As you plan your new kitchen or are planning a renovation, consider how you can incorporate the common-sense principles of Universal design, a branch of design that takes its name from its all-ages, all-abilities approach to space planning. The basic idea is that if you build or remodel your kitchen with universal design principles, you can ensure that anyone and everyone who uses the appliances will be able to comfortably and safely use them. Universal design originated as a concept aimed at creating accessible, barrier-free and friendly homes for people with a handicap. But it has now evolved into a concept of creating comfortable, accessible space for all members of the household.
Universal design guidelines can make the kitchen more practical for kids, for the elderly, for a loved one who requires wheelchair accessibility, or for yourself as you grow older and your own physical needs change. If you’re looking to renovate your kitchen, then you should give some thought to integrating universal design. This is a great way to make sure that you will be able to age in place in your home as well.
Many appliances already incorporate universal design concepts and are easy for anyone to use. Listed herewith are certain features and elements you should consider when choosing your appliances :
Consider the width of the door swing and whether all parts of the refrigerator are reachable. The French or side by side door is probably one of the best invention for universal design. Refrigerators are also configured with drawers at the bottom. They make retrieving food more convenient. Some fridges have a really good feel but may be difficult to open. Think long term whilst choosing.
The height of the appliance relative to the user’s needs is also a factor in choosing and installing washing machines and clothes dryers. One must always keep flexibility in mind. The washer and dryer can be placed on a pedestal or you can build them up building your own custom platform. It’s all about the user’s height. The front load is optimum for anybody to use.
Microwave drawers set below the counter can make microwaving foods that much more convenient for both children and adults who are in wheelchairs. Better still, microwave drawers are never without a convenient landing surface for heated food.