After such wonderful feedback in response to last month’s “Inclusive Bathroom Design” blog, we thought it was time to focus in on how Inclusive Design can be applied to the kitchen!
As a Certified Living in Place Professional (CLIPP), I believe Inclusive Design has the potential to be safe, accessible AND beautiful for all ages and mobilities. When it comes to making a space accommodating and adaptable to any user, the kitchen is one of our favorites – with no gut renovation required!
Embrace the following principles of Inclusive Design to outfit your kitchen with elements that will make the space convenient for everyone:
– Smarter Countertop Surfaces: Keep aspects of both use and upkeep in mind when selecting countertop surface materials to work with. Granite or laminate countertops are visually striking, easy to clean, and will stand up well to normal wear-and-tear for many years to come. Extra busy patterns on the countertop make it harder for those with vision issues to see food and spills on top. Also, matte finishes rather than shiny are much easier to keep clean for anyone with a vision issue, as well. Continuous surfaces like stone or quartz surfaces are visually striking, easy to clean and stand up well to normal wear-and-tear.
– Slip-Resistant Floors: Kitchens are high-traffic zones, so think carefully when it comes to flooring. We recommend installing comfortable, slip-resistant floor materials such as cork, linoleum, wood, or textured tile. This will reduce the risk of falls by ensuring people of all abilities can move through the kitchen with ease.
– Embrace Color Contrast: A swath of contrasting color around the perimeter of the kitchen can help those who are visually impaired better navigate throughout the space. It’s also visually striking!
– Pull-Out Drawers for Easy Access: Kitchen drawers with storage components that pull out are a great solution for family members with back problems or mobility issues as well as the shorter members of the household like the children! You’ll also save time and keep your kitchen more organized in the process.
– Decorative Cabinet Hardware: Despite the trend towards modern and minimalist cabinet handles (including recessed and finger pulls), there are still many deep covered pulls and “C” / “D” shaped pulls that effectively balance high design and accessibility.
– Layered Lighting: Paying special attention to lighting design and installing layers of lighting is a familiar design suggestion that translates well for the task-heavy kitchen. Pendants, recessed bulbs, and under-cabinet rope lighting create ambience and enhance visibility. Consider lighting under toe kicks and countertops to make edges more easily identifiable.
– Conceal Cleaning Products: Keep kitchen cleaning products and other poisonous materials out of reach of children and pets by containing them behind closed cabinet doors fitted with safety locks.
By reading this blog, your Inclusive Design journey has already been set in motion. Why not take your knowledge and understanding to the next level by setting up an Inclusive Design consultation!?
Julie and her team have a passion for creating beautiful, engaging and functional spaces, focusing on both the physical as well as the emotional well being of your environment. Click on the links below for package details:
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