Geoffs really useful, accessible kitchen

Everyone wants a beautiful kitchen…but what about an accessible kitchen

Everyone wants a beautiful kitchen, but when you’re disabled, it needs to be an accessible kitchen too. Former BBC correspondent, Geoff Adams-Spink, a thalidomide survivor, has managed topull off both.

Working with Bucks-based kitchen specialists, Design Matters, Geoff, who lives in London, has devised a kitchen that has unique features adapted to his needs while still being cutting-edge design.

Geoff said, “I wanted a kitchen that I could work in but in which others, including my personal assistants, would also be at home. I’m well aware that adaptations for disabled people very often devalue a property when it’s sold because the purchaser has to factor in the cost of removing whatever has been altered. This kitchen will be quite the reverse – a positive selling feature and not a liability.”

In order to accommodate the new kitchen, the ground floor of Mr Adams-Spink’s home in Harrow was extended and internal walls were removed to create a 45 square metre space. Design Matters then fitted a range of oak units made by its sister company, AccessMatters, topped with premium quality (Volga-blue) black granite. The kitchen is fitted with a range of designer appliances by Neff, Miele, Elica and Liebherr.

What was important?
“The important thing for me was to have good lighting, excellent colour contrast and items
placed at the right height in order to minimise bending,” he said.
The colour scheme is a combination of dark blue, complemented by blue LED overhead, plinth and cabinet lighting.

Who designed the kitchen?
The task of designing the kitchen was given to Adam Thomas of Design Matters, who is also disabled. He and Geoff had met at an exhibition and Geoff was so impressed by what he saw that he immediately decided to use Design Matters to fulfil his dream of a kitchen in which he could easily work and in which he could indulge his passion for good food.

Mr Thomas said, “On meeting Geoff at our showroom, he showed me a set of very ambitious plans that were going to transform a standard, suburban ‘metroland’ house into a luxurious open-plan living space with masses of light; this would be controlled by a sophisticated remote control system incorporating electric blinds. I had to consider not only the accessibility aspect of the design but also the style of the kitchen – something that Geoff and I discussed on many occasions. The detail in the design was apparent from thestart: this meant of course, using our bespoke range of kitchen furniture – Access Matters. Two factors in the design were the worktop and handle heights, crucial to minimise bending for Geoff – everything had to be designed at the right height. Equally, the lighting was just as important.”