Utopia    Real Home 18 Jul 2017

This kitchen is more than a pretty façade – subtle design details make it wheelchair friendly

“I have been a wheelchair user since 1984 when I suffered a spinal injury in a car accident,” explains Pat. “So it was important for me to have a kitchen that would look good, but that would also be functional for my needs.

“This meant a manageable height for the units and accessible appliances, such as the oven height. The main Neff oven was chosen because it has
a ‘hide and slide’ door which enables me to get close to the oven and reach in without the door getting in the way. The microwave oven above has a side opening giving me clear access, rather than a drop-down design which would be a problem.”

Every detail of this stunning kitchen has been carefully considered, from the pull-out drawers inside the cupboards and cupboard fronts
that couldn’t be damaged to the accessible appliances. And yet, impressively, it is still stylish, elegant and incredibly understated.

“As well as all of these necessary details, I wanted units that would look good in an open plan area where we could sit and watch TV and entertain,” added Pat. “We were making the rear of the house all open plan at the time so this was the ideal opportunity to get things right. This was to be a quality kitchen that would look stylish, be functional and last.”

It was important for Pat to be able to access the contents of as many cupboards as possible, hence the number of pull-out drawers which hold a lot of dishes, pans and food.

“I also had to have a dishwasher that was easy
to use (not an easy task with many designs) so Graham came up with one made by Miele which has telescopic shelves,” she says. “We also have a Siemens ‘Larder’ fridge, most of which I can access, and an under counter freezer. There’s also a wine cooler under the island counter top.”

“Choosing a kitchen is a big decision for anyone,” says Pat. “But for someone who has particular needs such as myself, it is a huge responsibility to get right. We were investing a considerable amount of money and Graham shared that responsibility with us. I knew he was listening and taking all my requirements into consideration with the design and he appreciated the fact that I wanted a kitchen which would also look beautiful.

“I suggested that if he needed to ‘test out’ whether something would work, he should sit in a chair
and attempt to simulate how it would be for me!” she recalls. “I can’t stress enough how important it is for a customer to have a designer who not only listens to the needs of the clients but also goes that extra mile to come up with ideas that the client may not have thought about. His enthusiasm for ensuring he got the design right gave me reassurance that we were on the right track.”

Halcyon Interiors | halcyoninteriors.com