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.
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