Tall people just don’t understand! It’s humiliating not being able to reach even the second shelf in your own kitchen or having to stretch and groan to get dishes from the lowest one. And the top shelf? Forget about it, it’d take a ladder! It’s not just the wall cabinets either. Countertops are too high, making your arms tired as you cook, and straining your shoulders. It’s not as safe either, raising the risk of cuts or burns.
On the flipside, designing a kitchen fit for a Hobbit is a great way to decrease resale value. Plus even short people have tall friends, family members, and guests, who’d have an even harder time squatting and stooping and bumping their heads. Fortunately, many of our customers have dealt with these very same issues, and we can offer some tips and ideas you might not have thought of!
Multiple Counter Heights
Try installing standard 36” base cabinets around appliances for ease of purchase and replacement. Then, if you have room for an island, or a peninsula branching off of the main counter, make some of it shorter by two to four inches, and some of it taller by the same. That way you’ll have a comfortable, safe work space, and so will your taller companions. Even a small workspace at each height can transform cooking from a painful chore to a joy for people of any height!
That doesn’t solve the issue of wall cabinets for short people though…
Dishes are usually the heaviest things you get in and out of your cabinets for on a daily basis. They also tend to be fragile. Having heavy, fragile things overhead is a recipe for disaster! So how about shelves for commonly-needed dishes and glasses underneath the counter, or underneath the wall cabinets? Alternatively, a small section of the cabinetry could be made into a tower of shelves at various heights for easy access to all kinds of things!
Incorporate a Stepping Stool Docking Bay
As a last resort, if you’re replacing both cabinetry and flooring, it’s pretty easy to include a section with an open storage area, sized for a stepping stool. Ordinarily these would be in the way, and a tripping hazard in the kitchen, but if it has a home it can always roll into, neat and tucked out of the way, the vertically challenged will be able to climb the tallest towers and reach the greatest of heights! Or maybe just the top shelf.