A Universal Option When a design feature can be found in homes offered by huge builders, it's safe to say it has become part of the mainstream. Within a community of retirement homes in Jamesburg, New Jersey, Houston-based U.S. Homes offered a package of kitchen options (seen here) that incorporate several important universal-design features using stock cabinetry from Merillat. The most striking aspect of these functional features is that they don't sacrifice style for comfort. In fact, they give the kitchen a customized appearance. 1. Homeowners can pull up a stool and sit while working at this kitchen island, thanks to the knee space created by leaving out a cabinet. This design requires a finished surface on all sides of the cabinet, as well as flooring under the island or at least in the knee space. 2. The 42-in.-high wall cabinets are easier to reach because they're installed 2 1/2 in. lower than standard. Countertop appliances fit easily under the corner cabinet - a 30-in.-tall unit that has a shelf below.
3. This raised dishwasher can be loaded and unloaded with much less bending. It's installed within a cabinet made of standard parts. The assembly also provides users a high work surface. When raising a dishwasher, be sure that it rests on a base that can handle the weight. Candidates for the base include a special cabinet or a simple platform of plywood over 2x8s or 2x10s. 4. A hot-water dispenser can help anyone who can't use the stove prepare soup and hot beverages. The sink's gooseneck faucet, single-lever control and pullout spray are all handy features, too.
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