Country Kitchen Offers Accessible Aesthetics

by WOHe

ATLANTIC CITY, NJCharged with creating an attractive country
kitchen while subtly incorporating Universal Design elements, the
design team of John Kelly, ASID, Dan Parks and Rex Pace had to
become flexible. In fact, an adaptable design approach was
essential to creating a kitchen that would be flexible enough to
serve a wide variety of specified client needs.

Designed for the Universal Design Demonstration Home as part of
the 2002 Showhouse at the Shore, based here, the project called for
a highly functional layout that would also provide superior
aesthetics. To begin with, the trio chose a rich blend of colors,
including beige, taupe and white to be presented on the cabinetry,
softly patterned wall coverings, basket weave tile backsplash and
tile flooring. The goal was to emulate the look of the early 20th
Century summer cottages which frequented the area.

But, while the design’s aesthetic appeal is clearly evident,
specific universal design elements such as an open-seat workspace,
specialized cabinets and conveniently placed appliances easily
accommodate the special needs of people of all ages and abilities,
allowing them to easily and comfortably perform daily living
activities at home, according to Dorothea Meltzer, general chairman
of showhouse sponsor, Ruth Newman Shapiro Cancer and Heart Fund,
based in Ventnor, NJ.

Top-of-the-line appliances were also integrated into the space
including a GE Profile Arctica Stainless Side-by-Side Refrigerator;
GE Triton XL dishwasher; GE Monogram bar icemaker; GE Profile
five-burner cooktop; GE Advantium convention oven with halogen
speed cook; Gaggenau side-opening convection oven; Sub-Zero drawer
refrigerator, and Fisher & Paykel double-drawer dishwasher.

The details are key to this eclectic design’s appeal, according
to Meltzer, as evident in the octagonal island, which complements
the overall shape of the kitchen. The island is supported by carved
mouldings, finished in Wood-Mode Burnished Bronze to add to the
traditional charm of the space. The island is topped with Zodiaq by
DuPont, and the dramatic red of the island top contrasts strikingly
with the black wrought iron chandelier placed above it, Meltzer
points out.

In keeping with the overall style of the home, Wood-Mode’s
Galleria door style in maple with both recessed and beaded
detailing was chosen, adding a warm flourish to the space, Meltzer
notes. The cabinetry also features a Vintage White finish, complete
with discreet distressing, and the detailing offers a rich
complement to the combination of modified standard and custom-based
cabinetry, provided to meet the specifications for open-sitting
workspaces, she adds.

The cabinetry was also adapted with pull-out shelves, sliding
doors and tilt-out drawers for added convenience to the user. Open
knee space under the sink offers a seated workspace, which was
achieved by fitting the base cabinets with adaptable doors, rolling
carts and removable shelves, she notes.

“Plenty of the base cabinetry storage space [in the kitchen]
offers easy reach pull-out drawers, shelves and racks,” Meltzer
explains.

Additional storage is also found in the pantry cabinet, which
features easy access pull-out and/or adjustable height shelves for
easy reaching, she continues.

The Sierra Magna countertops from DuPont Corian (with Pompeii
Red inserts) also feature universal design applications, such as
motorized and manually adjustable counter segments and several
different fixed-height countertop areas to offer work options for
people of all heights, including children even while working in a
seated position as well as for those with back problems.

Furthermore, contrasting color border treatments allow for easy
recognition of the counter edges and different heights to avoid
accidental spills. Meltzer also notes that there is a stretch of
continuous countertop for easy sliding of heavy items, particularly
between the refrigerator, sink and cooktop, for one-level food flow
making both food preparation and cleanup one step easier.

Meltzer points out that the cooktop also adds to the accessible
function of the space, featuring staggered burners and
front-mounted controls to eliminate the danger of clients reaching
over hot burners while cooking.

Other universal design elements integrated into the design are
featured in the lower-scaled island, which doubles as a dining area
complete with three high-back burgundy and black plaid upholstered
arm chairs and ample space for wheelchair accessibility. The island
also offers various general functional aspects, such as a back-up
sink and garbage disposal unit for additional convenience and
accessibility, Meltzer continues.

Three Blanco sinks and Blanco faucets add elegant styling to the
space, while glare-free task lighting from Performance Lighting
Group caps off the space, offering strong illumination for all work
areas without harsh reflections, Meltzer concludes.

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