Accessible Kitchen Design Ideas | More Kitchens
Published: 19 May 2022
The installation of an accessible kitchen helps to increase safety and improve independence.
Whether the user has a cognitive condition, reduced mobility and or a visual impairment adaptations can be made to improve functionality, whilst still creating a stylish design.
We’ve put together a list of accessible kitchen ideas that incorporates both accessible kitchen requirements and bespoke design ideas.
Accessible kitchen requirements – Evaluating your current space
Before installing accessible kitchen equipment we always start with recommending you consider how your kitchen is currently used and who it is currently used by. Upon evaluating, you will then need to consider the changes that will need to be made to make it safe and functional for all.
Options to consider include:
One of the most important factors to consider with accessible kitchen design is the layout.
If you or a family member uses a wheelchair you will need to ensure that there is enough space to comfortably access all areas of the kitchen and that the wheelchair can do a full 360-degree turn in the floor space available.
You will also need to review where kitchen fixtures are located and whether they can safely be used within your kitchen. For example, is the sink located close to the cooking hob?The further they are apart the longer the user who is cooking will have to travel with a hot pot if they need to drain it in the sink.
Another design element that should be considered is whether there is a worktop or surface located near the cooking hob or oven that will allow the user to rest hot pots and pans without having to hold them for too long.
Accessible oven and hobs
There is a variety of accessible kitchen equipment available to help to improve ease of use. Installation of an induction hob is a safer option as there is no flame or element to ignite fumes and heat is only activated when the pan is placed on the hob.
Caution is advised for those who have a pacemaker. The electrical currents from induction hobs can interfere with the pacemaker and cause it to temporarily stop working.Most manufacturers recommend if you do have a pacemaker to stay at least 60cm away.
Alongside induction hobs, slide and hide ovens are a great option as door slides under the oven area.This creates direct access to the oven without the obstruction of the door.
Rise and fall worktops
Another popular accessible kitchen equipment option to consider if you have a multi-generational kitchen is the installation of rise and fall kitchen worktops.
They allow users to adjust the height of the surface to best suit their needs through the touch of a button or easy to use remote control.
Wheelchair accessible areas
Creating open space under the most used areas in the kitchen such as the sink and oven provides direct access for wheelchair users and improves ease of use. The installation of a shallow heat-insulated sink also provides wheelchair users with better direct access whilst helping to protect their legs.
There is a variety of storage solutions that are both stylish and functional that allows for easy access to commonly used items.
Options include rise and fall cabinets, larders with access from both sides, pull down baskets and cupboards that can be opened with the touch of a button.
We also recommend lowering wall cabinets to create easier access for wheelchair users.
Colour schemes & lighting
An often unthought-of accessible kitchen idea is using colours and textures to improve safety. If you or someone who will be using your kitchen has a visual impairment implementing contrasting colours can help users locate different zones around the kitchen.
Also consider the installation of lighting in specific areas to assist with safety for visually impaired users. Lighting the task can help users to locate commonly used areas around the kitchen. For example, adding bright lights underneath cabinets will help to illuminate worktops.
If you or a loved one has a reduced grip, consider the installation of handles that are easier to use such as long line and bar handles. As mentioned above you above you can also instal cabinetry that will open from the push of a button.
Find out more by reading our article on how to choose kitchen handles.
If you wish to learn more about accessible kitchen requirements and how they can be installed as part of our full design and fitted kitchen service book a design appointment online today or call us to speak to a friendly member of our team.
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