My favourite place to be is at home. Our house works very hard to take care of all of us. Each of us has our own favourite spot to be in the home too. For me, I love it when we’re all in the kitchen. I might be cooking our evening meal, and some of the kids could be finishing up their workbooks or working on some arts and crafts. I love that our house works, but I know there are a few ways to make it even more perfect for the larger family.
When it comes to kitchens, I know that an island would make the room work so much better. A standard U or horseshoe shape design doesn’t always give us space to get in and out but while our kitchen is a good size lengthways, we just didn’t have the room widthways to allow for for an island. I find islands just so much more sociable too. If there’s space for a nice kitchen table as well, then I am in heaven. I love having the whole family around me, even if they are in the way… most of the time at least!
When you start thinking about cookers, induction hobs and appliances, it can be a challenge working out where to place them. If I was designing my ideal kitchen, I would start with seating. Whether you have a formal dining room or not, I think it’s lovely to have a kitchen table so you can use the room for more than cooking. Having something like an island to walk around means you can always get to what you want going around the other way!
The living room is another room where we all tend to meet up. Seating for me is crucial because I want to be able to chat with the kids to talk about their day. A big TV might be where we’re all watching a family favourite, but we can all see each other too. I love deep, squishy sofas that we can just melt into and cuddle up. When the weather’s good, it can be nice to have a similar arrangement in the garden. Kids can play, or they can sit and read.
For a while our downstairs bedroom was used as a playroom. We found that even with a payroom we sometimes found that the kids would pull their toys out and join you us whatever room we might be in. This can be hazardous in some kitchens, and difficult for the other kids in the living room. Instead, I would make the effort to go to them and join in with their play from time to time. If they want to be with the rest of us, then we find something we can all do together in that room. Even if it’s only stirring the pot for me, it’s nice they can join in with my activity too.
A large family means the house is always busy and perhaps even a little noisier than most. Open plan spaces work really well when there are plenty of people around because you can still all be together. For me as a parent, it’s really important to be able to keep an eye on everyone, even when I’m busy cooking. My ideal space would be big and multifunctional. How does your family space look?