Seated Chef’s Functional Kitchen Design

The 2021 forecast for kitchen design is open plan and visual design continuity with the surrounding open space. Functionality comes first when planning a kitchen for a seated chef, followed by contemporary styling. A visitor will first evaluate the aesthetics and the users will consider functionality first. It is up to the designer’s skill and ingenuity to marry all needs together.
This plan is for a family kitchen of four, where one of the parents is a wheelchair user. The L-shaped layout accommodates hob/cooking top, oven, fridge, and a prep bowl. There is ample open floor space for the seated chef to turn and manoeuvre in.

Across the top of image and down right-hand side of image is the L shaped kitchen cabinetry layout. Starting on the top left to top right (Preparation area) the labels read: Pantry pull-out storage units, Open Counter-top, oven and microwave, open counterspace, open hob/cooktop. Moving down the right-hand side: prep bowl with cutting board inset wall cupboards with internal pull-down shelf mechanism. In the lower right-hand side is the open scullery area. From right to left the labels read: Broom cupboard, sink and dishwasher. In the left Centre is a rectangular table with two chairs on each of the long sides of the rectangle.

The counter- top height is a fixed 860mm, which is finalised with the individual client. There is open space below the stove and the food preparation area. for the seated chef to sit at and work comfortably. The kickplate recess is 200mm x200mm, allowing for the foot of the wheelchair to recess below the lower cupboards. There is open space alongside the large storage cupboards to use when selecting ingredients for dinner and an additional pull-out surface next to the oven. The width (front to back) on counter-top is increased from the usual 600mm to 760-860mm. The lower units have pull or looped doors handles while the upper units have touch hinges. Lighting is always important in a kitchen. Under counter lights are essential for good task lighting.

Following on from the plan view this image is a perspective view of the L shaped Reading the labels, anti-clockwise from bottom left corner: Non-consumable pull-out storage, consumable pull-out storage unit, pot drawers below oven and microwave, additional pull-out surface in set of drawers, hob/cooktop. Top right-hand-side points to wall cupboards with internal pull-down shelf and under-counter lighting.
Preparation area
Image shows elevation of sink area, from left to right: broom cupboard, height adjustable double bowl sink, double bin unit and dishwasher.
Sink area

Sink area

The sink unit is height adjustable, allowing for all to wash up with the sink at a comfortable height, 710mm to 915mm. The dishwasher is raised 200mm above the floor to allow for better reach when packing and unpacking dishes.


The height of the washing machine and tumble dryer are raised 200mm off the floor to allow for better access from the wheelchair.

Image shows elevation of laundry area, from left to right: tumble dryer, washing machine, lower height cupboard and two drawers with an additional pull-out surface. The lower height is used to hold wash basket.
Laundry area

Mobile kitchen unit
A kitchen unit or trolley is a helpful addition for moving items safely around the kitchen. The ease of use is assisted by a level smooth, floor surface.

Look back at these blogs for more guidelines:
Kitchen for Seeing Hands, 10 September 2020
Planning a Kitchen for Visually Impaired People, 24 September 2020
Kitchen for the Seated Chef, 4 February 2021 +

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