Now the Flynns, Barbara and John, came to us because they were interested in renovating their kitchen. Not only were they hoping to modernize their favorite room, but also make it functional for Barbara to move around and cook in her wheelchair. As any self-respecting kitchen designer would know, it’s important for you to get to know your clients and learn the role the kitchen plays in their lives. So Ray and I went to their home to learn more about the couple. They had lived and traveled around the world and always shared a passion for cooking. While visiting, Ray noticed that it was difficult for Barbara to reach certain elements of the room like the countertop and sink. She also didn’t have room for her wheelchair under the cook-top. Being Ray, highly detailed oriented, he returned to the showroom and began drawing sketches and renderings.
It was then determined that 25” was the perfect work surface height for Barbara to be able to comfortably stir and chop. That pretty much meant the principal workstation could not sit on top of a cabinet, so we decided on a center island. The only challenge was that is also where the family enjoys gathering for light meals. Our solution was to create a dual height island maintaining a comfortable eating height while at the same time accommodating the custom 25” workstation.
We then added one of my favorite features! With Barbara needing room to get her wheelchair under the cook-top, an adjustable height cook-top seemed to be the perfect solution. Ray rigged it with a simple lift mechanism, the cook-top can go up and down to allow Barbara to wheel her chair underneath and have access to all the burners. A safety hinge was also installed to immediately stop the lift mechanism should it ever get too low and touch Barbara’s legs.
As for the rest of the kitchen, dozens of little details ended up making the kitchen work. Barbara and John came back to the showroom to finalize the selection of the tiles for the flooring and backsplash. We selected some really chunky and fun cabinet and drawer handles that are easy for Barbara to manipulate. We shopped around until we found the perfect sink that was large enough for a soup pot but shallow enough so Barbara has easy access. The door to the Lazy-Suzan cabinet for pots and pans was designed to fold away inside the cabinet, making it easy for Barbara to maneuver around and gain easy access to the contents.
After the completion of any project, I like to check in and see how customers are enjoying their renovated rooms. Today, Barbara and John are very much in love with their kitchen. They now have the opportunity to cook gourmet meals once again. Ray, you definitely did an astounding job for creating this special space!