Universal Design for kitchens is a concept that is becoming increasingly popular, especially with baby boomers. It takes into account the physical and cognitive abilities of people of all ages and abilities, and creates an environment where everyone can be comfortable and safe in their kitchen. As an Occupational therapist working in the home health sector, I came across clients that were forced to move in with a relative or an assisted living because they could no longer prepare meals for themselves safely. Incorporating aging in place design and Universal Design features in your kitchen design, will allow you to remain independent and safe in your home, for a longer period of time or for the rest of your life.
[00:00:00] Hello everyone, and thank you for being with me today. Today's podcast is going to be on how to include Universal design features in Your Kitchen remodel. So Universal design for kitchens is a concept that is becoming increasingly popular, especially with baby boomers. It takes into account the physical and cognitive abilities of people of all ages and abilities, and creates an environment where everyone can be comfortable and safe.
In their kitchen as an occupational therapist working in the home health sector, I came across clients that were forced to move in with a relative or to an assisted living facility because they could no longer prepare meals for themselves safely. I learned that incorporating aging in place, design and universal design features in your kitchen design and [00:01:00] in your home will allow you to remain independent and safe for a longer period of time or possibly even for the rest of your life.
So let's talk about some universal design features that you can include in the. Number one, wide aisles. If your kitchen space allows for that adjustable countertops or shelves, accessible storage, lower cabinets, accessible wall oven. What I really like would be a French oven or an oven that opens to the left.
Variety of countertop, heights, drawer pools, easy to reach, appliances, open shelving, closed or de shaped cabinet pools. And the reason why you want [00:02:00] these is because if you have cabinet pools that are open at the ends, Your clothing can catch on them or something else can catch on them and cause you to fall.
And so we also don't like knobs because knobs do not have an ergonomic shape. So whenever possible choose a closed pool or handle, or a D shaped pool or even a cup shaped pool. I'm sorry a cup shaped handle. Works really well. So moving on an under cabinet lighting for wayfinding. This is so that when it's dark and you're, you don't have the kitchen lights on the l e d lighting strip that is under the cabinets.
We'll continue to light your kitchen and make it safer for you to maneuver in that. And it also looks very pretty. Controls that are easily [00:03:00] understood, access for wheelchair users, base cabinets. Overall, easy access to everything you need. Preferred open floor plan. Designated space for food preparation, knee space for users in a seated.
Single lever handles motion sensor faucet task lighting, abundant natural light. If possible, pull out shelves and open shelves for easily accessible storage. Universal design also includes environmental considerations like energy efficiency, natural lighting, and good ventil. Universal kitchen design can make a kitchen easier to use for people with mobility issues or vision impairment.
It may also help save money by making the [00:04:00] space more efficient in terms of materials and labor costs. The National Kitchen and Bath Association is a great resource for anyone renovating their kitchen. Universal kitchen design is a great way to create an attractive and functional. That everyone can enjoy.
So let's look at universal design examples in the home. Low maintenance surfaces such as quartz, solid surface or ceramic tile can all be used to create a more durable kitchen that will remain in top condition for longer, or an open space that easily accommodates a wheelchair. Additionally, choosing wheelchair accessible cabinets and drawers can make the kitchen more accessible for those with limited mobility.
Installing lever style handles on doors and faucets also makes everyday tasks [00:05:00] easier. Further utilizing energy efficient appliances and lighting fixtures can help homeowners save money over time. LED bulbs use significantly less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs and appliances with the energy star label can help reduce monthly electricity.
Installing motion sensors on lights, fans and other devices can also be helpful as they will only turn on where when there is movement in the room. Finally, universal design principles can add additional convenience to everyday tasks, such as pullout shelving in the kitchen and bathroom can make those hard to reach areas More access.
Adjustable shower heads, grab bars, and slipper resistant flooring are just a few of the ways to increase comfort and safety in the home. Is there a free app to design kitchens? While [00:06:00] thankfully there is a variety of free apps exist to make designing and remodeling your kitchen. . These tools can help you visualize the layout of your space, identify potential fixtures and appliances, and create a realistic budget plan for your project.
For example, the Home Styler app helps users design their home dream kitchens in minutes. It allows you to customize everything from the flooring in cabinets to even the paint color. Additionally, many of these apps provide access to online stores where you can purchase any materials or furniture pieces needed for your project.
So let's move on to common kitchen layout. And the functional aspect of that specific layout. So number one, we have the L-shaped kitchen. This plan features two walls with countertops creating a corner workstation. This is a great option for those with limited space [00:07:00] as it maximizes counter space and provides plenty of.
With its cabinetry units, the U-Shape Kitchen. This kit type of kitchen layout features three walls that form the shape of a U. It offers ample workspace and storage solutions, but is best suited for larger kitchen kitchens. The gallery kitchen, this narrow kitchen layout features two walls that are parallel to one another, creating a narrow aisle.
Way in between them. It's great for smaller spaces and efficient use of the available space. The island kitchen, this type of kitchen layout combines two or more of the previously mentioned layouts to provide extra counter space and storage. It usually features an island, which is a free standing countertop in the middle of the kitchen that can be used for additional work surface.
[00:08:00] Seating and storage the corner kitchen. This layout takes advantage of corner spaces by including cabinets and counters on two adjacent walls. This type of kitchen layout is great for maximizing space and utilizing the corner areas. So that's it for today. It was a nice and short podcast. I am going to include the article that I wrote about Universal Kitchen Design in the show notes so you can look at the complete article and also save it in case you have a future gen renovation that you're going to be doing.
Thank you so much for being with me today, and I will, I look forward to being with you next week.