Kitchen

As is the case in all houses, the FlexHousing™ kitchen is the heart and activity centre of the home. They are designed to meet the needs of all the members of the household and visitors young and old, able bodied or not. FlexHousing™ kitchens have all the innovative features to make them warm, functional, safe and efficient.

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FlexHousing™ Kitchen — I

{Visual}: Kitchen

Well-designed FlexHousing kitchens leave plenty of room for easy movement and easy access.

{Visual}: Woman in wheelchair using pull-down cupboard rack)

The shelving, the counters, and the appliances accommodate differing needs, yet are useful for all.

{Visual}: Woman in wheelchair using low counter to prepare food

Counters that are 34 inches high instead of the standard 36 inches are much more comfortable for wheelchair users.

{Visual}: Woman in wheelchair sliding in under-sink counters for easy access

The cabinet doors below the sink slide out of the way to allow unobstructed use.

{Visual}: Woman washing vegetables in sink/Ample knee space under sink

Off-centre drains provide roll-in knee space under the kitchen sink.

{Visual}: Kitchen

The doors integrate beautifully with the surrounding cabinetry when closed.

{Visual}: Man moving wheeled island under kitchen counter

Below the cooktop, a wheeled cabinet glides easily in and out of place. This allows homeowners to use it as tucked-away storage.

{Visual}: Woman using cook top

The cooktop controls are at the front so seated cooks don’t reach over hot elements.

{Visual}: Cook top knobs

Colour contrast between the knobs and the background make these tactile controls more visible to the visually impaired.

{Visual}: Under cabinet lighting

Under-cabinet task lighting also helps them as they work.

{Visual}: Elderly woman using wall oven

The wall oven door opens to the side.

{Visual}: Man using fridge/Woman in wheelchair using freezer

Both the refrigerator doors and the bottom-mounted freezer are much easier for people in wheelchairs to use.

Contrasting colours highlight surface changes

  • A visual contrast is created with the darker countertops, cabinetry, backsplash and flooring to distinguish different features and surfaces within the kitchen area.
  • Mono-coloured kitchens can make it more difficult for visually impaired user to distinguish different elements of the kitchen and discern their relative positions.

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Light coloured textured flooring

  • Light-coloured floor helps to reflect natural light into the room.
  • Difference in colours of the floor and cabinetry creates a visual contrast to assist visually-impaired users.
  • Textured mat finish on the flooring reduces glare and is slip resistant.

Accessible sink & cabinet

  • Cabinet doors below the sink are retractable.
  • Cabinet doors move out of the way and slide back into the cabinet to allow clear access under and in front of the sink.
  • The cabinet does not have a toe kick board. This allows someone using a mobility device or who requires to be seated while working at the sink to get closer to the sink without obstruction.
  • Flooring and cabinet sides and back under the sink are finished to match and maintain kitchen aesthetics. 
  • The drain is positioned close to the back of the cabinet to provide clear knee space below the sink for seated users.
  • The sink drain is located towards back of sink.
  • The single lever faucet and pullout sprayer are designed to be easy to use.
  • The faucet has a pull out sprayer that is easy to grasp and operate.

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D-shaped drawer and cabinet door handles

Accessible refrigerator

  • Bottom mounted freezer is more accessible to seated users.
  • The swing of the French split doors is high enough to clear the legs of a person seated in a mobility device.
  • The smaller width of the French doors means users do not have to back up to accommodate the door swing.

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Different working surface heights

  • Different working surface heights can accommodate the varying needs of different members of the household.

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Upper kitchen cabinet height

  • Upper cabinets can be installed with lower clearances above the counter to provide easier access to the bottom shelves.

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Under cabinet task lighting

  • Under cabinet task lights enhance illuminate working surfaces.

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Dishwasher

  • The dishwasher controls are intuitive to use.
  • The controls are tactile and contrasting in colour for clarity of purpose and operation.
  • Typical dishwashers require a minimum of 35” height countertops so lower profile units would be required for lower countertop heights.

Accessible cooktop surface and roll-out cabinet

  • Finished space is provided under the cooktop for seated users.
  • The roll-out cabinet can be easily moved to facilitate access to the cooktop by seated users.
  • The roll-out cabinet provides additional storage and an extra working surface. It can also be used as a temporary kitchen island.
  • The roll-out cabinet also provides additional storage space that is within easy reach.
  • Pullout rail systems provide easier access to the contents of all lower cabinets.
  • The cooktop controls are positioned to front and center so they can be easily and safely accessed without having to reach across hot elements.
  • The controls are also tactile and contrast in colour from the cooktop surface. This makes them easier to interpret and use by people with vision difficulties.
  • The raised edge along the front of the cooktop surface helps to protect seated users from spills and overflows. It also helps to prevent cookware from sliding off the cooktop.

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Exhaust fan controls

  • Some range hood and cooktop exhaust fans can be ordered with counter-mounted or remote controls to be more accessible than hood mounted controls.

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Side opening cabinet mounted oven

Pull-out work surface

  • A pull-out shelf positioned below the oven can be used to place utensils or items that are going into the oven. It also provides another working surface in the kitchen.
  • The working surface should be moisture and heat resistant and be strong enough to support the weight of heavy roasting pans, appliances, etc.

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Microwave

  • The microwave oven is installed below the oven to save countertop space and to make it more easily accessible to a person using a wheelchair.

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Lowered counter working area

  • This space can be used as a desk area in the kitchen and can accommodate a person seated in a wheeled mobility device or a regular office chair.

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Window details

  • The window locking mechanism is low enough to be accessible and easy to use by all.
  • The opening mechanism is easy to grasp and operate.
  • The window sill is 625 mm (24.5 in.) from the floor to permit viewing from a seated position. The window sill should be no higher than 750 mm (30 in.) above the floor. 

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