Kitchen Design: Island Delights at REHACARE


For many, the kitchen is the heart of the home. It’s the place where most people meet up during a party, it’s a family’s epicenter and the favorite spot for many hobby chefs. That’s why it is all the more important that a kitchen fits its individual owners. Just what a custom kitchen might look like can be seen at the REHACARE.

Those who want to buy a new kitchen need a lot of patience. First, you compare different vendors and then you choose a color, shape and functions. Generally, this is when you start to notice that not everything you want is also feasible – for instance because the room limit the design or your wallet isn’t big enough to pay for your dream designer kitchen. Yet all of this is something you can handle.

But what can you do when it comes down to basics? The most beautiful kitchen is worthless if you can’t cook in it because you are in a wheelchair and the countertop is too high. Simply lowering the countertop isn’t always the answer. That’s something Ralf Elbrächter from the Granberg Company which provides lift systems for kitchens and bathrooms can also attest to: "Oftentimes, the height isn’t right in kitchens because everybody needs a different countertop height to wash dishes and to prepare or cook meals. Upper wall cabinets are inaccessible for wheelchair users for instance."

Photo: Granberg booth at REHACARE 2015.

Try it, you’ll like it: the Granberg Company has brought nearly its entire kitchen portfolio to the REHACARE. The company showcases lift systems for countertops and upper wall cabinets; © beta-web/Günther

Lift systems are a solution for this. Not only are they able to move cabinets but also entire kitchen islands. "We have special lift systems for countertops and upper wall cabinets that can be adjusted in height. Lift systems for kitchen islands with cook units and sinks are also an option. There are many different models available. Some move up and down, others also move forward. You always need to check what’s best for the customer," says Elbrächter.

Grants are an option

Generally, lift systems fit into every standard kitchen, but it makes sense to factor in all measurements during the design process. Theoretically, older kitchens can also be retrofitted but you should check whether this type of expense still makes sense. "You can estimate to pay approximately 2,000 Euros for a lift system, give or take," explains Elbrächter. If the buyer has been assigned a German long-term care level ("Pflegestufe"), he or she receives an allowance, otherwise he or she might be able to obtain an interest-free loan. It is definitely important to get detailed information on this.

Companies such as Granberg, for example, are excellent contacts for this. If you are planning to buy a new kitchen and are still wondering about financing, you can visit potential contacts directly during the REHACARE.

Photo: Granberg booth at REHACARE 2015.

Mr. Ralf Elbrächter from Granberg using a lift systems; © beta-web/Günther

Problems with different heights are not just an issue in the kitchen. In bathrooms, vanity sink tops that are too high can also cause concerns. Lift systems can be used here. It is also essential to plan early to avoid issues right from the start. If you are interested in different custom solutions, plan on visiting Hall 3. Here you are able to find different exhibitors that feature "Accessible Living".

Photo: Simone Ernst

© B. Frommann

Simone Ernst