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Kitchen Cabinets – Aging-in-Place


We have covered Aging-in-Place generally elsewhere on this site. Please see

This blog addresses how the principles of Universal Design, which make kitchens “age-friendly,” specifically apply to the design and accessorizing of cabinetry.

We start with the sink, which is where a great deal of kitchen work happens. Here cabinetry is designed to leave a space below the sink to allow a wheel chair to approach closely. If desired, doors can be attached to the front to improve the look of this arrangement.

The sink itself can be fixed or motorized to make it adjustable. See the Approach™ Adjustable Sink at this link:

We can adopt a similar approach to a gas or electric cook top. See the “roll-under” cook top illustrated in the slide show above.

Then for the lower cabinets the installation of roll-out shelves or pull-out organizers can greatly reduce the strain of stooping to reach the back of the cabinets. They also help make maximum use out of the storage capacity of the cabinets.  Lazy-susan type accessories should also be used for corner cabinets. The placement of lower cabinets and islands should allow for a 42″ – 48″ clearance for easy access through the kitchen, even for wheel chairs.

As for the upper cabinets, the addition of pull down shelving significantly reduces the amount of stretching required to reach upper cabinets. Also the upper cabinets can be installed 3 inches lower than the conventional height. Additionally, open shelves can be incorporated for frequently used items.

Finally, the use of “D” shaped cabinet pulls makes it easy for arthritic hands to open doors and drawers. An elegant modernist solution is the use of C-Channels and J-Channels in the design of the cabinetry itself. We covered this in an earlier blog here:

If you need a kitchen designed with aging in place in mind, the talented designers at cabinets of the Desert can help you. Please visit our showroom at 73700 Dinah Shore Dr. in Palm Desert. It is about halfway between Monterey Avenue and Portola Avenue.

Cabinets of the Desert provides quality cabinetry from: