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Looking to put in new kitchen/diner, what are your best family-friendly tips?

(4 Posts)
accessorizequeen Mon 15-Aug-11 20:15:32

Do you have any tips on what to choose, what to avoid, best buys?

We have just moved to a big edwardian house and finally have a decent space to have a kitchen/diner for our 4 dc (7, 4 and nearly 3yo dts). Previous houses have had teeny tiny kitchens, but I have always wanted a table in the kitchen for the kids. The kitchen currently has freestanding ikea units in, and it's a really bad use of the space so we're looking to replace it this year. Plus there are 2 sets of double doors opening to the garden, so we're going to turn one of the sets into a big window instead. We think we'll replace everything except the American fridge-freezer, including the floor which is horrible orange and black chequered tiles over an uneven level. And we need to buy a table and chairs for this room - we have a big oak table and oak/leather chairs but it's too big & impractical.

We've just started getting some brochures. Have never bought a kitchen before! I'm not hugely fussed about the units, but the worktop matters I think. Does anyone have a bar with stools as well as a table? Does it work? I'm not sure we can fit both in but was thinking dc could sit at stools to help with baking etc.

Gumps Tue 16-Aug-11 04:12:20

Never buy a White floor. What were we thinking???!! Also if I had my time again the units would not be gloss. We went for a granite top which is fine but again harder to keep clean. I wanted wooden but dh vetoed as a few friends had burnt theirs.
We went for the bi folding doors across the whole back of the kitchen and it's amazing. Brilliant in the summer and just makes the whole house look so bright. Also looks stunning with the light reflected onto White floor on the odd occasion it is spotless! Also the floor has underfloor heating which is fab.
We didn't go for a breakfast bar so that we had maximum floor space for dcs. They have trip trap chairs so I just push those up to the work surface when they want to help.
Our table has benches down each side which I find brilliant for when there is a gang of kids come for tea. Take up much less space too.
Good luck and have fun planning.

teta Tue 16-Aug-11 08:53:25

We have an island with a lip on one side so that the dc's can sit comfortably to eat or talk.We also have a bench that is very useful for younger dc's.It is a welsh church pew that has been painted in F&B Dix Blue.Or built -in bench seating i think can look lovely and be very practical.Yes -the flooring is a very important issue.Underfloor heating [if possible] one that doesn't show dirt is important.We have travertine [which is probably a bit of a cliche now] iwhich is eminently practical as it doesn't show the dirt.The most important thing for me [also have an edwardian house] has been to insulate as much as possible [in existing part and new extension] and bring in as much light as possible as the old kitchens were usually very dark[by putting in lantern rooflights].Secondly i put in a traditional solid wood kitchen that was in keeping with the house.Hope this helps.

accessorizequeen Tue 16-Aug-11 20:26:54

gumps & teta, thank you both so much for your comments. Hadn't really thought about benches, but one might fit perfectly into a corner. And certainly hadn't thought about insulation at all although all the windows/doors in the room are PVC, the only ones in the whole house! We have double doors opening up to the garden at the back, but it's a north-facing house and the garden is crap so was thinking of turning those into a wide window instead, keeping the side double doors which are used constantly at present. I didn't really want kids to traipse all the way through the kitchen to get outside. The side doors face into very boring concreted yard but could spruce it up with pots/climbers at later point. I did imagine more like the bifolding doors that Gumps had tbh in the house we bought, but you have to work with what you've got!
Anyone else have more advice?

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