Universal Design is a new trend in kitchen design and remodeling that makes the kitchen and all of its components functional to all members of the household regardless of their size, age, or ability. This kind of remodel could be a huge selling point for your marietta house later on down the road. While some of the features of a Universally designed kitchen are simple, the idea is to make the entire space convenient for everyone while still maintaining the highest level of safety. Below are some new features you can implement in your next kitchen renovation.
Cool to The Touch Kitchen Tops
Safety is of the utmost importance to your family. Items such as induction cooktops that remain cool to the touch at all times are common in a lot of kitchens, but are a necessity for the Universal Design. Young kids are hard enough to keep at bay. You don’t want your young kids to burn their hands on a hot surface.
Universally Designed Faucets
A single-lever handle (as opposed to knobs) is the best universal design choice, because most people can use it easily — even those with arthritis. But if you prefer individual handles, choose a model with two levers (one for hot water, the other for cold). Electronic faucets free up your hands - and they’re safer too, reducing the chance of contamination while holding raw ingredients.
Increased Convenience- Cabinets/Storage
Having glass inserts on cabinets or opting for open shelving makes the items you need easier to find and makes your kitchen feel more open. Pull out shelves in the lower cabinets make items in deep low cabinets more easily accessible, and keep you or your aunt with arthritis from rummaging on hands and knees for that rarely used item that you only pull out for holiday dinners.
Utilize your Center Island
Make a spot in your center island for a low microwave-that way it is accessible to children or anyone that is unable to reach your over-the range microwave; you also don’t have to worry about spilling hot food on yourself when your microwave is at a comfortable waist level instead of above your head. The same goes for wall ovens, the height at which your oven is installed is completely up to you, so try a double oven so the lower one is accessible for people of a smaller stature, and the upper one is perfectly placed for your personal convenience.
Utilize Contrasting Colors
Using solid-surface countertops like granite and laminate are easy to disinfect and hold up very well for years without fading or looking worn, not to mention beautiful and classy. You wouldn’t think color is that important to a Universal Design kitchen, but it is. Using contrasting colors help show those with visual impairments where one surface ends and another begins, not to mention the stunning visual pop you get from the contrast. A side by side refrigerator keeps cold and frozen items accessible to everyone or matching freezer drawers installed in an island or lower cabinetry if you’re stuck on the classic top-freezer design.
Proper task lighting is a must above work zones and ample natural light helps with prep in other areas of the kitchen. Install a slip-resistant floor like cork, slate, or distressed wood because your kitchen is a high traffic area where people of all ability levels will cross. Keeping the space open with at least 42 inches between the cabinets and the island or other furniture makes the room look larger, has more room for guests mulling around, and makes it accessible to wheelchairs, as as does having your countertops at varying heights for some architectural flair.