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I’m excited to share our family-friendly kitchen, sponsored by Bosch. Thank you for supporting the brands that support this blog!
Whether you’re renovating your kitchen or in the dreaming stages, there are a LOT of decisions to be made… It’s been 18 months since we completely renovated our kitchen – basically moved it down and totally reconfigured – and I wanted to share our FAVORITE family-friendly kitchen features… all the things we would choose again, without question.
And I’m also answering 45 questions I’ve received about our kitchen at the bottom of this post :).
Here are the family-friendly kitchen features that help us live life a little easier!
In my opinion, you’ll never regret quality appliances with a timeless look that are completely designed around being functional for your family. Bosch designs quality, “Invented for Life” home appliances to make life at home a little easier. Since you use your appliances multiple times a day, it’s important to get something that you LOVE.
Sharing some of the simple solutions built into our kitchen suite:
WOW! Bosch recently sent us their NEW 800 Series French door bottom mount refrigerator and it is AMAZING! We previously owned a Bosch refrigerator but the newest 800 Series was completely redesigned from the ground up for users and includes so many thoughtful details that we love!
- The fridge is equipped with the FarmFresh System, which includes four freshness technologies that work together to keep food fresh for longer.
- MultiAirFlow, a FarmFresh System feature, circulates cold air so the fridge temp is consistent throughout – no cold spots that freeze food in the back of the fridge.
- VitaFreshPro, another tier of the FarmFresh System, balances both temperature AND humidity in 2 drawer bins at the touch of a button to maximize freshness. There are automatic settings for meat/fish, vegetables, fruit, beverages, and snack/misc.
- The LED lights are SO bright so you can see everything in the fridge and are also more energy-efficient!
- FlexBar allows you to make the most out of any row in the fridge so no space is wasted, and even has a special shelf for wine ;).
- The door ajar alarm is amazing – you get an alert on your phone if the door is accidentally left open. Alternatively, if you’re putting away groceries and need the door open longer, you can easily turn off the alarm with the touch of a button.
- Speaking of phone alerts – the Home Connect™ app allows you to adjust or customize the temp of the fridge from your phone, allows the Bosch team to run diagnostics remotely if there’s a problem, AND – my favorite – you get a reminder when it’s time to replace the water filter. One less thing for me to remember!
- It’s truly counter-depth and you cant see hinges or feet, and the finish is easy-to-clean stainless steel (you just need water and a washcloth) – it really is a beautiful fridge.
- Three of the six door bins accommodate 2-gallon containers at once. That’s a LOT of door storage!
- This thing was built for customizable organization – from the adjustable split glass shelving to the FlexBar to a three-tiered freezer drawer system so you can easily find everything without digging!
- It has an interior water dispenser and an ice maker in the freezer! I love the clean look of a fridge that has nothing on its front, but love the convenience of a water dispenser and always having enough ice on hand.
The Drawer Microwave
I LIVE for a good microwave but don’t love the look of one over the range or sitting on the counter. So we chose the Bosch 800 series drawer microwave, and it’s been perfect! A few of my favorite things…
- It’s relatively hidden – you can install them under the counter or under a wall unit oven.
- It’s definitely big enough for anything we’ve ever needed to microwave – fits a 3-quart casserole dish.
- Also love the keypad lock so no tiny fingers can press any buttons.
There are tons of features that make our Bosch dishwasher – the 100 Series – perfect for our fam.
- It’s quiet. Because our kitchen is adjacent to our living space, we needed a dishwasher we couldn’t hear when we’re relaxing or watching T.V. It’s so quiet there’s an InfoLight that beams onto the floor to indicate it’s on.
- The functionality is incredible. I LOVE the third rack for all of our silverware, lids, etc. The third rack takes away the need to have a silverware basket in the bottom rack of the dishwasher, so I can fit more big stuff, like plates, cups, and pots & pans.
- Also love RackMatic – the height-adjustable second row. This allows me to customize the height of the second row up or down to accommodate taller items in either rack.
- You don’t have to rinse the food off the dishes before you pop them into the dishwasher. Just scrape the extra food off and load them up!
- You can put plastic on any row in the dishwasher without it warping.
- There’s a delay feature so you can run it in the middle of the night or whenever is most convenient for you.
- No buttons on the front = no accidentally starting a cycle by leaning against it.
Full disclosure, I was nervous that I’d miss having a double oven as we had one pre-renovation. And I’m happy to share that I haven’t missed it one bit! So many great features on the Bosch 800 Series dual-fuel range:
- There are 5 burners, 2 small and 3 larger, which is nice to be able to use/choose from.
- Fast Preheat is my JAM! It’s exactly what it sounds like – preheats the oven at turbo speed.
- The built-in meat probe takes the ‘is it done yet?’ question out of cooking. The oven automatically shuts off when the goal temp is reached.
- The stovetop is gas (which I LOVE) and the oven is European convection, which means that it cooks the same no matter which rack you choose.
- The touchscreen allows you to lock the touchpad so no tiny fingers can accidentally turn on the oven.
Other Family-Friendly Kitchen Features I Love…
Our original plans had 36″ walkways between the cabinets and the island. At the last minute we switched them to 42″ and I recommend that wholeheartedly to anyone in the design phase!
Sink in the Island
Some people love a big clean island, but I personally love having our sink and the dishwasher in the island so that we can converse with the kids when they’re at the island + keep an eye on them when they’re watching TV.
Not only do I like the look of a range hood, but not putting the microwave over the oven means the older kids are able to access the microwave without having to reach over the oven.
This is another feature we’re VERY close to being able to utilize when the kids are a tad older… the appliance garage houses our toaster and coffee maker. Since they’re out and ready, the kids will be able to make their own toast or start me a cup of coffee ;).
Thicker Mitered Countertop in the Island
Ok, maybe this has nothing to do with being family-friendly, but I do think it looks really nice ;).
Alright! Now on to your kitchen questions…
I have them broken down into sections so, hopefully, you can find what you’re looking for!
Dimensions & Detail Questions
Where are the cabinets from?
They’re HomeCrest – the island is Cadet Blue + the other white cabinets are Alpine.
White cabinets with kids… How are they holding up?
Fine! I don’t wipe them down daily, just when I see something crazy :). Honestly, the navy island has taken more of a beating than the peripheral cabinets, so I’m REALLY happy we went with navy on the island versus white – navy hides it better ;).
Are your floors wood? What’s the stain?
They are white oak and the stain is 5 parts natural, 1 part Jacobean.
Can you share dimensions for your island? Depth, specifically?
Of course! It’s 44″ deep, 110″ long with an 11″ overhang.
Where is your pantry?
It’s the door you see in the photo below – someday I’ll do a reveal ;). Until then, it is a walk-in, which was SO essential for our family.
Do you eat meals at the island countertop?
We eat 99.9% of our meals in the kitchen at the counter! Which I love – the island is our family’s home base.
How do you keep the grout behind the stove clean?
I honestly don’t do anything special! Wipe it down when I see something :).
How long did the renovation take?
We moved out of our house for 3 months. Our renovation involved moving the kitchen, laundry room, totally gutting 2 of the bathrooms, and refinishing the wood floors throughout the house, so we opted to move out during that time.
Before pics of the renovation?
Here’s a before :). We moved the kitchen down into the empty space in this photo – the current range is where the old window was :).
What are the dimensions of your kitchen?
It’s 10 feet by 19ish feet.
Sources & Product Questions
If you need more sources, find them all HERE.
Do you put your red colander in the dishwasher?
Yep! All the time. Plastics can go anywhere in my Bosch dishwasher without warping. // red colander
Love the vitamin bins on the counter! Where are they from?
Where are your plates and drinking glasses from? On the hunt for new ones!
Our table settings are Mikasa Italian Countryside and 10+ years old but timeless.
We drink out of mason jars and these glasses :).
Where are the cutting boards above the stove from?
Where is your rug runner from?
It’s vintage :). I have a whole post about where to find quality affordable vintage runners here!
Where’s the fruit basket from? What about the wood block the candles are on?
Ordering Bosch appliances soon! What’s your fridge?
It’s the new Bosch 800 Series French door bottom mount refrigerator! Bosch totally reworked this fridge to make it super family-friendly, functional and beautiful. // Bosch fridge
What makes Bosch appliances special? I’ve heard their dishwashers are good but everything else?
Bosch believes that the kitchen is the heart of the home – which I totally agree with. Our kitchen is where we spend most of our time together, where we dance, laugh (and argue!), converse, and make memories.
So, Bosch designs all of its appliances with the goal of making our lives easier and enhancing life in the kitchen, which I can appreciate as a mom of four. We love the performance and quality of our entire Bosch kitchen suite.
Do you regret not doing a second dishwasher?
Ha! This is something that never even crossed my mind – until quarantine! It would be really really nice to have a second dishwasher but I’m not sure where we could’ve worked one in.
It would help eliminate any dishes sitting in the sink waiting to be loaded, which would be nice.
Does the counter-depth fridge have enough space? Nervous to switch!
It does for us! My new Bosch fridge is thoughtfully designed to maximize every inch of the interior for this exact reason.
How have your appliances held up, scratch-wise, to the kids?
Design & Layout Questions
If you had to do the kitchen reno with half the budget, what do you skimp vs splurge?
I love – but could live without – the thicker island top. Another way to save would’ve been the backsplash – using subway tile would’ve been less expensive but could’ve kept the same white freshness. We probably could’ve done less expensive cabinets through IKEA, probably with custom fronts, but I didn’t research a ton on that. We could’ve skipped the Dutch door for something less expensive, too.
Can you talk about your kitchen lighting? I see the pendants + the overhead lighting. Any other you wish you had?
Our home doesn’t get a TON of natural light, unfortunately. So it was important for us to add canned lighting that we have on a dimmer – the dimmer is key! It can be lit like Times Square or super dim, which I love.
We did two glass pendants above the island, which I love as well. They’re clear glass, so they do show dust and the occasional bug that crawls inside 🤦🏻♀️. Something solid would be easier to maintain, cleaning-wise, but I didn’t want anything visually breaking up the island so we went with glass.
Lastly, we have under-cabinet LED lights that we hardly ever use. Not a must :).
We’re planning our forever home. What are the dream home must haves?
Ooooh this is a great question! I’m gonna ask on Instagram to make the best list ever :).
Love your backsplash! How did you finish the raw edge by the Dutch door?
We used a Schluter strip :). And yes I had to Google what this was.
Any thoughts on a pot filler above the stove? Did you consider one?
I didn’t consider/want a pot filler – they’re gorgeous but pricey to install and I personally don’t mind filling up pots at the sink :).
Anything besides more trash space you’d do differently?
Honestly, I’d add a couple feet to the entire space, but that was not budget-friendly so we made it work.
I would also add a pull-out step underneath the sink for the kids to have a built-in step-stool to access the sink/faucet. They’re still so young and it would make washing hands so much easier.
Do you like the outlet covers you switched to?
Sink & Dishes
Where’s your sink from?
It’s a 30 inch single basin fireclay farmhouse sink – there are tons of farmhouse sink materials to choose from, but fireclay has been durable for us, no chipping or staining. And it’s pretty reasonably priced, as far as farmhouse sinks go. // farmhouse sink
Show me the dish soap station next to the sink!
Dish scrub brush – is the head replaceable?
Do you have a dish rack or do you put everything in the dishwasher?
We put 95% of our stuff in the dishwasher! I’m all about convenience 🙂 and my dishwasher is built for loading flexibility. We don’t have a dish rack but we use a fabric drying mat that’s easily stored.
How do you rinse your dishes with no divider?
I just run the water over them or, if it’s a really tough thing (like eggs on a pan), I just let them soak with water in them. In general, you don’t have to pre-wash dishes with our dishwasher, though.
What drying mats/racks do you use?
Where do you wash bottles/etc for Auggie? Mine take up all the space!
Honestly, he hasn’t had a bottle yet! Ha! But when we do, I’ll put the tiny parts in the dishwasher on the third rack – it’s perfect for smaller parts!
Where’s the white soap dish next to the sink from?
Dutch Door Questions
Does the dutch door have a screen? Full or split screen?
It has a retractable screen on top; so when the top part of the door is open, we can keep the screen down so no bugs get in the house. Downside is that this means that when you’re going in and out, you have to either lift the screen or duck under it. Not a deal breaker, just something to know :).
Why the Dutch door? Why do you love it?
I love the way it looks and I LOVE having half the door open so I can hear the kids when they’re in the backyard :).
Storage & Organization Questions
What’s in the upper cabinets in the corner?
One has wine glasses + crystal stemware passed down from my grandmother that we’ve literally never used :/. The other has vases and often-used cooking ingredients, like salt, pepper, olive oil, and butter.
What organizers are in the kids’ drawer?
Can you link your drawer organizers?
We have a ton! Mostly this brand – take a peek to see what would work best for your storage needs ;).
Do you have kid dishes? Where do you store them?
We do! Tons of them, actually :). Our favorite plates + cups + bowls + snack bags are all stored in the drawer beneath the microwave. I love that it makes everything easily accessible for the kids to grab their own dishes AND to put them away :).
What does your coffee area/nook look like?
We don’t have a cute coffee area, but the coffee maker is hidden in the ‘appliance garage’, which is the cabinet that sits on the counter next to the fridge. We also keep the toaster in there – easily accessible.
Do you have a mixer? Where do you keep it?
We don’t! I never bought one. If I had one, I’d store it in our pantry, which is where our other larger appliances (the air fryer) goes.