Letting the (brick) dust settle – An introduction into accessible kitchen design

When talking about modifying a space to make it more accessible, one typically conjures up images of a clinical, functional space littered with those chunky white plastic grab handles like someone has just finished kitting out a nursing home and have a job lot of handles left over! But if TV shows like DIY SOS have taught us anything, it’s that you can have a clean, modern space kitted out with the necessary, discrete adaptations to cater for your specific disability.

As I sit in the garden, brushing brick dust out of my hair for the umpteenth time and packing up the camping stove after cooking dinner, I wonder if all this disruption is really going to be worth it. But, stepping inside and looking at the newly exposed pitched roof and acrow props holding up the upstairs floorboards where a wall used to be, I know it will.

We have been working closely with our Wren kitchen designer, Ritchard over the past month or so alongside our builder (also called Richard), electrician and advisors from West Berkshire’s Sensory Needs team to pull together all the elements for the kitchen.

Each factor has been painstakingly designed to meet my specific disability whilst providing a stylish family area.

Zonal lighting

As my light sensitivity increases, we are conscious that simple LED downlights won’t be appropriate for me. So we’ve developed a lighting scheme to cater for this.

Cabinet layout

Getting the cabinet layout correct is critical for any kitchen design and even more so when considering low vision.


So many modern appliances have soft-touch controls, but how feasible are they for someone with no central vision? All the appliances have been meticulously chosen based on their control and, where soft-touch is unavoidable, we will be complementing the design with tactile markings.

Merging Indoor and out

It’s important to maximise natural light but how can this be done when also trying to factor in thos oh-so-often bad eye days?

As work continues over the next few weeks I’d like to showcase each of these areas in turn – proving that it really is possible to create an accessible, modern and clean family kitchen.

Until next time, farewell.

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