This week Dr. Dulux will tackle that common problem: How to design a space that's suitable for the wholefamily…

Q: How can I make our kitchen more family-friendly but not forgo style in the process? We have three kids aged five, eight and 11 and we're in need of a space that caters to all of us. Our kitchen is where we spend the most time so it needs to be really multifunctional. Help! Lauren, Dublin.

A: There's a lot going on in the kitchen; from cooking and entertaining to homework and play time. Making sure your kitchen fulfils all your needs requires planning, but here are a few easy tricks to get the most out of your space without too much overhaul:

Dr Dulux Kitchen Jan Hero

1. Play station

Create a play 'zone' within your kitchen so you can keep an eye on mischief makers while you get things done. Make a wall with all your offspring's essential bits and bobs by using Ikea's Dignitet curtain rails to hang the latest masterpieces and pots with art materials, or you could stock a trolley or storage cart on wheels with toys and art materials so you can wheel it out of sight when the kids have (finally) gone to bed. Ikea's Raskog trolley (€59) is multi-tiered and comes in three colours so you can coordinate it with your kitchen.

Images via Mumsgrapevine and Ikea

Dr Dulux Kitchen Good Plan

2. Good plan

Keep forgetful teenagers and the rest of the family in check by making the kitchen your hub for organisation. Everyone will be able to keep abreast of school plays, birthdays, parents evenings and nights essential household info if it's all in one, highly visible place, so where better to host this central dashboard of usefulness than the kitchen?

There is an array of clever ways to do this out there – from peg boards (€39.53) Notonthehighstreet.com to hanging pockets for letters and bills Decorating Your Small Space.

Dr Dulux take a seat

3. Take a seat

Having flexible seating is a must-have in a family kitchen. There's bound to be an occasion every now and then when your kitchen will be overrun with excitable teens, toddlers and/or their parents. Stash away a few foldable or stackable chairs or stools for such occasions – Ikea's Terje folding chair (€14) will hide away in a cupboard or hang on a wall when not in use. Go one step further by personalising a stack of stools with paint, so they'll look just as good when they're not in action. These Frosta stool (€11) by Ikea have been brought to life with Emerald Delight 3 and Azure Fusion 2.

Picture it before you paint it with our Dulux Visualizer!

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