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How to Make Your Kitchen Cabinets More Accessible

by Jessica Santina

The kitchen is the heart of any home. Here, perhaps more than in any other room, is where functionality and safety are of the utmost concern. It's important to consider whether enhancing the accessibility of your kitchen could enhance the utility and safety of the room. Fortunately, you can make your kitchen more accessible by modifying some basic design features, allowing you to keep your distinctive style.

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Increased Mobility

Creating a wheelchair-accessible kitchen is a complex design problem--especially if there are both wheelchair users and non-disabled residents sharing the home. The first issue to consider is the ease of movement. Doorways should be 32-36 inches wide. Aisle width ought to be even wider--42 inches at least--in order to enable several people to use the area at once.

Useful Counter Space

To accommodate wheelchair armrests, counter tops ought to be 28-34 inches high. Knee space beneath them should be at least 24 inches high, and at least 30 inches wide.

Consider also that appliance controls should be front- or side-mounted, and counter tops should be as continuous as possible, to enable wheelchair-users to slide objects along them.

Reachable Cabinets

Lowering wall cabinets--even in sections--from the standard 18 inches above the counter to 15 inches makes the top shelf accessible to almost anyone. Consider pull-out shelves or baskets, slide-out cutting boards, and full-extension drawers. Some cabinets and shelving can even be made adjustable, so that the height can be adjusted by the user.

The more accessible your kitchen is, the more it become the center of you home for all your family and guests. Consult with a kitchen cabinet manufacturer for more customizing ideas.

About the Author

Jessica Santina is a freelance writer and editor with 11 years' experience in media, marketing, and publishing, and 8 years' experience as a college writing instructor.

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