An Introduction to Accessible Kitchens

For many of us, the kitchen is the heart of our homes. It is a space where we come together with our loved ones at specific times of the day to cook meals, discuss our days and spend time enjoying each other’s company.    

At Howarth at Home, we recognise that everyone is different with unique requirements which is why we are thrilled to introduce a kitchen that is perfect for the multi-generational household, allowing everyone to maintain their independence, without limitations, in a space that never compromises on beautiful style.   

The Freedom range by Symphony was created in collaboration with the UK leading designer of accessible Kitchens; Adam Thomas. Adam is also the man who set the standard for the industry. 


   

With over 35 years of personal experience alongside years of research, Adam has developed a set of design principles that can be applied to suit everyone’s requirements. Adam’s work has helped transform lives by empowering his clients with a sense of independence. He has raised the bar for accessible kitchens to demand that they are both practical and stylish.   

Working in partnership with Adam Thomas Consultancy, Symphony has incorporated these design principles to develop a collection of kitchens that are both attractive, accessible and empowering. 

 “My ambition is to change the face of accessible kitchen design, enabling ‘access for all’ by designing flexible, high quality kitchens that solve the problems no one else will tackle.” 

Design Principles   

At the absolute core of an accessible kitchen is the idea that space should be fully functional for everyone, with and without access needs, whilst ensuring that safety is kept at the forefront of all designs. 

 

Flexibility. It is important for the Freedom range to be fully adjustable to the diverse needs of the user and as such, it includes a wide range of options that will help you to retain your independence, including:   

  • Worktops designed specifically to reduce the need for reaching up or crouching down during food preparation. Rise and Fall Worktops are fully height adjustable for each person using them. Waterfall edges help to protect you, ensuring that any spillages remain on the worktop reducing burn risk, especially helpful for protecting the laps of wheelchair users. 
  • Pop Up Sockets that are ideal for anyone who is unable to reach sockets that are placed on walls or awkwardly under counters and are designed to not compromise your worktop space.   
  • Cabinets that are made more accessible by bringing their contents out to you, ensuring they are easily accessible for everyone. For example, pull-down baskets from wall or larder cabinets. Rise and Fall Wall Units are another solution, bringing the entire cupboard right down to the height of your worktop. Flexi Corners and pull and twist larders are practical solutions for fully utilising space with plenty of storage that is accessible by everyone.   
  • Pull Outs are a great solution to struggling to reach the back of cabinets. They can be added to your base units for storage of everything from cleaning products to your sauces, herbs and spices. They are also ideal for filling any empty space between base cabinets. 
  • Ovens are a common hazard, due to their high temperatures. However, Slide and Hide ovens make it easier to get closer to your cooking, without worrying about burning yourself on a hot oven door. Plus, if you are a wheelchair user, a pull-out shelf can be added to protect your knees from hot items. Cabinets can also be adjusted so that your oven is at a convenient height for everyone.  

Style. Creating a kitchen that matches your needs doesn’t have to mean compromising on style. The Freedom range is available in a variety of our popular cabinet finishes:   

  • Austin:   
    • Painted Ivory   
  • Alta:   
    • Matt Anthracite   
    • Matt Dark Walnut   
    • Matt Rustic Oak   
    • Matt Pure White   
    • Gloss Pearl Grey   
    • Gloss Mussel   
  • Plaza:   
    • Cashmere   
    • Porcelain   
    • Virginia:   
    • Oak   
  • Minnesota:   
    • Avola Grey   

If you have a visual impairment and are looking at mixing and matching your design, the LRV (Light Reflectance Value) value of work tops and door fronts will be taken into consideration.  

If you need help planning your kitchen, this guide about where to begin should help or why not pop into your local kitchen showroom for a chat. 

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Kat Musselwhite – Howarth Blogger