they try to grab a piping hot one from a just-out-of-the-oven sheet. Here are our tips for safe and accessible kitchens for kids:

Kid Space

You may have a top-of-the-line playroom, but kids, especially little ones, want to be where their parents are. That's why it's often a good idea to include a "kid's cabinet" in your design. An easy-to-reach set of base cabinets can make it a snap for kids to access (and, hopefully, clean-up) their crayons and paper.

Adding a cubby area is also a wise choice for both parties: Mom and Dad can quickly toss forgotten toys and half-read books into each child's cubby for safekeeping. Neatly stored toys are then ready and waiting for the next time that boredom strikes.

Countertops and Flooring
But where should your little Picasso sit after diving into the arts and crafts cabinet? Betty Nairn of Cabinet-S-Top of Medina, Ohio, cautions parents to "be careful not to incorporate high bar areas into your design." Kids perched on towering stools just spells trouble. Avoid tumbles by incorporating a table-height seating area: One smart pairing is a higher island that features a raised countertop for the adults to work on, with a lowered second tier that's kid height but still close to the action. But be careful not to get the little ones too close to it all-it's best not to install a cooktop on an island if you have young children, as they can grab for a pan or be splattered by hot oil if seated nearby.

In addition to the height of your countertop, think about the surface itself. Nairn recommends choosing a non-porous surface like quartz surfacing that won't stain easily or show excessive wear and tear. You'll also want to trade sharp corners for rounded edges. Look below the feet, too. Flooring should be user-friendly in terms of cleanability and slip-resistance. Something with a pattern tends to hide dirt more effectively, and be sure to inquire about durability…; your floor may double as a tricycle track on occasion.

A Kid-Safe Cooking Space
It's an all-too-familiar medley: "I'm hungry" meets "what's for dinner?" meets the endless open and close of the refrigerator door. Give kids a bit of autonomy and accessibility with a designated area for them to prepare meals or snacks. A breakfast area, for example, could allow for access to cereal, plastic bowls and spoons. Rather than grapple with milk set on a high shelf, a refrigerator drawer installed in an island provides easy access. When it comes to the main fridge, however, be sure to select a model with an ice and water dispenser on the door.

The microwave is a safe and simple way to get your child excited about simple meal and snack preparation, from making popcorn to heating up oatmeal in the morning. It allows them to sidestep the need to use the oven …so don't do something as unsafe as installing a microwave over a range. Sharp recently introduced a microwave drawer that can be installed into an island. A user-friendly interior control panel makes it simple for the kids to heat up mac 'n' cheese. and eliminates bending and reaching for mom and dad as well.

Basic Safety Tips
Nairn advises parents (and cooks in general) to keep a fire extinguisher in kitchen; locate it away from stove in a place that's easy to access. However, a number of items, like cleaning products and knives, should be kept far from curious hands. A number of manufacturers offer safety locks that aren't visible from the outside of the cabinet, meaning you don't need to ruin your design with unsightly plastic claws to ensure your children's safety.

For the times when you're ready for them to take part in supervised cooking — like helping stir a warm pot of pasta sauce, for instance — you'll want to be sure to keep a stepstool (with slip-resistant legs, preferably) on hand. It allows you and your junior cook to worry about licking the bowl; not how to precariously reach to counter.

The Little Things
Because the kitchen is the heart of the home, don't forget little touches that will make the home itself operate more smoothly, and more whimsically. A corkboard or chalkboard panel lets your fridge pull double duty as the family's message center.

Add a punch of color; after all, the kitchen is a place of memories. Don't make them beige ones. Bright lime green walls can spruce things up, as can your children's drawings: incorporate an area to hang recent masterpieces.

And, while opting for a specific faucet doesn't have any specific safety value, Nairn recommends getting a model with a pullout spray that kids can give a squirt on every now and then.

Because it's good to be safe and silly.



http://www.kitchens.com/design/kitchen-styles/family-kitchens/family-kitchens

By Blog Owner 03 Sep, 2015
1. Eliminate wasted steps. Think about how and where you use items. Store breakfast foods and bowls near the breakfast table. Keep wraps and plastic containers in one handy spot near a work surface for wrapping leftovers. Locate dishware and flatware near the dishwasher to ease the process of unloading.

2. Design wide walkways. Paths throughout a kitchen should be at least 36 inches wide. Paths within the cooking zone should be 42 inches wide for a one-cook kitchen and 48 inches wide for a two-cook configuration. When planning, adjust kitchen islands and peninsulas accordingly.

3. Direct traffic. For kid-friendly kitchen designs, keep the cooktop out of traffic areas so children don't catch handles and cause spills when running through. Also, make the refrigerator accessible to both passersby and people working in cooking and cleanup areas.

4. Stay clear of corners. To make cabinet and appliance doors fully functional, plan space for the door's clearance and swing direction in your kitchen design. Keep appliances away from corners, and make sure doors won't bang into each other if open at the same time.

5. Find the right height for the microwave. The correct height and location for a microwave oven may vary depending on the chef or the kid-friendly character of the kitchen. For adults, 15 inches above countertop level is a good microwave height. For kids, a below-countertop setup may be safer and more suitable.

6. Determine the island's function. When it comes to kitchen islands, form follows function. If you want to cook and eat on kitchen islands, plan enough space so the cooktop is safely separated from the dining area.

7. Plan landing space. When designing your kitchen, allow 15 inches of countertop on each side of a cooktop and refrigerator. Landing space is also important near the microwave.

8. Consider the countertops. Chefs who like to cook require more counter space -- ideally between the range and sink -- than those who cook infrequently or who prepare simple meals. In addition, incorporating two countertop heights makes baking easier and helps kids who are involved in meal preparations.

9. Double up . A second microwave oven and a mini refrigerator or refrigerator drawer positioned at the edge of the kitchen work center can keep snackers out of the cook's way. Add a snack bar with stools for an after-school spot for the kids.

10. Arrange the range. Place a shelf beside or behind the range to keep cooking oils, utensils, and spices handy. Place S-hooks on the side of the range hood to hang frequently used pots and pans.

11. Fill it up. Tired of lugging water-filled pots from the sink to the cooktop? A swing-out tap -- also called a pot-filler -- installed near the cooktop fills pots near where you heat them. Or you can install an extra-long hose attachment on your main faucet to fill pots on the cooktop.

12. Be sharp when storing knives. Hang knives on a magnetic strip tacked to the backsplash. This makes it easy to spot the right knife for a job and keeps dangerous items out of children's reach.

13. Make recycling easy. Equip a cabinet with separate containers for glass, plastic, and metal. A spare drawer could hold old newspapers.

14. Think short. Put kids' favorite dishes and snack foods on shelves they can reach.

15. Add a message center. Establish a message center near the kitchen telephone. Put a bulletin board, chalkboard, or whiteboard on the wall, and store a calendar, notebook, and writing utensils in a nearby drawer.

16. Plug it in. Install multiple outlets along the backsplash and on the island so you'll have electricity wherever you need it.

17. Cut cleaning time. Careful design decisions make cleaning easier. Glass refrigerator shelves catch spills that wire shelves let through. Flush-set or undermount sinks don't have a crumb-catching rim to worry about. Matte finishes don't show dirt as much as glossy ones do.

18. Break up cabinetry blocks. Avoid boring, heavy blocks of doors and drawers by adding interesting details such as glass doors and display shelving. Or try wine storage or windows.

19. Use light colors in a small kitchen. Dark color schemes shrink an already small space and make it less inviting. Use soft shades on kitchen cabinets and natural light to visually expand a small room.

20. Find a focal point. Splashy tile, fancy floors, sizable range hoods, bright kitchen cabinets, and busy countertop patterns give the eye too much to look at. Pick one focal point in your kitchen design and complement that area with a few other quieter, eye-catching details.

http://www.bhg.com/kitchen/remodeling/planning/kitchen-remodeling/
By Blog Owner 10 Sep, 2015

No mom ever poured pancake batter in the shape of a snowman for herself. Kitchens are meant to be kid-filled. Whether you're a grandparent, rearing a gaggle of little ones, or think you might want to one day, it's important to consider the kid-factor. After all, you want to make sure they can reach the counter to bake those chocolate chip cookies; and that they won't burn their hand when they try to grab a piping hot one from a just-out-of-the-oven sheet. Here are our tips for safe and accessible kitchens for kids:

Kid Space

You may have a top-of-the-line playroom, but kids, especially little ones, want to be where their parents are. That's why it's often a good idea to include a "kid's cabinet" in your design. An easy-to-reach set of base cabinets can make it a snap for kids to access (and, hopefully, clean-up) their crayons and paper.

Adding a cubby area is also a wise choice for both parties: Mom and Dad can quickly toss forgotten toys and half-read books into each child's cubby for safekeeping. Neatly stored toys are then ready and waiting for the next time that boredom strikes.

Countertops and Flooring
But where should your little Picasso sit after diving into the arts and crafts cabinet? Betty Nairn of Cabinet-S-Top of Medina, Ohio, cautions parents to "be careful not to incorporate high bar areas into your design." Kids perched on towering stools just spells trouble. Avoid tumbles by incorporating a table-height seating area: One smart pairing is a higher island that features a raised countertop for the adults to work on, with a lowered second tier that's kid height but still close to the action. But be careful not to get the little ones too close to it all-it's best not to install a cooktop on an island if you have young children, as they can grab for a pan or be splattered by hot oil if seated nearby.

In addition to the height of your countertop, think about the surface itself. Nairn recommends choosing a non-porous surface like quartz surfacing that won't stain easily or show excessive wear and tear. You'll also want to trade sharp corners for rounded edges. Look below the feet, too. Flooring should be user-friendly in terms of cleanability and slip-resistance. Something with a pattern tends to hide dirt more effectively, and be sure to inquire about durability…; your floor may double as a tricycle track on occasion.

A Kid-Safe Cooking Space
It's an all-too-familiar medley: "I'm hungry" meets "what's for dinner?" meets the endless open and close of the refrigerator door. Give kids a bit of autonomy and accessibility with a designated area for them to prepare meals or snacks. A breakfast area, for example, could allow for access to cereal, plastic bowls and spoons. Rather than grapple with milk set on a high shelf, a refrigerator drawer installed in an island provides easy access. When it comes to the main fridge, however, be sure to select a model with an ice and water dispenser on the door.

The microwave is a safe and simple way to get your child excited about simple meal and snack preparation, from making popcorn to heating up oatmeal in the morning. It allows them to sidestep the need to use the oven …so don't do something as unsafe as installing a microwave over a range. Sharp recently introduced a microwave drawer that can be installed into an island. A user-friendly interior control panel makes it simple for the kids to heat up mac 'n' cheese. and eliminates bending and reaching for mom and dad as well.

Basic Safety Tips
Nairn advises parents (and cooks in general) to keep a fire extinguisher in kitchen; locate it away from stove in a place that's easy to access. However, a number of items, like cleaning products and knives, should be kept far from curious hands. A number of manufacturers offer safety locks that aren't visible from the outside of the cabinet, meaning you don't need to ruin your design with unsightly plastic claws to ensure your children's safety.

For the times when you're ready for them to take part in supervised cooking — like helping stir a warm pot of pasta sauce, for instance — you'll want to be sure to keep a stepstool (with slip-resistant legs, preferably) on hand. It allows you and your junior cook to worry about licking the bowl; not how to precariously reach to counter.

The Little Things
Because the kitchen is the heart of the home, don't forget little touches that will make the home itself operate more smoothly, and more whimsically. A corkboard or chalkboard panel lets your fridge pull double duty as the family's message center.

Add a punch of color; after all, the kitchen is a place of memories. Don't make them beige ones. Bright lime green walls can spruce things up, as can your children's drawings: incorporate an area to hang recent masterpieces.

And, while opting for a specific faucet doesn't have any specific safety value, Nairn recommends getting a model with a pullout spray that kids can give a squirt on every now and then.

Because it's good to be safe and silly.



http://www.kitchens.com/design/kitchen-styles/family-kitchens/family-kitchens

By Blog Owner 03 Sep, 2015
1. Eliminate wasted steps. Think about how and where you use items. Store breakfast foods and bowls near the breakfast table. Keep wraps and plastic containers in one handy spot near a work surface for wrapping leftovers. Locate dishware and flatware near the dishwasher to ease the process of unloading.

2. Design wide walkways. Paths throughout a kitchen should be at least 36 inches wide. Paths within the cooking zone should be 42 inches wide for a one-cook kitchen and 48 inches wide for a two-cook configuration. When planning, adjust kitchen islands and peninsulas accordingly.

3. Direct traffic. For kid-friendly kitchen designs, keep the cooktop out of traffic areas so children don't catch handles and cause spills when running through. Also, make the refrigerator accessible to both passersby and people working in cooking and cleanup areas.

4. Stay clear of corners. To make cabinet and appliance doors fully functional, plan space for the door's clearance and swing direction in your kitchen design. Keep appliances away from corners, and make sure doors won't bang into each other if open at the same time.

5. Find the right height for the microwave. The correct height and location for a microwave oven may vary depending on the chef or the kid-friendly character of the kitchen. For adults, 15 inches above countertop level is a good microwave height. For kids, a below-countertop setup may be safer and more suitable.

6. Determine the island's function. When it comes to kitchen islands, form follows function. If you want to cook and eat on kitchen islands, plan enough space so the cooktop is safely separated from the dining area.

7. Plan landing space. When designing your kitchen, allow 15 inches of countertop on each side of a cooktop and refrigerator. Landing space is also important near the microwave.

8. Consider the countertops. Chefs who like to cook require more counter space -- ideally between the range and sink -- than those who cook infrequently or who prepare simple meals. In addition, incorporating two countertop heights makes baking easier and helps kids who are involved in meal preparations.

9. Double up . A second microwave oven and a mini refrigerator or refrigerator drawer positioned at the edge of the kitchen work center can keep snackers out of the cook's way. Add a snack bar with stools for an after-school spot for the kids.

10. Arrange the range. Place a shelf beside or behind the range to keep cooking oils, utensils, and spices handy. Place S-hooks on the side of the range hood to hang frequently used pots and pans.

11. Fill it up. Tired of lugging water-filled pots from the sink to the cooktop? A swing-out tap -- also called a pot-filler -- installed near the cooktop fills pots near where you heat them. Or you can install an extra-long hose attachment on your main faucet to fill pots on the cooktop.

12. Be sharp when storing knives. Hang knives on a magnetic strip tacked to the backsplash. This makes it easy to spot the right knife for a job and keeps dangerous items out of children's reach.

13. Make recycling easy. Equip a cabinet with separate containers for glass, plastic, and metal. A spare drawer could hold old newspapers.

14. Think short. Put kids' favorite dishes and snack foods on shelves they can reach.

15. Add a message center. Establish a message center near the kitchen telephone. Put a bulletin board, chalkboard, or whiteboard on the wall, and store a calendar, notebook, and writing utensils in a nearby drawer.

16. Plug it in. Install multiple outlets along the backsplash and on the island so you'll have electricity wherever you need it.

17. Cut cleaning time. Careful design decisions make cleaning easier. Glass refrigerator shelves catch spills that wire shelves let through. Flush-set or undermount sinks don't have a crumb-catching rim to worry about. Matte finishes don't show dirt as much as glossy ones do.

18. Break up cabinetry blocks. Avoid boring, heavy blocks of doors and drawers by adding interesting details such as glass doors and display shelving. Or try wine storage or windows.

19. Use light colors in a small kitchen. Dark color schemes shrink an already small space and make it less inviting. Use soft shades on kitchen cabinets and natural light to visually expand a small room.

20. Find a focal point. Splashy tile, fancy floors, sizable range hoods, bright kitchen cabinets, and busy countertop patterns give the eye too much to look at. Pick one focal point in your kitchen design and complement that area with a few other quieter, eye-catching details.

http://www.bhg.com/kitchen/remodeling/planning/kitchen-remodeling/
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