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Make your kitchen a family gathering place for summer fun

The kitchen is an essential part of the home. Regardless of whether you prefer to cook alone or with friends and family, this space should be optimized for safety and convenience.

Needless to say, the kitchen can be a hazardous place. Between the stove, sharp knives and hot foods, there are many dangers that can be difficult to avoid. The best defense against these is good design. Proper lighting and setup can cut down on potential accidents. Now that the days are longer and you're getting ready to host all sorts of parties, it's time to redesign the kitchen.

Start with everyday items
Products that you frequently use around the kitchen should be within easy reach at all times. This includes knives, paper towels, pots and pans and more. Additionally, they should be put in the right places. For example, oven mitts should be stored close to the oven. Cutting boards shouldn't be more than a few steps away from the knife block. This will cut down on the distance that you need to cover in order to cook a meal, which can also heighten safety by allowing you to keep an eye on the food.

This same mentality should also be applied to food items with the additional concern of freshness. Perishable products that don't go in the fridge, such as bread, should be kept on the counter within view. This ensures that everyone in the household will see it and know to consume it as soon as possible.

Consider the young and old
Depending on the residents, you may need to consider the accessibility of other kitchen items. While certain items need to be kept out of reach of children, they should also be easy to grab for older adults in the family. Therefore, setting items further back on a counter rather than higher up on shelves can provide protection for the young and the old.

Look into the details
Ease of use is also important in the kitchen. Chances are, the cook's hands will be full most of the time, so everyday kitchen fixtures such as cabinets and sinks should be convenient. This is especially true for light switches, which make a huge difference. 

If you don't already have Decora switches in the kitchen, consider having them installed. Then, heighten their visibility by selecting a decorative switch plate that draws everyone's attention to the new fixtures.

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