Universal design is all about making design choices which ensure that the environment is accessible and easy to use for everyone, regardless of age, size or ability, so that it meets the needs of all users. The concept of universal design can be integrated into your new kitchen to provide a convenient working space for anyone who uses it, whether it’s kids, elderly visitors or people with disabilities. Let’s look at some of our favourite universal kitchen design ideas.

1. Adequate lighting

No one likes to work in a kitchen where visibility isn’t great and for universal accessibility, particularly for people who have problems with their sight, you need to get the lighting right. Make sure that your ambient lighting is bright enough to make food preparation easy – you can always have a dimmer switch installed to control brightness. Task lighting above the benchtop also makes kitchen tasks easier.

2. Pull-out storage options

Pull-out storage has a number of benefits. Not only does it often mean you can store more items, but it also makes things much easier to access from a universal design perspective. Where possible, opt for drawers rather than cupboards and don’t forget to include soft closing hardware. A pull-out pantry is another great example of accessible storage.

3. Easy to use layout

When deciding on the layout of your kitchen, it’s important to make sure that it’s easy to use and move around in. One universal kitchen design idea is keeping your design as open plan as possible and avoiding narrow spaces, so that individuals who need mobility devices can get around as easily as anyone else. For example, measure the distance between your island bench and cabinets to check for sufficient distance and include a recessed area to accommodate a wheelchair if necessary.

4. Accessible hardware

Hardware is a good feature to look at from a universal design perspective, as it requires very little effort to integrate accessible hardware. Instead of fiddly knobs or too-small handles, you can opt for larger pull handles which have enough clearance for fingers to get underneath. These are easier to grasp for individuals with arthritis or other mobility issues.

5. Multi-level bench tops

To cater for more people in your new kitchen, consider installing tiered benchtops which offer different working levels. Having two different heights is the perfect solution to help children get involved and to accommodate those who prefer to sit during food preparation. From a design perspective, tiered benchtops also add something different to the aesthetic of the space and look great!

If you’re stuck for kitchen design ideas, The Maker can help. We are Western Australia’s most awarded kitchen designer and manufacturer and our designers will develop a kitchen concept which works for your lifestyle. Our professionalism and attention to detail makes your kitchen renovation an enjoyable, stress-free process.

For designer kitchen ideas, contact The Maker today on 1300 270 000 and make an appointment to visit our extensive showrooms.

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