Universal Design

Design for All: Smart Interiors for All Members of the Home

Whether you live with an active adult or a small child, with a little extra planning your home can accommodate all members of the family. Your style doesn’t have to be compromised to achieve this, either. In fact, you may find that universal design is simply good design.The term “visitability” is new on the universal design front. This means that a home accommodates everyone and encourages all ages to come and visit. Visitability features make homes easier for people who develop a mobility impairment to visit friends and extended family rather than having to turn down invitations, or not be invited at all. These features also provide a basic shell of access to permit formerly non-disabled people to remain in their homes if they develop a disability, rather than forcing them to do expensive renovations or relocate to a different house or facility. Universal and visitable design can be easily incorporated using simple designer tricks and the appropriate materials.

Working areas with mulitple heights and open access allows visitors of all ages and abilities to “play” in the kitchen.Tip: Don’t feel like you must adhere to typical solid-surface rectangular shapes. Create curves, cut-outs and unique shapes that fit your lifestyle.

Kneespace areas in a bathroom provide room to roll up a wheelchair or to sit and apply make-up.
Lever faucets provide easy on-and-off ability when dealing with arthritis or small hands.
Layered light provides ambiance and functionality for all. Can lights on dimmers, natural light and accent lamps provide versatility for any time of day.
Wet rooms with curbless showers provide easy in-and-out access with a sleek look.
An adjustable showerhead accommodates all members of the family and allows for easy cleaning of the shower and even the pets!
Whether you need a leg-shaving shelf or just a seating area, a shower bench is an affordable and effective design feature.
Wide traffic patterns free of throw rugs make for a functional kitchen.
This article was written by:

Kerrie Kelly