Special Needs Features in Custom Kitchens

When a person has a physical disability, it doesn’t mean that living independently is impossible. When a home, and especially the kitchen is custom modified, it makes physical restrictions easier to manage. When thinking about remodeling a kitchen with a custom design, the balance has to be between what the requirements need to be for the storage, appliance and counters. Everything has to be within reach and considering those requirements needed to be accounted for. Below are several things to take into account when custom design cabinets, sinks, and counters:

  • Custom kitchen counters: A typical kitchen counter is at a height of 36” for a special needs kitchen the counter should be at a 34” height. Work space needs to be 30” wide and countertops need to be from 28” to 36” in height. Plus, adjustable counters are to be within a range of 28” to 36”. In addition, to allow for knee and toe clearance, be sure the countertop is not closed in with the cabinet base.
  • Kitchen sink: When planning the custom kitchen sink, it needs to have space under it to allow access for a wheelchair or a walker. Clearance for knees at a sink needs to be at least 27 inches high and 8 inches deep. For children, it needs to be 11 inches deep. Also, faucets can be a single level which makes control easier or touch control which will allow the person to turn it off and on with a touch.
  • Appliances: Appliances need to installed at a lower height at about 31 inches from floor. However, raise the dishwasher about 6 to 8 inches off the floor so accessibility can be from either side. By installing a side hinged oven door which opens to the side lets a seated cook get to the opening easier. Too, with the freezer on the bottom of the refrigerator, the freezer is easier to reach.

One last thing is to be sure that the doorway is at least 36 inches for easier passageway.

As you can see, an accessible kitchen is easier than you think.

Different Styles of Kitchen Islands

The kitchen island has come a long way in both style and practicality. So with a custom design kitchen island, you can have beauty and innovation as well an ideal space for entertaining. So below is a list of different styles of kitchen islands so that you can make your choice when custom designing your kitchen.

  1. The Waterfall Island has a benchtop surface which runs down the sides of the kitchen island. The name comes from the idea that the countertops are cascading over the side like a waterfall. This popular kitchen island is not only affordable, but practical and allows for custom cabinets for extra storage. It can be used as a breakfast bar.
  2. The Breakfast Bar Island has always been a staple in kitchen island design, but now it’s been refined. With new choices of color and materials with kick panels of wood or mirror available, its popularity is as strong as ever.
  3. The Solid Stone Island looks sophisticated with the entire island appearing to be custom crafted from one solid stone block. An excellent choice if you have wine and cheese parties.
  4. The Shelf and Storage Island has custom shelving and cupboards facing outward as well as drawers and space for appliances for easier access. This is a good island for a really busy kitchen with lots of activity. You can even add a wine rack.
  5. The Dining Table Island does away with the family dining room table. This not only maximizes space, but meals are in the kitchen for easy reach and cleanup.
  6. The Oversize Island is an island for enormously large kitchens. These kitchen islands are great for entertaining and also have more storage space and bigger food preparation areas.

There are so many choices for kitchen islands to suit all of your kitchen needs.

Designing a Kid Friendly Bathroom

The fun thing about custom designed bathrooms is that just by adding colors and characters, you can make them kid oriented and inviting. Also, by using a kid themed shower curtain with themed towels, bath mats and other themed items; this will actually help getting the children into the bath. Along with this, there are things you can do to make a bathroom more kid accessible and custom storage friendly.

For instance; you can design it taking into account the height of your kids which is a plus since they like to reach for their own toothbrushes and personal hygiene items. Also, a custom cabinet with easy to reach shelves will make it easier for the little ones to reach other kid friendly items. When they grow, the shelves can then be used for other storage. Further, a sturdy stool can be designed to help the kids gain access to the bathroom sink. In addition, you can have towel racks at the normal height, but install towels racks at a child’s height too.

As far as safety issues you can have anti-slip stickers on the bottom of the tub. These stickers make for a secure footing when the child is standing or climbing in and out of the tub. Also, removable grab bars are a handy thing to install so that the child has something to grab while in the tub. With removable bars, they can be repositioned as the child grows older too.

Custom design also can give you extra space to remove small toys to which don’t float that have nothing to do with bath time, but always end up in the bath anyway. This is good because small toys can later be dropped into an open toilet and then flushed. This could cause an overflow to the toilet or an expensive to repair clog.

Additionally, for safety as an added note, don’t keep anything glass in the bathroom. So be sure that all the toothbrush holders, soap dishes, cups and other bathroom items are made from plastic so that you or your children avoid nasty cuts.

Making a custom designed bathroom for kids isn’t difficult; a lot of it is just common sense.