Universal design has been a trend in home design recently, yielding structures with wide appeal and accessibility, taking into consideration elderly homeowners, people with physical disabilities and people who are not as physically able to complete daily tasks as their peers.
Universal design is a concept that one can incorporate into any room in the house, but especially important are the rooms in which a person would spend the most time. Often, this list includes the kitchen, where much of the daily cooking and socializing occurs. Here are a few common ways to incorporate universal design into your kitchen.
Raise Up the Cabinets
A common complaint among disabled and able-bodied homeowners alike is that their kitchen storage involves bending down to find equipment too often.
Taller toe kicks allow for taller cabinetry that doesn’t involve bending down as far, or as often.
Make Your Kitchen Wheelchair Accessible and Eliminate Reaching
Consider the needs of a person in a wheelchair with every remodeling decision you make in your kitchen. For example, are your cabinet toe kicks recessed enough to accommodate a wheelchair comfortably? Are the doorways wide enough? Do the appliances and work spaces have space underneath for a wheelchair or motorized scooter? These are the sorts of things to consider when adding universal design to any room, let alone one so versatile as your kitchen.
Additionally, use racks and other space-saving hacks to store seasonings and other commonly used kitchen necessities to eliminate uncomfortable reaching.
Use ADA Compliant Appliances
There are several manufacturers that cooperate with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) with certain appliances. For example, you may need a stovetop with room underneath to accommodate a wheelchair; one from an ADA compliant manufacturer will not only be effective in injecting aspects of universal design into your household, it will be safe for the user as well.
As an area of interior concept, universal design has grown to be the great equalizer for homeowners of all levels of physical ability. With a few common solutions, the kitchen can be no exception in terms of universal access to the whole room.
Here are a few examples of projects Lone Star Property Solutions have done incorporating Universal Design: