Innovation in daily living aids

Although probably not the first items you’d think of in terms of aesthetics, style and ergonomics, daily living aids play a large part in making life easier for many people suffering from mild to more serious disability, or even just recuperating from illness or surgery.

Manufacturers have not been slow to bring product evolution, technical materials and fashion trends into the many categories now increasingly available.

Here, we’ll take a brief look at a selection of these aids and gadgets that help us do the things we need to do easier.

For many people, using a normal kettle can create difficulties as just lifting and coordinating your grip can be hard, especially if the grip is weak and even the weight of an empty kettle can create problems.

Enter the Uccello Kettle, this is a Combination Kettle with Tipper, which means that it does the job for you pretty much. The Uccello has an effortless power-steering pour action. The weighted base of the Uccello Kettle swivels on a rotating axis to help pour hot water safely and steadily so it’s a highly useful aid in the kitchen, albeit at a price, coming in at around £55 including VAT.

In terms of design and styling, the Uccello is right up there with any modern coffee maker, juicer, or toaster, fitting in with that contemporary styling, so not out of place in a modern and stylish kitchen space.

Keeping our home secure and protected against unwanted trespassers is important to all of us, yet sometimes we need to grant access to others, or even just for our own use, and a Master Lock Key Safe achieves this, adding another layer of security.

It’s amazing how many home-owners still default to leaving keys under mats, plant-pots, window-sills etc – all first call places to look for would be intruders. I would have to admit here, I have been known to hide my own car keys near the front door when going out running, as I don’t want a key jangling around in my shorts!

The Master Lock Key Safe fits easily and blends with any exterior or interior design scheme, whilst keeping keys safe, it can hold up to 6 Yale type keys or 4 Mortice style keys.

For maximum levels of security, the Key Safe is fitted with a sliding shutter which conceals the lock and boasts a programmable, 4 digit combination code, with 10,000 possible permutations. 

This kind of key safe is also very useful if you have rental properties, garages, or sheds where you potentially need to let others gain access when you are not there. 

Another regular use for this is with the elderly or disabled, where carers need to gain access to the home safely and securely without the risk of keys going missing or being stolen. 

When it comes to preparing food for cooking in the home, the task can be difficult as you’re juggling with veg and ingredients that sometimes feels like it has a mind of its own and is intent on evading any kind of grip!

Manufacturers have been very keen to help alleviate this problem that affects so many people, who otherwise really enjoy preparing food, cooking, or baking. 

One device that’s been particularly well received in this space, is the Kitchen Workstation, this device whilst being lightweight and portable, has almost too many food prep options to mention here, but for the slippery carrot, or escapee sprout, times now up!

What I really love about the workstation, is that it’s very versatile in that it can hold steady almost anything you need to cut, slice, grate or dice and it therefore leads to a better end result in your final results. Use for preparation of salads, vegetables, and a wide range of baking applications, freeing up your hand when whisking, spreading, or slicing. 

 

If you find you spend far too long in the kitchen, wrestling with your ingredients and taking longer than you want to, the Kitchen Workstation is for you and will give you back the enjoyment of cooking or baking again.

Staying in the kitchen, who else struggles with opening cans and jars, especially the ring-pull types? 

The Multi Use Tin Opener has been designed to help out on that particular issue that creates difficulty for so many (not least the pesky ring-pulls snapping off!!) At just under £5 this is a godsend. 

It enables you to easily open cans or tins with a ring pull, pressure sealed bottle caps, open tins, lift tin lids and open stubborn jar lids – so very useful to have around in the kitchen!

So a few ideas for you from the huge and growing ideas and innovations out there for daily living aids, if you want to see more ideas, for different parts of your home and garden, check out the category page here

 

 

Phil Ashforth is a staff writer for Mobility Smart, an online retailer of health,

wellbeing and mobility equipment to help you recover from injury,

recuperation and protection of joints and muscles when exercising or just

helping you in normal daily life, you’ll find their website here

How to Create Stylish and Effective Kitchen Lighting

The kitchen is the heart of your home. It’s where you cook meals for your family as you come together to start or finish the day. In our busy modern lives, it also doubles as a space to relax and home office, as well as a storage space and a place to entertain. That’s a lot of functions for just one room, so it’s important that you use lighting which is both stylish and effective for your kitchen.

Task Lighting

Task lighting is perhaps the most important aspect of planning your kitchen lighting. You will need to place task lighting around your cooking and prep areas, for safety more than anything else. You’ll want to place task lighting above sinks, worktops and hobs. Recessed lighting works best for this, as hanging fixtures can attract dirt from cooking. Above the hob, opt for an extractor with four or more lights, and use pendant lighting above any islands. Drawer and cabinet lighting also works well, as it saves you time looking for a specific utensil or ingredient.

Mood Lighting

If you are using your kitchen as a multi-functional space with elements of a living area, you’ll want to use mood lighting to create ambience. You’ll want to seek out softer, warmer lighting that can be easily dimmed – this will transform the space from somewhere to cook to somewhere where you can entertain and relax. Plinth lighting (also known as strip lighting) works great for this, especially around an island or breakfast bar, to give the illusion of floating furniture.

Dining Lighting

If your kitchen is open-plan with a dining area, you’ll want to use different types of lighting to distinguish between the two areas. Pendant lights work best for dining tables, and you can use wall lighting to create a warm glow.

Multiple Levels

Lighting on different levels works perfectly in a kitchen. Mix overhead pendant lights with undercabinet lighting for maximum results. Try and make everything dimmable, including the undercabinet lights, to create the ideal mood.

Avoid lighting from the ceiling only

One mistake that some people make when designing lighting for their kitchen is lighting just from the ceiling. This can lead to shadows on the work surfaces, which isn’t good for safety whilst cooking. Lighting the backsplash above your hob is an easy way to avoid shadows.

LED bulbs

LED bulbs save both energy and money, as they last for years without ever needing to be replaced. You can use them in task lighting and mood lighting, and they work well in any room, not just the kitchen. Here are some uses of LED kitchen lighting:

  • Accent lighting on shelves
  • Lighting glass countertops from below
  • Highlighting architectural features
  • Track lighting in rooms where recessed lighting cannot be used.

It doesn’t matter whether your kitchen is open plan, or small and closed off. You can use lighting to transform your kitchen into a stylish environment that is suitable for cooking, dining and entertaining.

How to make the best use of your space

We’d all like the luxury of having ample space at home. Sadly though, square footage comes at a premium in today’s property market. However, the fact that a house or flat is a little on the small side doesn’t mean it can’t exude style and glamour, and be highly practical too. Here are some top tips to help you make the most of every inch of your home.

 

Be imaginative with your storage solutions

Perhaps most importantly, get creative with your storage solutions. There are a host of innovative products out there for you to make the most of, and you might be surprised by how much additional storage you can squeeze into your property by using a little imagination. For example, you may benefit from taking a look at the bespoke shelving systems offered by specialist suppliers like Shelfstore. You can design these products to perfectly match the dimensions of your rooms.

These shelves can be fitted virtually anywhere, no matter how small or awkwardly shaped the available space is. Perhaps you’d like to add shelves to the area under your stairs and to the space above the toilet cistern in your bathroom. Also, think about positioning shelves above the cupboards in your kitchen. There, they can provide extra storage for food, crockery and more.

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Invest in multifunctional furniture

Another top tip is to invest in multifunctional items of furniture. When you’re choosing your sofa, consider designs that can double up as guest beds too. This way, you can transform your lounge into an extra sleeping space whenever you have visitors over to stay. Meanwhile, as well as providing a place to perch, ottomans can offer hidden storage.

It’s also worth considering whether a dining table that doubles up as a desk would make a good addition to your home.

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Create the illusion of added square footage

As well as focusing on these practical issues, it’s important to think about the look of your property. There are certain clever tactics you can employ to make your rooms appear larger than they actually are. For example, be sure to use plenty of mirrors. These reflective items create the illusion of added space. Also, make the most of any natural lighting on offer, and use an array of artificial illuminations in your rooms to ensure they always look bright and airy. Neutral colour schemes tend to work best in bijou spaces, and design touches like sheer curtains and glass-fronted cabinets can help to open rooms up.

It’s also savvy to select the same flooring for adjacent rooms. This will help to ensure the spaces flow into one another, giving the impression they are larger.

By following simple suggestions like these, you shouldn’t struggle to make the most of your space.