03 August 2015 by Patricia Marsters
Universal design is the process of making your home easier to live within. It’s the process of making light switches easier to flip, counters easier to reach, and utensils easier to find. At Totally Accessible Homes, we help our clients achieve this by determining which features need adjusted and how to best fit everything together to create a comfortable and enjoyable kitchen to use.
We often start with doors by ensuring that they are at least 36 inches wide. This makes it possible to push walkers or roll wheelchairs through the opening. Many times, we’ll include double doors to achieve both a functional and beautiful aesthetic appearance.
We also work to ensure that spaces within the kitchen have between 42-60 inches of traverse room between counters, appliances, islands, tables, etc. This makes it easier to navigate the kitchen without bumping into things left and right. It also makes it a little easier to entertain guests for retirement dinners, birthday parties, and the all important Thanksgiving feast at grandma’s.
If a client is confined to a wheelchair, we will also lower the cabinets and install toekicks. This makes it easier to access cooking surfaces without having to sit parallel to the counter.
Additionally, we will also install freezer/refrigerator drawers that are easier to access than a full size refrigerator. Another option we have in this regard is to install customized workstations to one side of the kitchen that includes sinks, stoves, ovens, and microwaves. Coupled with adjustable, layered lighting, universal design can make the kitchen easier for grandma, grandpa, and the visiting grandkids to use and enjoy.
Do you have questions about incorporating universal design into your kitchen? Contact Totally Accessible Homes and we will be happy to provide some tips and suggestions you can use to make your life easier.