Searching for kitchen ideas when you’re planning that remodeling project can be time consuming. So, we’re going to give you our best advice at the very beginning of this article:
You should definitely incorporate Universal Design into your new kitchen. If you’re going to be remodeling your kitchen anyway, why wouldn’t you add Universal Design features? It will make it easier and more enjoyable for you and your family.
We’re committed to our neighbors in the Cincinnati and Loveland, OH and want to make sure you have the best information possible, so you can make good decisions about remodeling your home. So, bear with me as I explain.
Universal Design is essentially creating something that can be easily used by nearly anyone and without regard for age, abilities, or situation. And, this idea of Universal Design … it could be the thing that helps you create a kitchen you absolutely love.
Equally important is that Universal Design can help you accomplish many of the goals you have for your home and help you get the results you want.
If you’re someone planning for the future and creating a home for life, it can help you. If you’re looking to make your home wheelchair accessible, it will help you. And, if you’re just wanting to make your home easier and more enjoyable for your family to live in … you guessed it; it will help make that happen.
So, let’s get to the kitchen ideas, so you can see how much of a difference Universal Design can make.
Kitchen ideas using Universal Design
Here is a list of kitchen ideas you can use when planning your new space.
Make appliances easy to reach and use.
Did you know they make dishwashers in drawers? These units can make it easier to load and unload the dishwasher by reducing back strain. There also are microwaves in drawers which you can install at a level anyone can reach them easily.
For baking, we could install a side opening oven (versus the bottom-hinged oven). These are especially useful when you combine it with a shelf mounted below the oven. It make using it so much easier and safer for everyone.
For those portable (but heavy) appliances like mixers or blenders, we can install an appliance lift that will bring the appliance up to the right height for a person to use. These lifts are on springs, so it makes using the appliances a lot easier.
And, when you’re searching for your new kitchen appliances, get appliances with controls that can be operated with a single hand. These are preferred over ones without knobs, because they do not involve a twisting motion to operate.
Counters that work for you
We’ve all had or been in kitchens where the counters are the same height. Well, having varying height counters can allow anyone to use them, regardless of whether they are sitting or standing. (Including the kids or grandkids!) Talk about a back-saver.
One neat feature we can create for you are kitchen islands without cabinets underneath, so you can sit while you work.
Also, your counters should be made of smooth surfaced material, so things are easier to move and clean.
Cabinets, drawers and storage
We’ve seen a lot of new kitchen ideas and products come out having to do with cabinets. From open shelves for storing items that are used frequently to installing upper cabinets lower to pull-down cabinets … there are a lot of options to make cabinets easier to use. Some are more expensive than others.
One fairly affordable item for your cabinets are magnetic latches, that with a touch of your hand you can “click” them open or closed.
As far as storage goes, our advice is to get as much of it as you can that is easy to reach from a sitting or standing position. Our design team can help you create this as part of the right kitchen design for your specific tastes and needs.
Now, the best thing about drawers is that you can put practically anything in them if you plan well. So, when you’re putting together the specs for your kitchen, add some deeper drawers, as well as at least a few drawers that fully extend.
And, don’t forget pull-out pantries (or other types of pull-out cabinets) … those are just big drawers, but vertical. If you put these at the right height in the right place, they can make cooking and cleaning so much easier.
Sinks that are easy
There are many different types of sinks and sink configurations that can make your life easier. Installing a shallow sink decreases the amount of reaching down and lifting you have to do when working. A hands-free or lever-handled faucet (side-mounted, preferably) makes turning the water on and off easier.
Additionally, leaving space beneath the sink so it can be used while sitting can reduce back strain.
Lots of open space
Choose a kitchen layout that allows for the most open space. The best situation is to have a five-foot radius of clear turning space. This recommended open space will help increase the comfort of being in the kitchen, as well as provide the right amount of space for anyone using it.
Lighting makes everything better
Nothing beats having the right amount of light. You want to ensure that, while you’re working; so plan for plenty of bright task lights in key areas, such as over work areas and in cabinets. Also, get as much natural light into your kitchen as you can.
Also, we can ensure that light switches can be easily reached from any entrance to the kitchen, and at a height that is comfortable, for anyone entering the kitchen.
We’ve used these kitchen ideas (and many other Universal Design features) with our customers. In doing so, we help our Cincinnati and Loveland, OH area customers create homes they love. We can do the same for you.