We recently renovated our home, and before I started designing our new layout, my husband and I sat down to discuss our priorities and goals. Every item we considered important had to do with the kids and how our home would “grow” with our children while providing a safe and comfortable environment. And from my experience working with clients designing their homes, this is a common trend most parents want to achieve in their family home. Here are my top five:
When even a basic service like clean water is not within your reach, and your family needs a stable choice that does not require a water cooler taking up space, consider this sleeker, less maintenance option – a reverse osmosis water filter connected to your kitchen sink. Several models also add minerals back to the water source so taste and essential nutrients will not be compromised.
Wall Mounted Television
This will change your life – imagine never having to say “Don’t touch the TV!” or wiping finger prints from the screen. Also, the threat of an oversized 30 pound electronic with the potential to topple over from being within arm’s reach of little ones is eliminated. Consider a wall mounted bracket that can support the size and weight of your television. There are even brackets with an extension arm available to allow you to move the television to any direction and angle. Want to eliminate the wires? You or an electrician can install a recessed low voltage cable plate with a recessed outlet on the wall behind your TV.
Open Floor Plan
Out of all the features I recommend, this of course is not easy to achieve with an existing home unless you are open to a large scale renovation. Creating an open floor plan, where one space flows easily, physically and visually, is the best way to keep track of little ones while multitasking. A common idea is opening a wall from a kitchen area to your other living spaces by creating essentially a framed “window” and including a high countertop to incorporate additional seating while maximizing square footage. For us, it was also important to have access to the kid’s playroom, also known as the future study room, so we know what the little munchkins are up to.
During our house renovation the front loading washing and dryer machines had to be elevated, and suddenly I had the answer to a recurring problem – a home for important things beyond the reach of one of our little ones. Imagine an area in the hearth of your home where you can leave important papers, keys, have a “charging” station, etc. where little hands can not reach!?! Locate the countertop at least 42″ above finished floor and three feet deep.
No matter what age you are, having a light source at night is a good idea, especially with newly night time potty trained little ones. These days, you do not have to settle with an outlet version. (However there are some fun versions to include in your child’s room.) Most bathroom heater vent light models are available with night lights. Even Kohler offers a toilet seat equipped with a night light.