This Little Miggy Stayed Home: Accessible Dream Home || The Kitchen

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Accessible Dream Home || The Kitchen

Kitchen Inspiration via Lijencrantz Design

We are renovating a 1961 mid century home and gutting it from top to bottom. In addition to be a dream house, it's also going to be an accessible dream house. You can follow along from the beginning here and here with bathroom inspiration here and here

I'm excited to share more about our Accessible Dream Home and today it's time to talk about the heart of the home.... the kitchen. In recent years I've tried to take mental notes about my taste in trends as they come and go, to pay close attention to what has lasting appeal for me. When it comes to kitchens it seems like almost anything is possible these days. Modern, traditional, contemporary, farmhouse, mixing it all up. Same with color palette--the all white kitchen, bold cabinet colors, neutral tones, and of course classic black and white. While there is a huge variance in styles, there are a couple of things everyone seems to be doing these days. First, one of the biggest trends that differs from my childhood to now is the kitchen island replacing the breakfast nook as the informal gathering place for the family. This has been true for us as well--from casual meals to homework, our large kitchen island is always a hot spot. And while I love our island I have to admit sitting along one long row often doesn't feel as cozy as the dining table since we can't all see each other's face--therefore when we have the chance I opt for the dining table as much as possible. Additionally, back splashes are another modern mainstay. Once only having prominence around the stove--if even that--back splashes often go from counter to ceiling and around the entire kitchen, in a variety of finishes from tile to marble and anything in between.

I sorta surprised myself being drawn to a warmer palette for the kitchen, as I initially assumed I'd be doing a black and white kitchen, but as soon as I saw the inspiration photo above, I knew that was going to be the jumping off point for our new kitchen. The words I use to describe my perfect kitchen are warm, quiet, modern, elegant, minimal, neutral. Pictured below is my inspiration board for what I'm envisioning for our kitchen.
First, those beautiful, mid-tone wood cabinets... they had me at hello. I'm not entirely sure about the upper cabinets, but I'm thinking either more wood or some simple white uppers. I may do a small section of open shelving, but to be honest I'm not big on that trend. I think it looks nice, but the cleaning is not something I want to keep up on. I'm leaning more towards adding some cabinets with glass fronts.

The next key player is the warm natural stone for the stove back splash and possibly counters as well. The photo above is of the actual stone I have picked out, it's quartzite (yes a natural stone, different from quartz) and I love it. I wanted a stone that was quiet, while still having lots of movement. Found it! And while I'll always love grey, I'm digging the fact that this stone also has a lot of beige tones going on.

I knew I wanted pendants, but nothing too flashy that would take away from the stone, and not spherical since I am using plenty of sphere shaped lighting fixtures elsewhere. I think these concrete pendants are the perfect earthy yet modern choice. And while I know they'll only have a lot of down light, I'm not worried about that as we'll have 3 skylights above the island and lots of natural light in general.

Bentwood bar stools are a perfect example of a style I was never really into before, but low and behold I love them. It's funny how my taste has leaned away from loud and funky in my 20's, to mid century everything in my 30's, and now in my 40's I'm craving more calm and classic, but still mixed with my mid century love. I already have similar bar stools that I got at Restoration Hardware last year and love them.

Initially I thought we'd do stainless for all the appliances but I'm leaning toward this beautiful white fridge by Kitchen Aid. Love the modern white finish with a nod to earlier times. The dishwasher will be stainless, but I'm still not sure about the stove.

And lastly I want to try this Delta Touch faucet. This is one of the ways I want to make our kitchen a little more accessible for Lamp. One less thing to grab and turn on is easier for everyone. However the reviews are all over the place, so I'm not totally sold on it.

As far as other accessible features of the kitchen, one of the main things will be having the island drop down on one side of a table height. This will make it easier for Lamp to join us at the island either in her chair, or in a regular chair. Which means there will be 3 bar stools on one side of the island, and 2 chairs on one end. While I generally like islands to have seating all along one side for a cleaner look, I'm actually looking forward to this arrangement for all of us. I think it will make eating casual dinners at the island more enjoyable where we can all talk and see each other easier.

Additionally, the island will have a small prep sink. We wanted to make it easier for Lamp to get up on the counter (she can go from the lower level counter to the higher counter) to wash her feet whenever she needs. Right now this is almost always something she needs our assistance with. Remember she uses her feet as her hands, but they're still feet.

The walkways will be at least 4 feet wide and we'll most likely be putting the microwave down low and we are also considering a mini fridge under the counter that she'll be able to access as well.

I've put a lot of thought into this kitchen and hope it all turns out as beautiful and functional as I hope it will. This isn't just about making it ADA standard accessible, but Lamp specific accessible which is tricky as she's still growing and adjusting. If you have any questions or thoughts I'd love to hear them below. Universal or accessible design specialists are especially welcome to chime in!



  1. Sounds amazing, Miggy!--Melanie

  2. This looks amazing! Ironically, as I read this, my husband is installing the same faucet in a stainless finish in our kitchen right now. Ever since we moved in 2 years ago, I've been itching to replace our beautiful but less than functional faucet. I'll let you know what we think of it once we've put it to the test!

  3. AMY!!! I'm perusing your blog for catch up and found this post and these are the EXACT cabinets I've picked out for our kitchen! EEEK!! Great minds think a like! Aren't they gorgeous!! I can't wait to see how you pull them together for a mid century look.

  4. When we remodeled our kitchen we got a touchless faucet and it is our favorite thing in the kitchen.