Recently, Kitchen Designs by Ken Kelly, Inc. of Williston Park, NY created a kitchen featuring universal design (for wheelchair accessibility) for a NY client on Long Island. The space allowed the client freedom of movement in a wheelchair from the kitchen to the media room and wet bar.
According to Ken Kelly, CKD, CBD, CR, lead designer and owner of Kitchen Designs, fabricators who are working on an accessible kitchen design should pay close attention to the sink workstation area. “If the person uses a mobility aid such as a wheelchair, the sink workstation should be shallow enough in order to allow legroom and arm reach,” states Kelly. “The fabrication must conform to local building codes, and countertop supports should have a slim profile not to interfere with movement of the knees, hands, or fingers. The countertop work area may have to be lowered, and it has to be easily accessible with ample turning room. Consider reach range and visual range dimensions so the kitchen is maximized for independence with all obstacles and hazards removed.”
When designing a kitchen for accessibility, a deep understanding of the client’s needs is imperative. The clean design of the newly remodeled space removes all obstacles by providing easy access to sinks, cabinets, counters, and appliances allowing enough turning room for a fluid transition to adjoining areas, which includes the media room, dining area, and beverage bar.
The design created by Kitchen Designs is perfect for socializing and watching TV while preparing meals on expansive antique brown granite counters. The single oven is set at the most comfortable height to safely reach into, and the countertops were lowered making it easier to reach the cooktop. The cooking area is fully open with ample knee space allowing the client to wheel up to the island and under the unit.
The recessed BLANCO sink workstation offers easy access and is purposefully shallow in order to allow better legroom and arm reach. All pipes under the sink are covered, and an under-counter single drawer dishwasher and microwave is accessible.
Two high-tech motorized wall cabinets can be lowered to countertop height, so the client can easily reach into the cabinets.
The custom cabinetry is Brookhaven by Wood-Mode in a textured laminate with brushed stainless handles. The snack and beverage bar is standard height and includes a full-sized dishwasher for extra cleanup space when entertaining. To accommodate the lower tops, Kelly used a single drawer dishwasher.
Options for accessible living are limitless, and everything about this kitchen is maximized for independence, convenience, and functionality.
Article and images provided by Grace Kelly of Kitchen Designs by Ken Kelly, Inc., Williston Park, NY.