A kitchen is probably the most widely used rooms in your house. If you think about it, everyone goes there, including guests. Your kids have friends over and they go into the kitchen to get something to drink. Your little ones go into the kitchen to get cookies and snacks, or to ask you for cookies and snacks. You cook in the kitchen. Your husband comes to get dinner and snacks of his own. When your mother comes from the two of you hang out in the kitchen. This is just the tip of the iceberg on the number of people that trample through your kitchen.
It is for this reason that more designers are turning to what is referred to as the “universal kitchen design.” What is understood is that so many people are using the kitchen, so it needs to be designed so that the widest range of people can use as many devices in the kitchen as possible. Let me explain further.
The design is made so that everyone feels like they can use whatever is in the kitchen. This ensures that one person does not have to do everything for everyone else. For example, the position of devices in the kitchen is placed so that it is reachable to most people, thus making it useable to most people.
The design of the kitchen is not just based upon height of family members. It is also based upon those that may have disabilities or illnesses. This allows those that may be elderly or in a wheelchair to be able to reach and use items in the kitchen. This ensures that others are not required to do all the work for them, so that they feel like they are much more useful and independent. The goal of this design is independence, and the kitchen design makes that happen.
The reason for this design occurred for many reasons, but one of them was related to the Americans with Disabilities Act of 2010. This law demanded that businesses make their store or office much more accessible to those with disabilities. Companies that made kitchen designs and appliances decided to apply these same standards to the way that appliances and the kitchen itself were going to meet the same standards as well.
What has been great is that they have exceeded all expectations. These devices and the way that the kitchen is put together are making it so that so many more people are able to use the kitchen than ever before.
By being more independent, self-worth and self-esteem is greatly increased. When a person is required to ask others to do virtually everything for them, they begin to lose a feeling of self, and feel like they cannot do anything for themselves. Because self-esteem can affect physical health as well, these new designs are helping people to feel more valuable, especially to them.
The universal kitchen design is making it so kids and grandparents alike can easily care for themselves in the kitchen, and provide for themselves.