If you are designing an accessible kitchen, getting the right appliances is going to be incredibly important because they need to meet the needs and lifestyle of everyone who uses them. Here are a few suggestions of appliances you might choose for your home and how they will help you and your family.
Slide and Hide Ovens
Slide and Hide Ovens are designed to allow you to get closer to your cooking, which is great if a member of the household is a wheelchair user as it ensures full access for everyone into the interior of the oven without the obstruction of a downward-pulling door.
This makes it easier to fully monitor your meals throughout the cooking process. Pull out drawers can be added into the oven housing which protects the knees of a wheelchair user whilst also providing a table for placing food so you don’t need to hold a heavy dish for a long period or to move it somewhere across the kitchen to place it down safely. Most important, this drawer is heat proof, so you don’t need to worry about damaging the surface with hot oven trays.
If you love preparing big meals for your family and friends, Slide and Hide are a great choice because they utilise Circo Therm technology. With Circo Therm you can cook every part of your meal without worrying about the aromas mingling with each other.
The Full Touch Control features a display that can be controlled fully by fingertips, which is helpful if a user has limited dexterity in their hands.
Although not a legal requirement, Extractor Hoods should be an essential part of your kitchen. Their purpose is to quickly remove smells and steam from the air in your kitchen. This helps to prevent odours from spreading around your home whilst creating a fresher kitchen to prevent aggravating respiratory conditions including asthma.
All Elica extractor hood models can be controlled by remote control which is excellent for anyone who can’t reach the extractor, whilst making it easier to navigate the different settings.
An automatic hood is the perfect addition to any accessible kitchen as it is designed to detect the levels of steam and aroma coming off your cooking so that the hood can adjust the extraction rate to suit the needs of the kitchen.
Not only that, but the Ambient Lighting makes it easier to create the right mood for every situation whether you are entertaining friends or enjoying a romantic meal for two. Quiet Hoods are also handy if you have small children, so that they are not disturbed during nap times.
If you are struggling to choose the right hob for your accessible kitchen, we strongly recommend considering an Induction Hob. Some of the benefits for your family might be:
- The front controls are easier to reach than with hobs that position them along the edge.
- The hob is extremely responsive, meaning that when a pan is moved off the hob, the heat stops instantly. This means that you don’t have to worry about forgetting to turn them off, particularly if you are unable to see the hob closely to check.
- Automatic pan recognition allows the induction hob to know when a saucepan has been placed on it and knows to heat up; it does this by recognising the flat metal surface that is of a standard pan size. This means that it won’t heat up when any other items that are placed in it, such as metal utensils being used on the cooking process and will help to prevent accidents from happening.
- The control panel can be locked to stop children from playing with them.
Fridges and Freezers
We recommend choosing a fridge that features a lowered height, with pull out shelves for easy access to ensure your fridge is as accessible as possible.
Freezers feature clear-front drawers that make it easy to organise different food types, whilst allowing visibility so that everyone can see what is in each drawer.
Fridges and Freezers are available with acoustic door open warning indicators to stop anyone from accidentally leaving them open and spoiling the food. Moreover, the Soft Close feature also means that the door will close automatically when it is left open at an angle of 20-degrees or less.
Other features that will help with accessibility include:
- Easy Access Shelving. Featuring retractable glass, they can be loaded and unloaded quickly and easily, guaranteeing better access to food. This is handy if you need to add a finishing touch to desserts without taking them all out individually.
- Easy Lift Shelving and Door Storage. Adjust each shelf and door storage with just one hand, even when they have food on them. Combined with each other, this allows your fridge to adapt to the changing needs of your food and drink.
- Wire Shelving makes it easier to stack jars on their sides without them rolling around.
- Anti-Spill Trim. If something in your fridge spills, the Anti-Spill Trim will prevent it from dripping onto your floor or lap. Instead, the trim will contain the mess making it easier to clean up.
Home Connect is the ultimate tool for the accessible kitchen. All you need is the Home Connect app on your phone and access to a Wi-Fi connection to gain full control of your compatible kitchen appliances, including:
- Oven. Home Connect allows you to start your oven, no matter where you are, so that your dinner is ready when you get home. Most importantly, the app will alert you when your food is ready. If you’re busy in another part of the kitchen, you can set your cooking functions using voice control.
- Extractor Hood. Adjust your extractor fan using the app, perfect for anyone who is unable to reach it on their own or if the remote control has disappeared.
- Dishwasher. Control when your dishwasher starts a cycle, so that it’s finished in time for when you get home. Home Connect also keeps track of your dishwasher tablets and will alert you when they’re running low.
- Fridge. Adjust the temperature of your fridge wherever you are. Maybe you’re in the supermarket buying groceries and need them to chill quickly, or perhaps you’re at work and have just asked your best friends around for drinks so need to make sure the wine is chilled on time.
- Lighting. Create the perfect ambience in your kitchen by quickly adjusting the lighting to suit the mood. Perhaps you want to impress your date, or maybe you need to quickly turn the lights on as a birthday cake is brought in.
- Coffee Machine. Take control of your morning coffee and ensure that it’s ready for you with a caffeine fix as soon as you arrive in the kitchen.
Kat Musselwhite – Howarth Blogger