“I’m so happy my daughter shares my love of cooking and entertaining, but we are definitely in each other’s way when we’re in the kitchen together.”
Those were the concerns that brought this past client back to see us. The original kitchen had been done when her daughter was a still a somewhat mobile preteen. Now, she had become confined to a wheelchair and was coming back home to live after graduating from college. The challenge was to provide convenient, flexible work areas where the whole family could cook and entertain while making the kitchen especially convenient for the wheel-chair bound daughter. The kitchen also had to maximize storage. And, accessibility, although critical to the function, should not dictate the aesthetics of the new kitchen; it had to be a beautiful room too. Our solution was to expand the kitchen by turning the unused living room into a new, larger dining room. We then enlarged the kitchen by using part of the old dining room and also incorporating a 102 square foot addition.
DESIGN OBJECTIVES AND CHALLENGES
- Enlarge the kitchen to provide wider aisles and more a convenient flow
- Design separate areas for the client and her wheelchair-bound daughter to work independently
- Provide both standard and accessible appliances and storage
- Design accessible areas to be aesthetically pleasing
- Provide access from the kitchen to the garden and maximize the view of the garden
- Provide seating for the whole family in the kitchen
- Provide finishes with transitional styling in soft earthy tones
- We moved the dining room to the current unused living room to increase the space available for the kitchen.
- As part of the new addition we installed a larger kitchen window and a new doorway with a ramp to allow the daughter a convenient emergency exit as well as access to the yard.
- We devised a plan that allowed separate areas for each cook. A 34″ high “dog-leg” island divides the space into 2 working areas. The main perimeter and that side of the island are set up as a standard kitchen with standard appliances. The back side of the island and the far wall are configured for the daughter to use conveniently and include a dishwasher drawer, an induction cooktop, a roll-under sink and refrigerator drawers. Both the island and the far wall base cabinets have open areas to allow convenient access to the countertop from a wheelchair. We used mainly drawers for base storage and brought a wall cabinet on that side to the countertop for easy access from a wheelchair. The dishes and glassware for daily family use are stored in two shallow 60″ high base cabinets near the main dishwasher for convenient access to all.
- The touch-on faucet on the island swivels to also serve as a pot-filler. Other convenience features are a touch-opening double trash can, a pullout unit where pots and pans hang on a metal pegboard and two counter-height pull-out racks for cooking staples.
- A walk-in pantry and a large butler’s pantry provide maximum storage.
- Three cabinet finishes and two different stone tops were used to add interest to the large new space. We minimized the appearance of as many appliances as possible with custom panels to match the cabinets. Custom mosaic backsplash tile and a custom-built range hood give a unique finish to the kitchen.