My husband loves to cook and with his legs and balance deteriorating due to his MS we needed to find a solution that would let him sit down to the work surface and prepare and cook food easily.
Initially we started with a simple plastic bar stool that would allow him to raise the level using the gas powered lever and allow him to spin from surface to surface. This was an easy and cheap option in the beginning – and allowed us to go crazy with a vibrant lime green but the single leg on a circular base made it easy to tip over and after a couple of falls we gave it away on Freecycle.
Next, we tried a standard four legged bar stool from IKEA which was a simple, classic design and less easy to tip over, but as it was so lightweight and it was high (even though we picked the lower of the two available heights) that he would sit on the edge of it and gradually the stool would move further away from the work top. So we donated it to our local charity shop and started the hunt for the next stool.
We found this gorgeous tractor seat in one of my favourite shops, TN22Sussex in Uckfield. It seemed perfect for a couple of reasons: it’s heavy and not easy to tip over or move; it swivels so he can move from chopping board to hob easily and he has to sit in it properly, not on the edge, it forces you to sit in a certain way, so less chance of sliding off the front.
Lastly of course, it looks great, gives a nice industrial edge to the kitchen and is a real talking point to visitors and their kids love to try it out.
My only one concern is he drags it across the floor to get it into the right position in the kitchen when he wants to cook, it leaves marks on the flooring. So we need to think about that when getting new floors, something that doesn’t mark so easily.
But on the whole it’s a lovely piece, very heavy, looks cool, was a reasonable price and something a little different. It’s a fun solution to a tricky problem and doesn’t look like it’s a piece for the disabled.
When it comes to thinking of solutions to help his disability it really does prove that to have an open mind and look for something that isn’t traditional allows you to experiment with something that fits in with your designs, not stands out from it.