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Writing about ableism, or “the oppression of people with disabilities,” is one of Marina Carlos‘ passions. After spending years working in the social media field, the activist and author now uses most of her time to advocate for the rights of people with disabilities. So when it came time to buy a home for herself in crowded Paris, Carlos — who is a wheelchair user — was especially mindful to find one that was laid out in an accessible way (something she says was challenging to find in the City of Light). She eventually found a space and got to work decorating and arranging it in a way that worked for her.
“To create my wheelchair-accessible home, I had three keywords in mind: autonomy, safety, and practicality so that I could live in the most serene way,” Carlos explains.
We took the tour of Carlos’ 678-square-foot apartment in Paris and learned three important lessons about her kitchen’s accessible design. Let’s take a look.
1. Declutter as much as possible.
While the layout of her apartment may only measure 678-square-feet, Carlos’ home feels spacious because she’s mindful about managing clutter. Why? Carlos’s number-one goal is to create a safe, functional living space. She says, “I declutter as much as I can to always have a nice clean space that is easy to navigate around and which makes me feel more peaceful!”
One way to tackle kitchen clutter is to keep your counter space clean and clear. Banish unnecessary stacks of paper and only display the things you love or find the most useful. It’s easier said than done, but remember that keeping something because you might need it someday comes at the expense of living in a breathable, movable space.
2. Consider a customizable kitchen kit.
When Carlos first began upgrading her apartment kitchen, she started with researching custom designers who specialize in wheelchair accessible homes. The cost became a big obstacle so, instead, Carlos got creative. “I looked for ‘designed kitchen kits’ that I could adapt to my needs,” she says, pointing to her upper cabinets that open from the bottom up. “Mine is from Schmidt but you can find some even cheaper at places like IKEA.”
Carlos installed table-height countertops so that cooking on the stove, for instance, was doable from a seated position. “I also put up some shelves with condiments and spices right near the stove to have them at hand while cooking and chose a Slide&Hide oven from the brand Neff, which makes cooking easy and safe as it has a retractable door,” she says.
3. Infuse your personality into your space.
Carlos’ home has been transformed into an accessible space for her needs, and she didn’t sacrifice on style. (Just look at her DIY kitchen board that playfully reads, “It’s not about the pasta.”) Describing her aesthetic as minimalistic and colorful, she says, “I love when spaces reflect the person’s personality so I would just advise to stay true to your style when decorating your home!”
What do you love most about this kitchen? Tell us in the comments below!
Source by www.thekitchn.com