Universal Design for kitchens is a concept that is becoming increasingly popular, especially with baby boomers.
It takes into account the physical and cognitive abilities of people of all ages and abilities, and creates an environment where everyone can be comfortable and safe in their kitchen.
As an Occupational Therapist working in the home health sector, I came across clients that were forced to move in with a relative or an assisted living because they could no longer prepare meals for themselves safely.
Incorporating aging in place design and Universal Design features in your kitchen design, will allow you to remain independent and safe in your home, for a longer period of time or for the rest of your life.
Universal Design Features Include…
- wide aisles
- adjustable countertops or shelves
- accessible storage
- toe kicks
- lower cabinets
- accessible wall oven
- accessible light switches
- variety of countertop heights
- drawer pulls
- easy-to-reach appliances
- open shelving
- closed or “D” shaped cabinet pulls
- under-cabinet lighting for wayfinding
- controls that are easily understood
- access for wheelchair users
- base cabinets
- overall easy access
- preferred open floor plan
- designated space for food preparation
- knee space for users in a seated position
- single lever handles
- motion sensor faucet
- task lighting
- abundant natural light if possible
- pull-out shelves
- open shelves for easily accessible storage
Universal design also includes environmental considerations like energy efficiency, natural lighting, and good ventilation.
Universal kitchen design can make a kitchen easier to use for people with mobility issues or vision impairment.
It may also help save money by making the space more efficient in terms of materials and labor costs. The National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) is a great resource for anyone renovating a kitchen.
Universal kitchen design is a great way to create an attractive and functional space that everyone can enjoy.
In a universal-design kitchen, the space is simple and intuitive, and anyone—from a child to a grandparent with limited mobility—should feel comfortable. “Visitability is becoming more and more popular as we design spaces,” says Kerrie Kelly, a member of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) and a Certified Aging in Place Specialist. When it comes to making a space accommodating and adaptable to any user, the kitchen is one of her favorites—and a gut reno isn’t required.This Old House
By considering the needs of all users, the kitchen can be made more comfortable, safe, efficient, and increase quality of life and ease of use for every household member.
It offers good solutions for people of different abilities. Adding Universal Design features to your kitchen is a great addition to a kitchen remodel.
Universal design is also good for the environment, as it requires less material waste and energy consumption in order to create a fully functional space.
In addition, universal design principles can make it easier to remodel or upgrade a kitchen in the future without having to start from scratch.
Whether it is creating countertops of different heights or installing accessible sinks and appliances, universal design can ensure that a kitchen meets the needs of everyone in the household.
Universal design principles should also be taken into consideration when selecting materials for a kitchen remodel.
Materials such as non-slip flooring, durable countertops, and ergonomic handles can make it easier and safer to use the kitchen.
Additionally, selecting materials with moisture-resistant properties or those that are easy to clean can help keep the kitchen in top condition for longer.
Finally, when it comes to a kitchen remodel, sustainability should be at the forefront of decision making.
Sustainable materials such as bamboo or cork, energy-efficient appliances, and reduced water usage can all help to reduce the environmental impact of a kitchen remodel while saving money in the long run.
Universal Design Examples In The Home
Low-maintenance surfaces such as quartz, solid surface, or ceramic tile can all be used to create a more durable kitchen that will remain in top condition for longer.
Imagine a huge kitchen island made of high quality quartz and cabinet doors that are easy to wipe clean.
Or an open space that easily accommodates a wheel chair. Sounds amazing, right? Well, it is easily achievable.
Additionally, choosing wheelchair-accessible cabinets and drawers can make the kitchen more accessible for those with limited mobility. Installing lever-style handles on doors and faucets also helps make everyday tasks easier.
Further, utilizing energy efficient appliances and lighting fixtures can help homeowners save money over time.
LED bulbs use significantly less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs, and appliances with the ENERGY STAR label can help reduce monthly electricity bills.
Installing motion sensors on lights, fans, and other devices can also be helpful as they will only turn on when there is movement in the room.
Finally, universal design principles can add additional convenience to everyday tasks.
Adding pull-out shelving in the kitchen and bathroom can make those hard-to-reach areas more accessible.
Installing lever handles on doors, adjustable shower heads, grab bars, and slip resistant flooring are just a few of the ways to increase comfort and safety in the home.
Incorporating these universal design elements into your home can help make everyday tasks easier and more enjoyable.
By implementing these design principles, you can make sure that your home is comfortable and functional for everyone who enters it.
In conclusion, universal design examples in the home can benefit people of all ages and abilities.
Is There A Free APP To Design Kitchens?
Thankfully, there is! A variety of free apps exist to make designing and remodeling your kitchen easier.
These tools can help you visualize the layout of your space, identify potential fixtures and appliances, and create a realistic budget plan for your project.
For example, the Homestyler app helps users design their own dream kitchens in minutes. It allows you to customize everything from the flooring and cabinets, to even the paint color – all while staying within your budget.
Additionally, many of these apps provide access to online stores where you can purchase any materials or furniture pieces needed for your project.
Designing a kitchen doesn’t have to be overwhelming; with an easy-to-use, free app, you can make the process more manageable and enjoyable.
Spend some time exploring the features of these apps to find out which one is best suited for your project.
What Are The 6 Types Of Kitchen Layouts?
1. The Single Wall Kitchen – This is the most common layout and fits neatly into a small space. It features countertops along one wall, with appliances and cabinets on either side.
2. The Galley Kitchen – This style has two walls or counters that run parallel to each other, creating a narrow working area.
3. The L-Shaped Kitchen – This layout offers countertops and cabinets on two adjacent walls that “L” around a corner.
4. The U-Shaped Kitchen – Also known as the horseshoe layout, this design features three walls of cabinetry and counters, providing ample storage and counter space.
5. The Island Kitchen – This type of kitchen usually features an island with a sink, stovetop and more, surrounded by plenty of countertops and cabinets for storage.
6. The Peninsula Kitchen – This plan is very similar to the island kitchen but instead of a free-standing island, it features a “peninsula” attached to the wall or other cabinetry. It provides extra counter and storage space while still allowing for an open layout.
No matter which kitchen layout you choose, it is important to consider the functionality of your kitchen and make sure it fits your lifestyle.
What Is A Versatile Kitchen Layout?
A versatile kitchen layout is one that allows for maximum efficiency and use of space, while also being aesthetically pleasing.
There are several different types of kitchen layouts to choose from, depending on the size and shape of your kitchen.
Common kitchen layouts include:
1. The L-Shape Kitchen – This plan features two walls with countertops, creating a corner workstation. This is a great option for those with limited space, as it maximizes counter space and provides plenty of storage with its cabinetry units.
2. The U-Shape Kitchen – This type of kitchen layout features three walls that form the shape of a ‘U’. It offers ample workspace and storage solutions, but is best suited for larger kitchens.
3. The Galley Kitchen – This narrow kitchen layout features two walls that are parallel to one another, creating a narrow aisle way in between them. It’s great for smaller spaces and efficient use of the available space.
4. The Island Kitchen – This type of kitchen layout combines two or more of the previously mentioned layouts to provide extra counter space and storage. It usually features an island, which is a freestanding countertop in the middle of the kitchen that can be used for additional work surfaces or seating.
5. The Corner Kitchen – This layout takes advantage of corner spaces by including cabinets and counters on two adjacent walls. This type of kitchen layout is great for maximizing space and utilizing the corner areas.
What Kitchen Design Is Timeless?
When it comes to kitchen design, there are certain designs that never go out of style.
For timeless kitchen designs, look for classic shapes and colors such as white or black cabinets with a traditional door style like shaker or raised panel.
Also consider adding an island to the center of the room for added functionality. Utilizing natural materials like wood, stone and tile can also add a timeless feel to your kitchen.
For furniture pieces, look for classic designs like round dining tables or farmhouse chairs. Finally, don’t forget about the details; adding trim or molding around cabinets and edges of walls adds an extra touch of elegance to any kitchen design.
With these tips in mind, you can create a timeless kitchen that you and your family will enjoy for years to come.
What Is The Number One Rule In The Kitchen?
The number one rule in the kitchen is to always keep it clean and organized. This will help prevent food-borne illnesses, as well as reduce clutter and stress when cooking.
Also, make sure that surfaces are wiped down regularly with an all-purpose cleaner or sanitizer to help eliminate any germs and bacteria lurking around.
Taking the time to clean up after yourself will make your kitchen look and feel fresher and more inviting. It’s also important to keep things organized in order to reduce the risk of accidents like slipping or tripping on items that are left out.
By following these simple guidelines, you can keep your kitchen looking fantastic and functioning smoothly for years to come.
Hire A Certified Aging-In-Place Specialist For Your Kitchen Remodel
A certified aging in place specialist (CAPS) is a professional who has been specifically trained to help seniors age in place safely and comfortably.
CAPS-certified professionals have the skills and knowledge to assess the unique needs of seniors and make recommendations for products and services that can help them live independently.
They also have a network of resources and contacts that they can connect seniors with, if needed.
If you or a loved one is interested in aging in place, working with a CAPS-certified professional can help ensure that your home is safe and comfortable, and that you have the resources and support you need to age independently.