If you have no kids in the house, whether that’s by design or if your kids are grown and gone, it opens up a lot of possibilities in kitchen design – things you may not have even thought of before!
Empty Nesters? or Aging-In-Place?
Couples nearing retirement are enjoying a very different phase of their lives. Whether they are downsizing or upgrading to include some of those little extras that didn’t make sense with a house full of kids, the change in lifestyle encourages them to think of space and storage in new and sometimes very creative ways.
For older couples, the consideration may be for aging-in-place. If this is the case, making kitchen cabinetry easy to reach and applying universal design principles to enable an unimpeded flow will be a focus. By thinking of these details now, it allows us to design a kitchen that is going to work well for many years to come.
Open Cabinetry, More Cabinet Options
For instance, families with kids don’t often have glass doors on their cabinets or open shelving, primarily because they’ve got a lot of kid stuff in there, sippy cups, that sort of thing.
Lower cabinets can be open as well. Open lower cabinets are a great option for storing and displaying cookbooks and that sort of thing, and you won’t have to worry about a little person getting in there and messing with your stuff.
We’ve had many clients tell us that they didn’t want white cabinetry, or that they didn’t want to choose specific high-end finishes because they were afraid that they would be spending too much time cleaning them. In truth, a strawberry jam handprint is still going to be sticky, whether it’s on a white surface or a blue one, but maybe a darker color would be more forgiving.
Countertops and Appliances
For your surfaces, you might decide on shinier finishes, such as if you wanted high-gloss cabinet or shiny appliances. You don’t have to worry about sticky fingerprints everywhere.
Your appliances, too, could be chosen in the styles you like as opposed to making choices based on safety. With kids in the house, most parents select stove models where the controls are unreachable by little hands, but when you don’t have that concern, there are a lot of really cool styles to choose from.
You may want to have a more gourmet-inspired kitchen, with nicer countertops and appliances because you may actually get to do some serious cooking. A below-counter wine fridge is nice as well, something you can set to the perfect temperature.
Small appliances, like microwaves, can be placed in areas where they are convenient for you to reach, as opposed to having to keep them away from children or in a place where the kids can access it for themselves.
Trash And Recycling
In addition to making your cabinets kid-proof, you would probably need to be sure your trash pull-outs wouldn’t be too easy to access. You would have had to make sure there were no buttons to push or any type of crevice they could get their little hands into.
Without this concern, there are a lot of stylish options, like attractive pulls, push-button mechanisms, or foot triggers. For efficiency, drawers and rollouts are a great way to maximize space and stow away the things you don’t necessarily want to look at.
No Kids? Bring Out The Knives!
Another advantage of having no children in the house is that you won’t have to lock your knives away in a drawer anymore. Display your good knives on a magnet board or strip, or in a display stand beside the prep area where they are handy.
Even if you don’t want to keep your knives on the counter, you have more options as to where you can put them. Without the safety concerns, they don’t always have to be in an upper drawer or someplace tucked out of the way.
One thing you always have to worry about with children is storing your dishes and breakables safely out of reach, which all but eliminates the possibility of using your lower cabinets. In a childless household, if you prefer the sleek minimalist look of lower cabinets, you now have the option to reorganize and keep your dishes down low without worrying that they’re going to get used for arts and crafts projects or inadvertently broken.
Are you looking for ways to update your kitchen design now that your kids are out of the house? We’ve got plenty of ideas, and we’d love to hear yours! Reach out today, and let’s start the conversation.
Megan’s passion for design extends beyond her workplace. In her free time, Megan enjoys all types of crafts, including knitting, crocheting, and rehabbing/reupholstering furniture.