Create Accessibility in your Kitchen with Custom Cabinetry

10-4_482549214An accessible kitchen became a front and center consideration as I battled a minor sports injury recently.  Not only have I decided that it really IS inconvenient to be injured, it is also somewhat difficult to maintain order in my kitchen, which is in need of a remodel, without two hands able to reach, lift stacked items, and put them back properly so the cabinets could actually be useful.

One thing that I prefer the world of cabinets is that I really don’t like base cabinets full of stuff.  I like pullouts that neatly organize all sorts of items, and prevent layers of stacking, which inevitably leads to dealing with all items just to get to one, or I forget I even have a useful item for the task at hand and it often gets shoved to the back.  I admit it, I don’t like getting on the floor to examine what is actually lurking in the back of the cabinet.  And I really didn’t like my lacking and certainly NOT custom cabinetry kitchen.

As much as I can be critical of this kitchen, I am also savvy enough to realize that a full blown custom kitchen makeover in the traditional sense could be a budget buster.  I also realized that my current cabinets really aren’t in that bad of shape, but instead need a customized cabinetry treatment that is possible with the addition of inserts that organize the interior of the cabinets, ideally achieving that custom cabinetry look by refacing the boxes and with fresh doors and drawers and hardware.  Come to think of it, I really like the idea of changing out drawer boxes and getting full extension heavy duty soft close glides in some locations.  This alone will organize this kitchen, make it look terrific, and certainly add space without moving walls.

The inner workings of custom cabinetry inserts are what make custom cabinets so delightful—these highly design and extremely functional internal ‘guts’ of the cabinet organize everything.  One can choose from racks for pots and pans, to divided drawer vertical dowels that serve to divide stacking plates—in base cabinets.  You can also choose to include really nice narrow pullouts that cleanly stack all those odd sized bottles and ubiquitous seasonings in an organized manner.  Tall cabinets are also great candidates for the custom cabinetry treatment—pull outs, though actually somewhat on the expensive side, are worth checking out in terms of a pleasantly functional custom kitchen design element.  Imagine everything neatly organized, visible, and accessible with little effort.

A great kitchen featuring custom cabinetry is not all looks.  Customization includes adjusting for exactly what works best for you ergonomically—and that means taking into consideration your height, how many cooks in the kitchen, any likely or anticipated compromises in your ability to use your kitchen over time—which brings us to “age in place” considerations that add flexibility and the ability to customize the cabinets after the initial remodeling.

My advice to achieve the best custom kitchen you could want, full of useful and beautiful cabinets?  Break out the box of typical design solutions.  For instance, being tall, and not liking base cabinets much, I want to break out the ‘box’ of typical design solutions and use a lot of tall cabinetry to store everything neatly on a shelf—easy to get at, and easy to see what I have.  I won’t have to get on the floor to see what is stuck in the base cabinets, and I won’t have to excessively stack items on top of one another.

Or, perhaps I want a clean open upper view with lots of windows, a few featured open shelves, and lots of really functional base cabinets.  I will look into custom inserts, fully extended drawers, lots of drawers rather than rollouts, and think through exactly where everything will go—from pots and pans to utensils to dishes.

Or, perhaps I just really want a large center island, a center piece of activity and work uncluttered workspace, with pots gleaming and hung from the ceiling.  I would still customize those cabinets—and make sure I had included specific space for baking, utensils, oils and spices, large and small serving dishes, crockery and glassware.

Custom cabinetry really isn’t all about the luxury of a high price tag but rather the luxury of thoughtful  design working to serve your purposes.  Of course, beautiful cabinetry is often custom, but it is less about expense and more about savvy planning.

One such way to achieve a thoroughly custom kitchen featuring functional and smart kitchen features is to consider balancing the many elements of the kitchen and considering kitchen refacing and retrofitting cabinetry within your current setup.  Adding additional space with the addition of new cabinets is also a possibility in many cases.

And be sure to research Kitchen and Bathroom Remodeling Costs – Tips to Keep Your Remodeling Project Under Control if you do plan to add some custom cabinetry to your kitchen remodeling project.

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