A Kitchen Designed With the Kids in Mind
Parallel workstations and several thoughtful details make this light and airy space function for the entire household
Children could be the last consideration when undertaking a redo, but for Deidra Carson, making everything kid-friendly was key. In remodeling the kitchen of her Kentfield, California, home, that meant populating one side of the room with an undercounter beverage fridge stocked with milk boxes and juice drinks, lots of open shelving, and a deep drawer for dinnerware storage right alongside a dishwasher. "That way the kids can load it and unload it too," says this working mother of six.
Shown: Distinct work areas, dual dishwashers, and easy-access storage make a better fit for homeowner Deidra Carson, here with three of her six kids and her partner, Chris Barry.
She made the other side of the kitchen the meal-prep center, with a pro-style range and a large-capacity fridge, as well as a second, larger sink and another dishwasher. White subway tile, marble countertops, and white cabinets give the space a fresh, timeless look.
Shown: The space needed freshening and a more family-oriented layout.
But to mix it up, "we gave the island four legs and a different color so it looks like furniture," says John Varney, who made all the custom cabinetry. "That treatment adds depth and vitality to a white kitchen." Deidra's pride lies in the kid-accessible features, however. "Everything's just easy to get," she says, "and easy to put away."
An island with hand-turned legs, painted cabinets with visible brushstrokes, and substantial trim give the space a classic look.
An open shelf runs across the top of the windows to give the sink wall a finished look. The beverage fridge is stocked with kids' drinks.
Knobs and pulls: Restoration Hardware
A narrow pullout puts oils within the cook's reach. The island's four table-style legs are positioned to maximize cabinet storage space.
A dishware drawer is sectioned off with adjustable pegs to make it easy for kids to empty the dishwasher and set the table.
The 265-square-foot cook space felt dated.
Homeowner Tip: "We lowered the sink windows for a better view of the trees and grass. In a busy kitchen, that's good for the eyes and the mind." —Deidra Carson, Kentfield, Calif.
Tiny tweaks allowed for a longer island with seating clustered on one side, more landing space near the cooktop, and more natural light where open shelves replaced upper cabinets.
1. Swapped upper cabinets for open shelves, and lowered the windows to bring in more daylight and offer better views.
2. Went kid-friendly along the sink wall with a beverage zone and a dishwasher next to a deep storage drawer for plates.
3. Added a food pantry opposite the desk area to make up for lost cabinet storage.
4. Removed upper cabinets next to the cooktop to showcase a custom wood range-hood cover.
5. Lengthened the island and grouped seating on one side to keep kids and guests out of the cooking fray. Added a larger island sink.