After you've gotten a couple of kitchen cabinet installations under your belt, the standard, ergonomic dimensions become somewhat ingrained and taken for granted. Countertops finish out at 36 inches above the floor, wall cabinets hang 18 inches above the countertop, and their tops wind up at 7 feet to 7 feet 6 inches above the floor. For the average carpenter, these dimensions become nearly automatic, and, for the average person, they're fairly suitable.

I was recently called upon to serve a customer with a nonstandard need. Although her existing kitchen was well laid out and still in good shape, much of it was beyond her reach. Standing 4 feet 10 inches in her stocking feet, she wanted full functionality from her kitchen. That meant bringing things down to her size. I worked with her to...

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