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Universal Design

Make Kitchen Cabinets Work for You

Alternatives to hard-to-reach wall cabinets, hard-to-open doors and uncomfortable counters

 

well-organized tableware. (If you choose the open option, you’ll need an adequate range-hood fan to make sure grease from the kitchen air is removed and doesn’t collect on the dishes.) Another nice feature is touch magnetic latches that allow you to open cabinet doors using minimal strength. If you’re using nonmagnetic latches, colorful C-handles are the best choice because they are easy to grasp. Another practical option is a knife hinge; this allows cabinet doors to be folded back flush (at 180°), eliminating the need to duck when the doors are open.

Mobile shelving is a good choice, too: It’s adaptable and brings hard-to reach items to your fingertips. You can purchase pull-down shelving, available in 24- and 36-inch (61 and 91.5 cm) widths, for your upper cabinets. In your lower cabinets, pullout shelves and drawers on full extension glides, lazy Susans, and pop-up shelves for appliances can expand usable storage space and reduce bending and reaching toward the back of the shelf.

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'Revitalizing Your Home' by Rosemary Bakker (book cover)

Rosemary Bakker is the author of the AARP Guide to Revitalizing Your Home, which is available through Barnes & Noble. Ms. Bakker holds a master of science degree in gerontology and is a certified interior designer.

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