More than ever, housebuilders are experiencing an increasing demand for accessible homes without compromising on design. With the kitchen being the heart of the home, homeowners of all ages and levels of mobility want to enjoy the experience of cooking, cleaning and socialising in a stylish space that they are proud of. Moores’ latest innovations for the kitchen pair good looking design with accessible solutions to create spaces that are ergonomic for all. Here, Andrew Story, Head of Product Development at Moores shares the latest innovations in this area.
Accessibility for all ages
The Office for National Statistics1 has named population ageing as a global phenomenon with people over the age of 60 expected to make up 16.5% of the population by 2030. Therefore, a key aspect of creating an accessible space is considering this ageing population and its specific needs, whether this be when specifying retirement and residential homes, incorporating accessibility into multigenerational homes or specifying projects for older clients.
1 Source: Office for National Statistics, Living longer: how our population is changing and why it matters. https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/ageing/articles/livinglongerhowourpopulationischangingandwhyitmatters/2018-08-13
By donning ‘age explorer’ suits that physically age their movements by 20 years and upwards, R&D teams can walk in the shoes of an older demographic. In doing so, they are able to experience the challenges faced by this demographic first-hand and conceptualise helpful solutions accordingly.
The introduction of rise and fall worktops now allows each potential user to personalise the height of the cabinets and worktops to their specific needs, creating a versatile space for multigenerational homes and homes in which residents have varying levels of mobility. There are a variety of different options regarding functionality, ranging from a rise and fall electronic motor that can be operated via wall-situated buttons to manual adjusting via a handle.
Drop-down shelf designs
Hard-to-reach, high-up shelving is a common issue faced by many homeowners including those living in multigenerational homes with children, those with specific height requirements and those with limited mobility including wheelchair users. However, kitchen manufacturers now offer drop-down shelf designs as a solution. Fitted internally, they allow access to hard-to-reach, high-up shelving without requiring an obvious and unattractive fixture that detracts from the homeowner’s design aesthetic.
It is important to consider small but important features that may often be an afterthought in kitchen design such as providing the option of wall hung furniture, making it much easier for those in wheelchairs to navigate the space and have closer access to worktops. The cabinets being wall-hung offers a sleek and contemporary statement feature in the home rather than detracting from the space.
Kitchen design is moving more towards accessibility becoming the norm in new homes, not least because these features are ultimately beneficial to future-proofing a home for all profiles of prospective buyers. By implementing these new features for the kitchen, we want to ensure that our designs are beneficial to homeowners of all ages and levels of mobility while maintaining the beautiful and contemporary aesthetic that is synonymous with our brand.