Room to grow: Kitchen design with kids in mind
Angela Poirrier of Acadian House Kitchen & Bath Studio is no stranger to creating beautiful spaces for her clients. However, with children ranging in age from 13 to 1 at her own home, she also knows how to make sure a room is multipurpose. In accommodating the various needs of a teenager and a toddler, Poirrier says she has perfected the art of transformable spaces that fit the needs of each kid, even as they grow into new stages in their lives.
“It’s sad but kids aren’t going to be young forever,” says Poirrier. “The key to creating a great space that you will love for a long time is to incorporate elements that are easy to convert so you can have areas that are constantly adjusting to your kids’ needs.”
One idea that Poirrier has incorporated into her own kitchen is a window bench that doubles as accessible storage for her older kids’ school supplies, as well as her youngest’s small toys, sippy cups and more.
“Giving the kids easy access to the things that are theirs helps them gain independence,” explains Poirrier. “I do the same thing in the pantry by keeping their snack options on the lower levels. That way they can make choices for themselves about what they want to eat. I even use drawers and other storage bins that help the area stay clean and organized.”
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The most important thing when creating these spaces, according to Poirrier, is making sure they are on the perimeter of the room, rather than in the center of the action. That way, kids are at a safe distance where you can still see them while cooking, but they aren’t in danger of having hot water splashed on them or any other kitchen-related hazard.
“You don’t want to disrupt your workspace by trying to incorporate kids’ stuff in the middle of the kitchen,” says Poirrier. “If your space and budget allows, I even suggest putting a small beverage refrigerator on the perimeter of the kitchen so kids can have easy access to snacks, juice boxes, water and other items just for them.”
And elements like a separate refrigerator won’t go to waste once kids grow up. Rather, Poirrier says it’s all about using the pieces in different ways. That kids’ fridge, for example, can easily be converted into extra beverage storage space for entertaining.
“Designing for kids is pretty easy if you keep in mind the future,” says Poirrier. “Temporary organization is ideal, and some of the tips you incorporate for the kids might turn out being things you want to keep.”