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How to Design Your Kitchen to Suit You Long Term

January 27, 2024

How to Design Your Kitchen to Suit You Long TermDesigning your kitchen is an exciting endeavor, but it’s important to consider long-term functionality and convenience. A well-designed kitchen should cater to your needs not just now, but also in the years to come. We’ll explore some key design tips that will help you create a kitchen that suits you long term. From lowering the microwave to raising the dishwasher and varying counter heights, these ideas will enhance both the aesthetics and functionality of your kitchen space.

Focus on Lighting

Lighting is crucial in any kitchen, and designing your kitchen for the long term means selecting lighting that will continue to work for you over time. Consider adding task lighting above the sink and stove to ensure adequate lighting for cooking and food preparation. Choose fixtures that are durable and simple, like recessed lights or pendant lights, for a classic and timeless look.

Lower the Microwave: Accessibility and Safety

One common mistake in kitchen design is placing the microwave too high above the countertop. While it may seem convenient at first, it can become a hassle over time, especially as you age or if you have children. Lowering the microwave to a more accessible height not only makes it easier to reach, but also reduces the risk of accidents or injuries. Consider installing the microwave in a lower cabinet or within the kitchen island for added convenience and safety.

Plan for Storage

Storage is essential in any kitchen, and it’s important to plan for ample storage that will cater to your needs in the long term. Consider installing cabinetry that extends to the ceiling to maximize storage space, invest in pull-out drawers, and utilize corner cabinets with pull-out shelves for easy access.

Raise the Dishwasher: Ergonomics and Comfort

Similarly, raising the dishwasher can greatly improve the ergonomics of your kitchen. Bending down to load and unload dishes can put strain on your back and knees, particularly as you grow older. By raising the dishwasher off the floor, you can maintain a more comfortable working height, reducing the risk of repetitive strain injuries. This can be achieved by installing the dishwasher at an elevated position within the cabinetry, eliminating the need for constant bending and kneeling.

Vary Counter Heights: Enhancing Efficiency and Flexibility

Having a variety of counter heights in your kitchen can greatly enhance both efficiency and flexibility. Traditional kitchen designs often feature countertops at a standard height, but this may not suit everyone’s needs. By incorporating different counter heights, you can create designated areas for specific tasks. For example, a lower counter can be dedicated to baking or food prep, while a higher counter can be used for serving or casual dining. This allows multiple users to work comfortably and efficiently in the kitchen, accommodating individuals of different heights and abilities.

Consider Universal Design Principles: Accessibility for All

In addition to lowering the microwave, raising the dishwasher, and varying counter heights, it’s worth considering universal design principles when designing your kitchen. Universal design emphasizes creating spaces that are accessible and usable for people of all ages and abilities. This can include wider doorways to accommodate mobility aids, pull-out shelves and drawers for easier access, and lever-style handles that are easier to grip. Incorporating universal design features into your kitchen will not only make it more functional for you long term, but also increase its appeal and market value in the future.

Create a Timeless Look

Designing your kitchen for the long term also means creating a timeless look that will remain stylish for years to come. Opting for classic colors and finishes, like white or natural wood, will ensure that your kitchen remains fresh and modern. Choose hardware and fixtures in brushed nickel or stainless steel for a classic and sophisticated look.

Designing a kitchen with the help of a professional interior designer with a long-term perspective is essential for creating a space that is not only aesthetically pleasing but also functional and convenient. Lowering the microwave, raising the dishwasher, varying counter heights, and incorporating universal design principles are all effective ways to ensure your kitchen suits your needs as you age or as your lifestyle changes. By considering these design tips, you can enjoy a kitchen that adapts to your requirements, providing comfort, accessibility, and efficiency for years to come.