It is in the task-oriented areas of the house, such as the kitchen, where Universal Design can ensure that all members of the home can function in the space regardless of age and ability. An awkward layout, inaccessible cabinets, lack of storage, and inadequate lighting in the kitchen could prove to be a source of frustration.
Here are some examples of Universal Design in the kitchen:
Appliances: Put them at comfort height and comfort location.
• To forego bending down to cook or clean, mount appliances on the wall or in drawers. Dishwasher drawers located near the sink make clean-up a breeze.
• Wall ovens mounted at shoulder height negate the bending down that a standard range requires. Side-hinged doors allow cooks to reach easily into the oven.
Countertops: Lower countertops accommodate seated users. If you don’t have the space to do so, install a pull-out drawer at a lower height. Opt for smooth countertops that are easy to clean, and insert a butcher block to cut on. Use quartz and granite countertops to put something hot on directly.
Cabinets & Shelving: Mount upper cabinets slightly lower (14 inches from the countertop to the bottom of the cabinet rather than the usual 18 inches). This makes it easier for users to reach the high shelves. A freestanding hutch or a pantry with shelves that pull out and retract easily make items easier to reach as well.
Hardware: For most people, grip strength begins to decrease by the late 30s, so D-ring or loop pulls on cabinets rather than knobs, and soft-close mechanisms on drawers simplify operation for users. Hardware with shiny metallic surfaces are easier to see than black, and their surfaces are reflective even when lights are low.
Need to function better in your Grand Strand kitchen? Call Re-Builders today to speak with a Certified Graduate Remodeler, Mr. Ray Floyd, at 843-448-0041, or request an estimate on our website.