7 Ways to Make Your Kitchen Cabinets More Accessible

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When considering a kitchen remodeling project, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with all of the details and choices available. Add in a desire to make your space more accessible with some great Universal Design elements, and it can become downright mind-boggling. Well, boggle no more and read on for seven great elements that you can incorporate into your kitchen cabinets.

Durable Low Maintenance Construction

Let’s face it, cleaning the kitchen is not something we’re all just dying to do, and we don’t know about you, but our desire to clean does not increase as we get older.

Aesthetics are typically the first thing we all think about when choosing a cabinet door style for our new kitchen. This is certainly not a bad thing, and we’d suggest that you consider how easy or difficult the profiles will be to clean. Have you ever tried to get pasta sauce out of a groove in your cabinet door? Not fun. Consider cabinet door styles that have a less ornate profile like Shaker flat panel doors. Less grooves means easier cleaning.

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There’s no doubt that painted cabinetry is all the rage, and with all the beautiful farmhouse chic kitchens we’re seeing, it’s easy to get a little kitchen envy. Just keep in mind that painted cabinetry tends to show nicks and dents more readily and can be a costlier to repair if they are damaged. Stained cabinetry, on the other hand, will tend to hide those every day bumps and bruises a bit easier. Stained cabinetry will also tend to show dust and dirt less, so maybe you can clean just a little less often.

To learn more about cabinet door styles watch our video: 3 Cabinet Door Styles: Which One is Right for You?

To learn more about cabinet finish options watch our video: 4 Different Cabinet Door Finishes.

Multiple Height Work Surfaces

Spending an evening preparing a meal or getting ready for a party can be a really great time. Although the backache you get from standing at the counter might make you wish you could sit down while chopping veggies and mincing garlic. Incorporating multiple cabinet heights in your new kitchen design will help by giving you options to vary the working height depending on the task you’re performing. Rolling dough could be a lot easier on a lower height counter but chopping celery maybe easier standing at a normal height work surface. Having a work surface that’s higher than normal will make it easier to talk your taller friends and family into helping, or make life easier for you if you’re the tall one in the family. So, whether you are recovering from knee surgery, or you are built at the same height as the “normal” person, having varied height counters in your kitchen will make life much more enjoyable.

Drawers vs Doors

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We know you just love getting down on your knees to find that thing you know you tucked in the back of one of your lower cabinets. Including more drawers in base cabinets is a great way to make the items you store in those cabinets more easy to organize, store, and access. By varying the depth of the drawers, you can provide places to store smaller things like cooking utensils as well as larger items like pots and pans. No more going spelunking to get to your soup pot.

Full Extension Drawers

Another detail to compliment your use of drawers is the use of full extension drawer hardware. Remember your mom’s kitchen where you had to pull half the stuff out of a drawer to get to the things in the back? Full extension hardware allows you to pull the drawer out far enough to view the entire contents. Now you can utilize every inch of the storage space without having to dig through the contents to find what you’re looking for.

Pull Out Shelving

Pull out shelves, also call roll-out trays, provide another option for storage that eliminates the need to crawl into your cabinets. They’re great for storing taller items that are tough to store in a typical drawer. Coupled with full extension drawer hardware, those bulkier items like Tupperware containers get a lot easier to organize.

Contrasting Colors

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Raise your hand if you have ever felt like you are falling off Mount Everest when you step down a one-inch step you didn’t know was there. Don’t be shy we have all done it. A more dangerous version of this is when you go to lean on a counter and miss the edge because you misjudged its location. As we start to age and our eyesight starts to fade just a bit, it gets a little harder to see where one edge starts and the other ends. Using contrasting cabinet and countertop colors provides better visual cues for where one surface starts and other ends. This could save you or your family from an embarrassing moment, or worse, an injury.

Hardware Details

Like cabinet door styles, cabinet hardware is most often chosen solely on its aesthetic contribution. It makes perfect sense, since its often seen as the jewelry your cabinets wear.

When choosing hardware, take a moment to consider the clearance it provides for grasping it. Pay attention to whether or not you have to use two fingers or if you can grip it with your whole hand. Pulling open a drawer that’s loaded with pots and pans with just two fingers might be challenging, and a lack of clearance with the cabinet door or drawer almost insures that you’ll scratch it up with your fingernails with normal use. Mixing handles and pulls is a popular way to mix up the design elements and give you more grip on the cabinets that need it.

To learn more about cabinet hardware watch our video: What You Need to Consider About Cabinet Hardware.

Ready for More?

Here are a few more resources to consider if you’re ready to dig a little deeper into how you can get started on your kitchen remodeling project. Start with our How to Get Started with Your Project Planning blog, or download our Remodeling Roadmap ebook here. If you’d like to dig deeper into the kitchen design process, check out our Kitchen Design Guide here.

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