How to Design Accessible Storage Cabinets

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 about:

  • 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 surface.
  • 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.

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