Family-Friendly Kitchens

Center Of Activity

The kitchen isn’t just for cooking. Family members go in and out of the kitchen throughout the day. It’s a place where everyone can talk, relax, read, work, and play. With that in mind, here are some tips for making your kitchen family-friendly.

Kitchen safety is always important, and this is especially true if you have young children. Children can  get hurt on kitchen tables with sharp, pointed corners, so opt for round tables or tables with rounded corners instead. Store sharp utensils up high and out of reach of children. Keep easily-broken items out of reach as well.

Place a mat near the sink to keep water from spilling directly onto the floor and posing a danger. When choosing a material for your kitchen floor, think twice about materials such as ceramic tiles, which can be slippery. If your floor is slippery, look into anti-slip solutions such as sprays that increase traction.

Think about safe seating, too. For example, choose chairs over stools, since children can easily fall off of stools. Chairs are also more stable than stools, which can tip over.

If kids enjoy using the kitchen to play, set up low cabinets and drawers to hold toys, art supplies, etc. You can even set up a special area for play and study. Breakfast nooks are great for this purpose, but really, you don’t need anything more than a table and chairs. Just make sure to set up the area away from the work triangle, so that it doesn’t interrupt the flow of kitchen traffic.

Teaching Kids To Cook

Put out bowls of fruit and other snacks so that kids can help themselves when you’re busy. Another idea is to get a bottom-freezer refrigerator so that kids can get ice pops and other frozen snacks on their own.

Then there’s technology. If you and your family enjoy watching television, consider setting up a TV in the kitchen. You may also want to get outlets installed near the counter, island, or play area, so that family members can use laptops and other devices. Tablets and smartphones can provide portable entertainment, display recipes, and let you talk to friends while cooking.

If children or pets are moving around in the kitchen, spills and messes are bound to happen. You’ll want countertops and other areas to be made out of an easy-to-clean material. Solid surface, such as Corian, is a good choice. So is granite, stainless steel, quartz, and laminate. For floors, linoleum, vinyl, and laminate are all easy to clean.

Finally, consider setting up a family message center in your kitchen. Hang up a chalkboard or pegboard where you can display shopping lists, meal schedules, and reminders.

Family-Friendly Kitchen

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Range Hood Sale – 4th of July

Declare your independence from kitchen odors and airborne grease with a designer Italian range hood from Futuro Futuro!

Now through Sunday July 7th, take an additional $ 100 off from our current sale prices! Simply enter discount code “FREEDOM” during the website checkout, and receive the discount instantly.

Designer Range Hoods - Independence Day Sale

Designer Range Hoods – Independence Day Sale

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New Range Hood Model: Murano Collection “Carnevale”

The Murano Collection line of designer glass range hoods from Futuro Futuro includes some of the most unique and outstanding designs on the market. The idea behind “Murano Collection” was to transform the range hood from an appliance to a truly decorative object, by replacing the stainless steel of the hood body with a wrap-around glass panel and illuminating it from the inside.

The “Carnevale” model takes this concept a step further, with a 3D design that’s inspired by the bold colors of the Venetian Carnival (“Carnevale di Venezia“) and showcases the skill of the Murano glassmakers. The Murano archipelago, located 1.5 kilometers north of Venice, is home to world-famous glass craftsmen, with a history dating back to the 13th century. Combining the exciting colors of the Carnevale di Venezia with the 3-dimensional glass applique technique produces a kitchen ventilation hood that is worlds apart from anything else on the market.

The Murano Collection “Carnevale” range hood is available in several versions for a variety of cooking equipment. It’s outfitted with a powerful yet quiet 940-CFM blower and the advanced Perimeter Suction system, offering high performance in addition to high-class looks. Please visit the product pages for more information, including latest prices & stock status, more photos, and full specifications:

Murano Collection "Carnevale" Designer Glass Range Hood by Futuro Futuro

Murano Collection “Carnevale” Designer Glass Range Hood by Futuro Futuro


Murano Collection "Carnevale" Designer Glass Range Hood by Futuro Futuro

Murano Collection “Carnevale” Designer Glass Range Hood by Futuro Futuro


Murano Collection "Carnevale" Designer Glass Range Hood by Futuro Futuro

Murano Collection “Carnevale” Designer Glass Range Hood by Futuro Futuro

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Do You Make These Remodeling Mistakes?

We’ve all been there, coming home to a new magazine subscription with pictures that make your house feel inadequate to your own. Don’t fret but also don’t whip out your utility belt just yet, doing your homework before starting a project will greatly help you avoid any slip ups. Anytime you rush something out of impulse or urge results in regrets ranging from higher costs to project delays due to mistakes. Here are a few remodeling mistakes to avoid if you want to get this thing done in one shot.

The first mistake that most of us make when we get a great idea to remodel is not getting a permit. It may save you money up front, but it will end up being a big mistake down the line when it comes down to getting a visit from your friendly city home inspector. The fines range in numbers depending on the city and is at least hundreds of more dollars than a permit would cost. Also if you do something like add a room to your house without a permit then the additional room will not be included by an appraisal when it comes time to sell the house. So long story short, you should quite frankly speak to your city’s buildings office or even your contractor in terms of permits before starting anything.

Getting a permit is the 1st step in the remodeling project

Getting a permit is the 1st step in the remodeling project


The second mistake, and I see a lot of this happening once people weigh their budget, is buying cheap cabinets. When working with a contractor, there is nothing more frustrating than working with cheap, flimsy cabinets that are difficult to secure in place. If it’s too good to be true  then it probably is, sure it may look like expensive cabinets but at that price you’ll be spending more time at the hardware store getting more tools to secure the darn thing or even returning it to try a different batch than actually progressing your remodel. The best way to solve this is to talk to your contractor, they have discounts and know what quality cabinets are. Make sure the cabinet hardware is also up to standards – the handles, pulls, rails, gas shocks, and other “mechanical” parts of cabinetry are just as important as the surface material. Quality hardware can make the difference between hard-to-open, misaligned cabinets, and cabinets that are a pleasure to use, day after day.

Cabinet Hardware by Wood-Mode

Cabinet Hardware by Wood-Mode

Not hiring a contractor for a big job can be a nightmare when you don’t know what’s really behind those walls, unless you have a background in any of this a lot could go wrong. The general contractor is the brains behind the operation that knows who to hire to make the job successful, the last thing you want is uncoordinated sub contractors taking over your house. Before you know it the tile worker will show up before the plumber even has a chance to fix and move any plumbing that may need to get dealt with before the back splash goes up. Besides mis-communication hiring these people yourself will never give you a way to determine whether you have received a fair price for the work that was done, without a contractor you could end up paying up to twice as much.

Last but not least, the bane of any remodeling project is… incorrect measurements! While measuring a square room may be child’s play, measuring the entire kitchen with the back splash and cabinets will definitely give you room for error. If you’re off by even an inch, the cabinets will have a gap, if you’re off an inch and buy the wrong fridge size you’re going to delay the project while you think of ideas to cover up the mess or wait for returns and deliveries again. Even measuring something like a window frame can be quite a challenge due to any designs, ridges, and edges that seem simple but in the end give you the wrong numbers.

Finally this far into your thinking process and ready to find the contractor? Great, just be wary and do your homework if you don’t want to become a statistic of hiring a bad contractor. Recommendations from friends, colleagues, and family members are a great source for finding reliable contractors. In addition, online review sites such as Angie’s List and ServiceMagic offer plenty of information about the company, along with vetted reviews and ratings. The home remodeling site Houzz has 1000′s of profiles of design & remodeling professionals, with reviews and ratings from the Houzz community, which are also vetted (reviewers must provide actual project location, budget, etc.).

It’s very important to make sure that your contractor is licensed and insured. Don’t just make sure he has the name of the insurance carrier, but also call the insurance carrier and verify that the contractor has valid and current coverage. Once you have decided the quality suits your needs you can relax and take all of the guesswork out of your new project and finally get started on it!

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Kitchen Lighting – Ambient, Task, and Accent

While good lighting can enhance any room, it’s particularly helpful in the kitchen. Poor lighting can make it difficult to navigate or work in your kitchen. It can also be dangerous, especially if you’re using sharp utensils, handling portable appliances, or working near flames or hot surfaces. If you’re eating or entertaining in your kitchen, the right lighting can enhance the mood and make the experience even more enjoyable.

There are three main types of lighting to consider: ambient lighting, task lighting, and accent lighting. Combining these three types will give your kitchen the optimum illumination.

Ambient lighting

Ambient lighting is also known as general lighting. It provides overall illumination to the room. Some ambient light can be gained naturally from the sunlight that shines through your windows, but overhead light is also important.

Flush and semi-flush mount lights are popular choices for overhead light. Flush mount lights are mounted to the ceiling, while semi-flush mount lights feature a small gap between the light and the ceiling. Recessed lights are also an option. These lights, also known as “can” lights, are located within openings in the ceiling. Track lighting is another way to go. In track lighting, light fixtures are placed along a track that’s mounted to the ceiling. These lights can be moved and adjusted.

Task lighting

Task lighting is more focused than ambient lighting. It provides direct illumination to areas where you’ll be working. In a kitchen, these areas include countertops, islands, and sinks.

Under-cabinet lights provide light to the countertop area. Puck lights, which are small round or oval light fixtures, are common under-cabinet lights. Recessed lights can also be used under cabinets.

Islands and tables also benefit from task lighting. One way to light these areas is with pendant lights. Pendant lights are ornamental fixtures that hang from the ceiling. They are typically suspended from the ceiling by chains, cords or other similar objects. They come in a large variety of shapes, designs, and colors, so they can add a decorative touch to your kitchen.

There are other kitchen areas where light can be directed as well. The sink can be illuminated by recessed lights, for example, and the range can be illuminated by a range hood.

Kitchen Lighting - Task Lighting - Stainless Steel Kitchen - Futuro Futuro Streamline Island Range Hood

Kitchen Lighting – Task Lighting – Stainless Steel Kitchen – Futuro Futuro Streamline Island Range Hood

Accent lighting

Accent lighting highlights specific items in your kitchen, such as artwork, plate collections, and plants. You can achieve this with track lighting by focusing the light fixtures on the items you’d like to spotlight. Accent lighting is also a great way to showcase a special backsplash. The following example is a close-up of a kitchen project by, in which the polished stainless-steel tiles are glowing with the light of the undercabinet LED strip. The twin cylindrical “Jupiter” range hoods by Futuro Futuro illuminate the cooktop with 6 bright halogen lights. For a complete breakdown of this remodel, visit the post “Kitchen Design Case Study: Contemporary Kitchen with Zebra Wood Cabinetry“.

Kitchen Lighting - Accent Lighting - SV Kitchen by BeautifulRemodel

Kitchen Lighting – Accent Lighting – SV Kitchen by BeautifulRemodel

Some lighting arrangements can perform a mix of functions. Undercabinet light strips are a great way to accent the backsplash and countertop, but also dispel shadows under the cabinets, letting the chef use the entire counter space for storage, preparation, and cool-down. In the following photo, an LED lightstrip shows off the dramatic texture of the wallpaper, while illuminating the countertop and sink area. The Murano Collection “Snow” range hood by Futuro Futuro adds focused lighting for the cooktop, as well as casting a soft glow on the upper backsplash.

Kitchen Lighting - Task Lighting - Contemporary Kitchen - Futuro Futuro Murano Snow Range Hood

Kitchen Lighting – Task Lighting – Contemporary Kitchen – Futuro Futuro Murano Snow Range Hood

Your kitchen lighting can be further enhanced with a dimmer switch. When you’re cooking, you may want bright light that lets you clearly see what you’re doing. On the other hand, when you’re entertaining guests or relaxing in the kitchen, you may want softer light. With a dimmer switch, you’ll always have just the right amount of light in your kitchen.

Light plays a big role in how your kitchen looks and feels. With the right lighting, your kitchen will be safe, fun, and easy to use.

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