Planning for Kitchen Lifestyle Changes
The constant in life is that life is constantly changing—always posing exciting new challenges or conflicts that require our pensive thought and committed attendance. It’s actually a very good thing that life isn’t static or that we all live in some sort of insulated bubble—away from the evolving world we live in—it makes things much more interesting. With changes in domestic life, our most hallowed environment come the need or necessity to alter the domestic lifestyle. Such things are not to be feared, but provisions or adjustments will eventually need to occur in your most critical of domestic spaces, your kitchen.
Starting Your Family
As a couple, freshly beginning a life together, the focus on the kitchen may be of little consequence. However, when the advent of starting a family—children in the home—the kitchen may take on an entirely new meaning. Simple things like: adequate room for a high chair; a place for a toddler to color while meals are prepared; and, of course, the safety modifications that may need to be drafted in the kitchen, now that a young one is around.
Now, as the kids get older, this same kitchen becomes redefined once again. At this point, whether the kids are grade school or high school age, this kitchen is not only ‘snack-central’ but ‘social-central’ as well. Given the kitchen has taken on a dramatic new role in the family dynamics environment, you may find that some adjustments need to be made; or you may find that this is the perfect time for an overhaul if the minor adjustments won’t do. This is a stage of family life whereby the sitting areas of a kitchen become more important. Private chats with Mom, over a bowl of ice cream, is a great way to end a day for a teenager; and is also a valuable time for Mom as well. The kitchen is being used by everyone—including the kid’s friends—so there’s a keen focus on ‘user-friendliness’ with the kitchen during these years.
High school graduations have come and gone and, at best, you entertain your college-aged children only a few times a year; and most typically on holidays. The kitchen tends to evolve into a more formal genre; but still needs to be a comfortable area for socializing with your adult children and, perhaps, their adult friends. The small beverage cooler you so cleverly purchased years ago so your toddler children could access their own juice boxes independently is now filled with bottled beer and wine. The kitchen tends to boast some of the finer adult amenities and décor; and, in some respects, is a more formal version of that which you had when you were first starting out as a couple.
Much like the previous phase of kitchen evolution paralleled the commencement of your kitchen ownership, the last bit of evolution somewhat parallels that which you enjoyed when you first began your family. With grandchildren possibly coming around, some of the kitchen features you were accustomed to as a young parent, yourself, begin to be represented in the kitchen once again. However, these types of modifications tend to be more modular or adaptive—easily removed or not permanent, so the kitchen remains your own. Also with age, there may be a need for greater personal accessibility or features that tend to the ‘maturity’ of the occupant. These things may take the form of adjustments in cabinet and counter heights, or a faucet that is more in tune to perform with ease for those who may have dexterity issues. Perhaps the evolution of your kitchen finds its way to go ‘full circle’ in the constant changes that this wonderful life affords us all.