Planning Kitchens Using Universal Design
A well-designed universal kitchen perfectly balances beautiful aesthetics with smart accommodations that allow families of all ages and physical abilities live comfortably and safely.
Anne-Marie Brunet, CKD, CBD and principal of Sheridan Interiors, features real-life kitchens that embody the best of universal design along with tips for adapting doors, workstations, traffic patterns and countertops on Houzz.
Brunet’s great suggestions applicable to laminate countertops include:
• If you have room for an island or a peninsula that accommodates seating, make the counter 30 inches high — the same as table height. This offers optimal seating for everyone, regardless of age or mobility.
• Include at least one workspace countertop at a height of 30 inches or less to accommodate someone sitting while doing tasks. Conversely, if the person using this space is very tall, consider raising the countertop to a height that will keep things ergonomic.
• An extended lowered counter that is open underneath and accessible from both sides invites little ones or those in chairs to take part in the daily cooking activities. Chairs or stools can also slide under the counter, turning it into a makeshift snack bar.
Want to read more about creating accessible kitchens through universal design? Check out our past blog post Human Centered Design is Universal.
Additional information on universal design principles can be found by contacting organizations such as the Kitchen and Bath Association and the Center for Universal Design or by visiting www.universaldesign.com.