(Kitchens / Fixtures / Counters)
(Kitchens / Fixtures / Counters)
Making Your Space Easier To Live
A significant feature of a UD Kitchen is the countertops. Designing varied-height countertops allow for taller and shorter users to cook in comfort. Different levels of fixed counter heights might include standard heights:
- Bar height – 42 inches
- Counter height—36 inches
- Table height – 30 inches
Including at least table and counter, heights allow for an adult and child to have a comfortable workspace. Looking toward the future, any frequenter or member of the home who uses a wheelchair will still have the same experience as any ambulatory person with the inclusion of table-height tops. If space is limited, pull-out work surfaces are an alternative to adding lowered-height areas.
Ample prep space is ideal for any kitchen, but including multiple counter levels is a savvy universal-design solution. Use a combination of heights that provide options for multigenerational activities, like kids rolling out cookie dough with older relatives who are comfortable seated at the kitchen island.
Considering the color and style of your new countertop is important, no matter if it’s UD or traditional. Easy-to-care for countertops, like those with antimicrobial properties, will make cleaning quicker and seamless. Crazy patterns look cool but can interfere with depth perception in people with sight impairments. Whichever countertop you choose is your decision, but thinking ahead will save time and money in the future.
Cabinets & Storage
From the countertop, you reach for a pot or pan to make a delicious meal. Deep cabinets create a hassle for everyone, young and old. Especially for those with mobility difficulties, getting down to the floor level and reaching to the back of the cabinet, shuffling heavy pots around to find the right one causes discomfort and may result in difficulties standing back up. Installing pull-out cabinets relieves all that stress. They also help to keep dishware or cookware well organized, alleviating lifting a heavy pot to reveal yet another heavy pot. Lazy Susan’s organize food or dishes. Kitchen drawers with storage components that pull out for kitchen tools.
Having a functional, great looking kitchen is wonderful. But it’s useless if you can’t see what you’re working on. Your plan needs to include task lighting alongside way-finding, and if you choose, ambient lighting. Task lighting can be placed under the wall cabinets in a position that reduces shadows. This way, you can see your meal preparation clearly. Redundant lighting also helps reduce the risk of injuries in the kitchen. If one bulb goes out, you don’t need to worry about working in a dark kitchen because there are several other lights still illuminating the area.
Installing layers of lighting is a familiar design suggestion that translates for the task-heavy kitchen. This creates mood lighting for a group of people sitting in one area and provides layered lighting over your cooking-prep area that helps with a task. Pendants, recessed bulbs, and under-cabinet rope lighting create ambience that can help your eyes focus on deboning a chicken with precision or studying a recipe on your tablet.