HARTFORD, Conn. - Universal design continues to be a hot button trend as Baby Boomers age. To highlight various innovative design options available, The Hartford Center for Mature Market Excellence approached Express Kitchens to build a custom, universal design kitchen for the center's musuem.

When approached the week of February 8, Express Kitchens says "it rose to the task and delivered," meeting the deadline required by the center.

“My special thanks for the wonderful job you and your team accomplished in such a short time," said William Cruz, spikesman for The Hartford. "Our business partners, the gerontology team, were delighted with the design and especially appreciated your universal design recommendations. The extra time and effort you put in were certainly worthwhile. It is a joy for me to work with people who are so dedicated."

The Hartford Center conducts original research in partnership with academic institutions and produces public education programs on safety, mobility and independence. Staffed by gerontologists, the center is uniquely positioned to apply knowledge of aging to develop one-of-a-kind products and services for The Hartford’s customers, and specialized training for The Hartford’s employees.

Besides the cabinetry and countertop, this custom kitchen showcases the following design features to integrate design ideas that will allow customers to live comfortably in their homes for a lifetime:

  • Drawer peg board system for easy lift;
  • Drawer mounted cutting board, pull out work surface;
  • Double tier cutlery tray to maximize storage;
  • Door mounted easy wire pull-out shelves with soft-close tracks;
  • Base cabinet with built in easy reach microwave;
  • Modified cabinet for wheel chair access;
  • Illuminated Lazy Susan for easy find;
  • Double trash and recycle bin with easy close tracks;
  • Soft-close doors and drawers on all cabinetry;
  • Easy pull down faucet sprayer;
  • Easy access cabinet hardware for all doors and drawers.

Express Kitchens serves both the retail and commercial markets and is the largest kitchen manufacturer-direct company in Connecticut.


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