General Kitchen Design Tips
[ ] Concentrate the work centers or triangle: limits needless steps.
[ ] Consider clear floor space and traffic flow when planning island or peninsula.
[ ] Use “easily accessed” storage of all supplies and utensils.
[ ] Use non-glare finishes, especially for older eyes.
[ ] Provide good, adaptable and adjustable lighting throughout the space to make area comfortable for younger and older eyes.
[ ] Use lower wall cabinets or pull down storage to bring more storage into the 15-48″ universal reach range.
[ ] Choose lighter colors on cabinets, counters, floors and wall coverings to benefit eyes that are aging or impaired.
[ ] Plan lower windows to allow more people to see outside, including children and people using wheelchairs.
[ ] Plan pull-out work counters placed at lower than 36″ counter height to accommodate people who are shorter or who sit to work.
[ ] Choose non-skid floors – check slip resistance and rating.
[ ] Design contrasting or raised countertop edges to cue people with visual impairments.
[ ] Hinge cabinet doors to make access easier, and eliminate them when appropriate.
[ ] Use vertical pull-outs in cabinets for better access.
[ ] Consider adjustable height cabinets to bring storage into the universal reach range (15-48″).
[ ] Plan drawers, roll-outs, lazy susan or corner swing out shelves, etc. to provide greater base cabinet access.
[ ] Plan heavy objects at countertop height, using tambour or other appliance garages to enhance storage.
[ ] Use full extension drawer glides for maximum accessibility.
[ ] Use glare-free task lights.
[ ] Design for long spans of continuous countertop to allow for sliding items on counter as opposed to carrying them from work center to center.
[ ] Install timers to insure that any appliance that should not be running will be automatically shut off.
[ ] Limit cabinet door sizes to 18″ and consider bi-fold doors to lessen interference with clear floor space.
[ ] Use tilt down fronts or angled plug molding to access switches or plugs that would otherwise be difficult to reach.
[ ] Use current switching technology, such as pressure pad-operated doors and voice or motion activated lights to free up hands.
[ ] Keep room and appliance controls, outlets and switches at the front of base cabinetry or low enough to be reachable, within the universal reach range (15”-48” a.f.f.).
[ ] Consider touch latch cabinet doors to eliminate the need to grasp knobs or pulls.
[ ] Use wire or architectural pull in lieu of knobs.
[ ] Use adjustable (hydraulic) office type chair to create flexibility in the working height while seated.
[ ] Design a back or garage loading pantry and recycling center to eliminate the need to carry bulky items great distances.
[ ] Design a recycling center that has bins that are easy to remove without great lifting.
[ ] Use rolling carts to transport many items at one time.
[ ] Use pneumatic legs on the table to raise and lower it to accommodate potential usage.
[ ] Use lighted interiors on cabinets to aid in visibility.
[ ] Install repairable counter surfaces.
[ ] Use drawers in lieu of doors to make easier access.
[ ] Install hot water dispenser within reach of seated or shorter users.
[ ] Install standard wall cabinets at a lower height when feasible.
[ ] Provide a variety of countertop heights: 30″, 36″ and 42″ provide comfortable work surfaces for people of varied heights.
[ ] Reinforce base cabinet bottom drawer with solid platform and full extension locking drawer glides to create a step to reach upper cabinets or a microwave.
[ ] Provide an easily-accessed step stool to reach upper cabinets.
[ ] Models available with or without railings, for installation in the toe-kick, on the inside of cabinet doors, or collapsible for easy storage.
[ ] Use shallow pantry cabinets or roll-out shelves to increase accessibility.
[ ] Store heavy objects at the safest and most convenient height.
[ ] Consider a built-in ironing board in base cabinet drawer or wall recess for easy access.
[ ] Store dishes/glasses in wall cabinets placed on the floor with an added toe kick, or in base cabinets fitted to facilitate their storage to make access easy and convenient for everyone.
[ ] Design projects so that they do not look institutional.
[ ] Use levers or touch controls and avoid smooth round control knobs.
[ ] Test a control to see if it can be operated with a closed fist.
[ ] For greatest accuracy plan controls close to the body at elbow height.
[ ] Suggest a vinyl jar opener or a vinyl knob cover to improve grip on knobs.
[ ] Choose controls that do not require sustained holding.
[ ] Be aware of simple assistive devices:
[ ] A wall mounted holder to help open jar lids.
[ ] ‘A potato peeler with a clamp requires just one hand for use.
[ ] Pan holders keep the pan from turning while stirring.
[ ] A pan drainer allows one to drain off hot liquids with one hand.
[ ] A gripper to add to silverware, small objects and handles.
[ ] Select small appliances on a basis of weight, balance and control.
[ ] Ask manufacturers for Braille or oversized raised print (overlays) on appliance controls.
[ ] Keep guard rails around burners of gas and electric appliances.
[ ] Try to choose switches and controls that are audible, large print and easy to read.