2016 is the year of convenient and functional kitchen accessories. From new ideas in ergonomic cabinet design to microwave drawers, this is an excellent time to remodel your kitchen space.
Ergonomics has been associated with the office workplace for many years. Desks and chairs that make working and sitting over long periods of time easier on your body are familiar to many of us. Did you know the same principles that office work easier on your body can be applied to your kitchen?
The National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) has, for forty years, based many of its guidelines for good kitchen functionality on sound ergonomic design principles. Now, some of the biggest national trends in kitchen design for 2016 revolve around ergonomics. Some of our favorite ideas include:
Varying counter heights. Gone are the days of one height counter tops. The kitchen is the likely the most used room in the entire house. The space should be designed for multiple functions. Chopping, slicing, and stirring work best on a countertop that is a bit lower and more in-line with your elbow height (approximately 36” from the floor). Additional countertop space at bar level height (42”) is perfect for holding items and serving dishes until you’re ready for use. A bar height space also gives guests a place to lean and sit so they can converse with the cook during food prep. A lower counter height (around 32”) can be useful when kneading bread dough or as a workspace for children or wheelchair users. Having options will allow your kitchen space to be fully functional as the gathering spot in your home.
Flooring is another important consideration when creating an ergonomic kitchen space. Anyone who has ever spent a day cooking a Thanksgiving feast can attest to the fact that your legs and feet get tired when standing on a hard surface all day. While natural stone is beautiful, flooring that provides a bit of bounce is much easier on your body. Some great examples include wood, rubber, luxury vinyl, and cork flooring. HearthWood Kitchens has recently added a flooring sample area to our showroom. We’re featuring luxury vinyl tile and plank flooring from Mannington Adura. Stop by and check it out!
Our favorite trend though for 2016 is in ergonomic cabinetry. Because of the many wonderful innovations in cabinet accessories, cabinets have come a long way from your mother’s kitchen cabinets. Now cabinet drawers are the perfect place to house heavy plates, cookware, and small appliances. With full-extension soft-close glides, cabinet drawers give you simple access to organized spaces where you can place your heavy kitchen items. That way you’re not constantly lifting and straining your arms, back, and neck when putting away dishes. Now trash and recycle bins can pull out of a base cabinet automatically when you touch the cabinet door front. And pop-up shelves that hold your large mixer can lock into place so you never have to lift that heavy appliance again.
If you or someone you know is considering a kitchen remodel in 2016, give us a call. We will have lots of great ideas that can improve the function, storage, and style of your brand new dream kitchen!