How to Design Accessible Storage Cabinets
August 19th, 2019
Today, we’re taking on a neglected topic:
how to make your kitchen and bathroom more accessible by choosing the right
storage and cabinet options. Let’s talk about why accessibility is important
for people with mobility challenges – and how the right design can help.
Who needs accessible cabinets?
More people than you think! When we talk
about accessibility, we often think of people with disabilities first. But
accessible cabinets are also important for elderly people and children, who
might struggle to use heavy cabinet doors or complicated opening mechanisms.
Anyone with any kind of mobility challenges can benefit from accessible design.
Depending on the people in your household,
your accessibility needs will be different. It’s worth doing some research, and
talking to the experts.
How to design accessible cabinets
Accessibility is a big area, and as we’ve
said, everyone’s needs are different. But here are a few basic points to think
- Handles. Choose cabinet handles which are easy to grab, pull and push.
People with small hands, including children, might struggle to get a purchase
on small or ornamental handles.
- Materials. Try to avoid very heavy materials, like oak or other natural
woods. Remember that people with mobility issues might find it difficult to
open and close heavy cabinet doors.
- Height. In accessible kitchen and
bathroom designs, the cabinets are often installed at a lower height. That
makes it easier for people to open doors, reach inside, and use the countertop
- Depth. If you have really large, deep cupboards, then it can be difficult
to reach all the way to the back. And that inconvenience is magnified for
people with mobility issues! If you have deep kitchen or bathroom cabinets, try
fitting them with racks on rollers, or a lazy-susan style shelf, so that it’s
easy to access everything in the cabinet.