Home Improvements

Designing an Upscale Kitchen for Wheelchair Accessibility

Creating a custom kitchen can make the most important room in your home both functional and stylish, but what if you want the latest updates that allow for aging in place? According to the US Census Bureau, about 22 percent of people over 65 have difficulty with mobility, and that number is expected to grow. The good news is that you do not have to sacrifice smart technology, top-brand products, or high-end materials for these universal design improvements. That means you can have the custom kitchen of your dreams equipped to accommodate your needs now and in the future. Here are a few essentials to consider for accessible kitchen design.

A Counter Argument

Premium counter tops in barrier-free kitchens can be lowered for wheelchair access or built in a multi-level fashion to function well for any degree of ability. Look for your favorite materials from marble to quartz and even concrete in a height that works for you.

Smarter Storage

Cabinets are another smart way to give a kitchen functionality for aging in place or mobility concerns. Talk to your contractor about ADA height recommendations, or, better yet, ask about motorized wall cabinets that can easily lower to reach items and then raise back in place. Looped pulls or D-shaped handles can add both style and purpose, making cabinets easier to open. Incorporating accessible kitchen cabinets into your plan is a must for those with mobility challenges.

Clearance Granted

Another concern for most accessible kitchen designers in NJ is reaching cook tops and sinks with ease. Providing clearance for wheelchairs under these units is essential in maintaining independence in a kitchen. Faux cabinet doors under a sink or cook top will allow the user to conceal this modification when not in use and roll under the sink when the doors retract.

An Easy Touch

Consider other aspects of functionality, such as the sink faucet or cook top control positions, when designing a universal kitchen. A single-lever faucet or a hands-free smart faucet can make using the sink easier for people with motor function limitations, as can front or side knobs on ranges to ensure safety while cooking.

Applied Science

For years, wheelchair accessible kitchens have included such features as drawer-style dishwashers, pull-out shelves in cabinets, built-in spice racks and cutting boards, and even under-counter microwave ovens to declutter counters and add a sleeker look. These same features are perfect for aging in place because they add functionality and easy access. During training, most ADA compliant kitchen designers learn about these essential modifications.

Tags: , ,

No comments yet.

Add your response