With tricks of the trade like the lifestyle assessment, Kitchen Design Concepts will tailor your kitchen remodel to your unique lifestyle – but what about the other people in your life? This is where the idea of universal kitchen design comes in – a design that allows your kitchen to “age-in-place.” It’s not about avoiding outdated features, but acknowledging that everyone’s abilities change over time and finding one good solution to meet the needs of a broad range of users.

There are lots of features available to help you create a universal kitchen that is disability and kid-friendly. For example, consider using multiple heights for work counters so kids who want to sit and guests in wheelchairs can have an easily reachable space. Swiveling cabinet doors help create knee space. Choose easy-to-use appliances with clear graphics.

Some options are even great for both universal design and saving space in a small kitchen. Pull out counters and cutting boards create lower work areas and save space (below).

Pull out drawers (below) create major storage while making kitchen utensils easier to reach for all. You could even take this idea a step further with a pull out microwave or fridge.

Whether you make major changes to your remodeling plans or simply add a pull out system to your existing plan, universal design is a great way to make sure everyone feels comfortable in your kitchen.

Desiree Johnson is a journalist, blogger, teacher and Texas native. When this 27-year-old isn’t working, she enjoys spending time with her miniature dachshund, Munchie, baking and daydreaming about kitchen remodeling plans of her own!