Whether you’re looking forward to your first baby or dealing with troublesome teens, you need a family kitchen that’s practical, affordable and easy to clean. Creating your ideal kitchen might be as simple as giving your current set up a facelift with stone kitchen worktops or new tiles.
The Early Years
Thrown food, tottering steps and bodily fluids are the hallmark of the infant and toddler years. The hygienic properties of stone make it a great choice for counters and floors. It’s easy to keep clean, and a stone floor won’t absorb smells and stains like other materials. Safety conscious parents may be worried about the hard surfaces for tumbling tots. A rug (with non-slip backing) is a great place for a baby to play, and can be picked up and thrown in the washing machine when a spill occurs. Kitchen worktops are typically too high for a toddler to bump their head on, too, so no need to compromise. Instead, lay down a solid foundation for the years ahead by choosing materials that will last as long as you need them to.
Making space for kids in the kitchen makes life easier. Oversee homework while you make dinner, or get your junior chefs to help tearing lettuce or making biscuits. At this age, mess and spills can be larger and stranger than at any other age, so durable materials are incredibly useful. Dark grey granite counters can take a lot of punishment, but so can processed stone kitchen worktops. These come in a wide range of colours, to suit any decorating style.
As children transition to secondary school, their worlds expand and they start bringing more friends home. Putting teenagers in charge of their own entertainment budget for sodas and sweets (or smoothies and fruit), and giving them a cupboard to store it in gives them a taste of independence and responsibility. Chores and learning to cook prepare kids for adulthood, and as stone kitchen worktops and stone floors are easy to clean without the use of hazardous chemicals, it’s an easy task to pass on to the younger generation.
Once your children move out, you have more flexibility. However, many young adults react badly to changes at home, as they see it as a constant in world of changing jobs, flats and friends. Don’t let that hold you back though. A kitchen remodel at this stage is an excellent opportunity to create a sophisticated kitchen. You can now safely invest in more delicate materials around the home. Classic white marble is a relatively soft stone, and can stain if mistreated. It’s still harder than almost all non-stone kitchen worktop materials, and can look incredibly elegant. Of course, if you installed stone when your kids were young, you won’t need to make a change! Stone is one of the hardest materials in the world, and stone floors and tiles have lasted hundreds of years.