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Array Design Studio is located in Cleveland, Ohio and has designed projects throughout the Midwest

Universal Design in the Kitchen

  • Posted by Array Design Studio
  • On March 20, 2018

Universal Design in the Kitchen

When thinking about Universal Design for your kitchen, keep in mind what it is that you’re going to be doing in your kitchen. If your kitchen is the heart of it all, you’ll want to think about places to charge your computer or your Ipad but also things like where you’re going to make your coffee in the morning. If you haven’t set up a coffee station in your bedroom already, set one up in the kitchen. Be your own barista in the morning! Include a little sink nearby so you can rinse your cup out quickly and have a refill. Think of each area of your kitchen as little vignettes; this is for coffee making, this area’s for working, this area’s for cooking, and so on.


Everyone loves some good storage space. Pots and pans can be stored in drawers with heavy duty tracks so that won’t break. Your dishwasher can match your cabinetry and look like it’s part of the set instead of sticking out like sore thumb. Cabinets now come with built in spice racks so you can see them all at once instead of having to dig around for the oregano. You can even have it installed right in front of the stove for easy pull-out access.

Access is key, so keep that in mind when you’re considering whether or not to install those 42 inch tall kitchen cabinets above your counter top. Unless you’re LeBron James, I doubt you’ll be reaching up there often. Whatever’s up there, is likely never to be seen again. Keep them low. Instead of using doors that open out, use a garage door style to save on space. They come with easy-life/soft-close arms so you only need to push them up and pull them down gently.


As mentioned before, exposed shelving is a great way to show off your cute dishware and allows you to access them easily. This look can add a homey, comfy atmosphere. Think also about your garbage. Have two, 13 gallon garbage bins in a pull out drawer. One for recycling, one for trash. Things like cutting board holders, cookie sheet drawers, take-away container space…think about where you want them and how you’re going to create a space for them before you start to build.

Countertops & Cabinetry

Countertops and cabinetry don’t have to follow the same shape. Cabinetry can take a life of its own! Countertops can have cutting boards inserted right into them and you can have a second sink put in the middle of your island for easy clean up. You can sweep those crumbs right into the sink.

Entertaining in the Kitchen

Seating is key in the kitchen and can feel limited when entertaining. If you think you might want two islands for more seating, do it! Be fearless when it comes to the space you need. Make sure they’re circular so you don’t’ get yourself stuck in a corner when you’re entertaining your guests. Have your space where you’re going to prepare food separate from where you’ll prepare drinks during those dinner parties. A second minibar fridge at the “drink station” might save from everyone feeling too on-top of each other.


Whatever you choose to do in the kitchen, keep in mind who’s using it for what. If you have kids your kitchen layout will different than if you’re retired and having dinner parties. Don’t be afraid to try new things and open up to different possibilities.


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