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Five Essential Kitchen Renovation Tips for the Visually Impaired

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If your vision is failing, you can modify your home in ways that make living easy in spite of visual difficulties. The kitchen, in particular, is one of the first areas where you should focus. Here are some critical kitchen renovations to request from your contract--someone like Des Cripps (Builder) Pty. Ltd.--for people who are losing their eyesight or modifying their home to accommodate someone else with failing eyesight:

1. Eliminate, illuminate or texture steps

If you have a step or a series of steps leading into your kitchen or transitioning between the kitchen and dining area, consider removing them or making them more noticeable.

Single shallow steps can be replaced by small ramps which are less of a tripping hazard, and sets of steps can be painted with contrasting stripes that make them more visible. Alternatively, you can change the texture of the flooring right before the stair so you can can sense with your feet when the stair is in front of you.

2. Use contrasting colours

Whether you are painting steps or trying to draw attention to drawer pulls, use contrasting colours. If your steps or cabinets are blue, for example, use bright orange contrasting stripes at the edges of the stairs or for pulls on the cabinet. Other effective contrasts include black and white, purple and yellow, or red and green.

3. Invest in appliances for the visually impaired

There are a range of kitchen appliances made just for the visually impaired. You can find everything, from stoves, to microwaves, to coffee makers, featuring bright displays with large, easy-to-read numbers, easy-to-see buttons and handles, and auditory alerts.

4. Brighten up the space

To allow you to see as much as possible in spite of your vision impairment, you need a well lit kitchen. Talk with a contractor about adding skylights to your kitchen. Also, replace overhead lighting with bright task lighting.

Trained on specific areas of the kitchen such as your chopping block, your sink, or your oven, these dedicated lights make it easier to see what you are doing, and they create less visual glare than overhead lighting.

So that you can turn on the lights easily even when you've entered a dark kitchen, install light switches that glow in the dark.

5. Reduce glare

Even with the right lighting, if you have vision impairments, it can be hard to see if there is a lot of glare in the room. Avoid shiny flooring materials or window treatments, and opt for matte paint colours or textured wallpapers that don't reflect light unnecessarily.