Universal Kitchen Design Ideas
Ensure people of all ages and abilities can effectively use your kitchen by embracing the principles of universal design.
What is Universal Design?
The theory of universal design states that your home should be accessible to all people, regardless of their age, size, or ability. Embrace the principles of universal design and outfit your kitchen with elements that will make working in the space convenient for everyone.
Choose Smart Surfaces
When designing a universal kitchen, it’s important to keep all aspects of both use and upkeep in mind, so choose countertop materials wisely. Solid-surfacing countertops, such as granite and laminate, are easy to clean and will stand up well to normal wear and tear over the years.
Install Adequate Lighting
Natural light is always the best, so make sure your kitchen has at least one large window to welcome sunlight and views of the outside. Install task lighting above certain areas, such as the island and cooktop, to ensure safety for the cook.
Consider Flooring Options
Kitchens are high-traffic areas, so take care when choosing your flooring. Opt for comfortable, slip-resistant floors, such as cork or linoleum, to make sure people of all ability levels can move through your kitchen with ease.
Conceal Cleaning Supplies
Keep cleaning supplies and other hazardous materials out of reach of children by containing them behind closed cabinet doors fitted with safety locks. Consider moving the supplies up to a higher cabinet as your children age to ensure they’re still out of reach.
Select a Faucet
Opt for a single-lever faucet to ensure people of all abilities can turn the water on and off. Single-lever models can be managed with either an open hand or a closed fist, making them perfect for homes with people who suffer from arthritis. Touch-on and touchless faucets are also great for universal design purposes.
A swath of contrasting color around the perimeter of the kitchen can help people who are visually impaired navigate throughout the space. This wide band of brick tiles contrasts the blue-painted lower cabinets and the black laminate countertops.
Install Open Shelving
Open shelving makes it easy to spot the items you’re looking for. Housing dishes and cooking utensils out in the open also adds a decorative element to your kitchen.