The kitchen is one of the most important rooms in your house. At its most basic level, the kitchen is where you feed your friends, your family, and yourself. In many households, it's also where you gather together to cook, talk, and bond. You want a kitchen that is beautiful while also being accessible for everyone. Here are some tips on designing an attractive and wheelchair-ready kitchen.

Open-Concept

Many people choose to use an open-concept design for the kitchen when they start looking at kitchen remodeling. This generally means that there is no door separating the kitchen from other rooms like the living room or dining room. It allows people to spread out more while still being able to interact. It also ensures there is plenty of room for people in a wheelchair.

You should also make sure that the kitchen itself is open-concept and doesn't have any obstructions in the way or narrow walkways. If you have an island, there should be plenty of room for a wheelchair to maneuver around it, even if there are other people.

Not only is everyone able to move around the kitchen comfortably, but this concept is attractive. It also makes your house look larger than it is.Of course, you want to make sure that any doorways you do have are wide enough for a wheelchair user to easily move through.

Counters

Often, kitchen counters aren’t at a good height for wheelchair users, because a chair keeps somebody lower to the ground. To make the counters more accessible, keep them low. This will allow the person in a wheelchair to cook and eat at the counter if necessary. A good rule of thumb is to keep counters at about three feet high, or slightly less.

Just because the counters are low doesn't mean they can't be absolutely gorgeous. Marble counters are known for being particularly beautiful. Marble can be expensive, though, so look for alternatives that look like marble if you want a more cost-effective option.

Storage

Every kitchen needs cupboards and other storage for spices, dishes, and other kitchenware. The spice racks and cupboards should be reachable for everyone. This will make it so that wheelchair users can work in the kitchen independently. Roll-out shelving and similar solutions can be helpful modifications. The top rows of all cabinets should contain only extra items that aren’t used very often.

Cabinets should look clean and attractive. Choose a color that complements the rest of your kitchen. You can also use some fun handles to help add some flair.

Knee Space

One thing most kitchens aren’t equipped with that a wheelchair accessible kitchen needs is knee space. Areas like sinks can be difficult for people with disabilities. Help by removing the cabinet under the sink to make room. You can also put the sink’s plumbing on the side instead of the back to make it easier to reach.

Other workspaces in the kitchen also need to have adequate kneespace so that a wheelchair user can easily use them. This may require moving storage areas to a different part of the kitchen.

Your kitchen is a place for the family to come together. Naturally, you don't want anyone in your family to feel unwelcome. These tips can help you make your kitchen more accessible to help everyone feel included.

Author's Bio: 

Anita is a freelance writer from Denver, CO. She studied at Colorado State University and now enjoys writing about health, business, and family. A mother of two wonderful children, she loves traveling with her family whenever she isn’t writing. You can find her on Twitter @anitaginsburg.