Kitchen and Bath Design for Busy Families

Published: August 3, 2023

On our latest From the Tap podcast, we spoke with Katie Browning, principal and lead designer for Lucas Browning Design in Pacific Palisades, Calif., about kitchen and bath design for busy families. Browning and co-owner Heather Lucas are busy mothers themselves, so they have plenty of experience with these kinds of projects.

Some of the projects the designers work on often include anywhere from one to multiple children ranging in different ages, which Browning says can determine how they want to function in their homes. The goal is to learn how the family operates from day to day by asking questions about how often they cook and meals at home, among others.

Browning also shared her tips for designing for families, including dropping down one side of a large island for children’s access. She and her team often bring in an organizer to help look at the ways in which they use their kitchen and determine storage needs.

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Although the designer does want to allow the children to feel they are part of the design conversation, and the end of the day she says the parents are the decision makers. She also does not recommend designing where a family currently is because things change fast in a busy family and Lucas Browning Design’s projects are created to last. She advises her clients to look at the long-haul vision.

Browning also spoke of designs for open-concept and multipurpose kitchens, so children can have a space to do homework while another family member is cooking. Low-maintenance materials are key for heavy-traffic areas and easy cleanup, and the designer shared her choices for those as well. Hint: Maybe not marble.

Primary bathrooms for busy families can often play double duty if children are using them as well, but often the goal is to create a sanctuary for the parents to take some time to themselves. For bathrooms solely for the kids, Browning says storage is key, and she shared some ideas for small spaces and jack-and-jill setups.

For more tips on kitchen and bath design ideas for busy families, listen to the podcast on SpotifyGoogle PodcastsApple PodcastsPandora and other outlets.

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