|Accessible by Design|
|Bed & Bath|
|Entries, Doors, Halls & Stairs|
A kitchen is often thought of as the “heart of the home.” For generations, families and friends have gathered in the kitchen to make and break bread and to engage in a wide range of social activities. Today, we live longer than our predecessors did and as a result, are less likely to be as dexterous as we once were and significantly less mobile.
It is no secret that the bathroom is the site of many home accidents. Many people take measures to reduce the possibility of injuries—most notable by reducing “slipperiness” with higher friction mats, coatings and by attaching “safety tread” type materials. This is a good start, but, it is only the beginning.
Gerald Brennan was 84 years old when he observed, “Old age takes away from us what we have inherited and gives us what we have earned.” He was referring to those physical capacities we are born with, but, if some of the things we have earned over time such as our unique identities and our homes, then circumstances and old age may well take those away from us also.
Use this score sheet to rate the efficiency of your kitchen – as it is now and with any planned modifications. It will help you design a more convenient and functional kitchen. Compare your “before” and “after” scores with the rating at the end of this fact sheet. (PDF Format Only)
An accessible home incorporates adaptation and accommodation preparations and installations in living and work areas that can make a dwelling safe and functional to the residents for a lifetime. Making a home more accessible for life is a good investment on every level.
A majority of home-buying and building decisions are made people are in the prime of life and health. Often, primary considerations are safety for children, budget, color, floor plan, neighborhood and school districts. In a society where people live longer and where many medical conditions are treatable, planning for future lifestyles and physical limitations can be very important. This article gives some suggestions on how to design for future accessibility.
Universal design means creating spaces that meet the needs of all people, young and old, abled and disabled. From the arrangement of the rooms to the choice of colors, many details go into the creation of accessible spaces. Some general guidelines are listed here.
Kitchens, laundry areas and home offices are three types of workspace commonly found in the home environment. Despite many differences between the three, all should be designed for efficiency and productivity. Try to avoid spaces that are poorly lit, inconveniently located or overly cramped.
Social areas are places in the home where family and friends can gather for entertainment, discussion or other social activities. Most often, social areas are located on the ground level of the home, but are not limited to one room. Having a few social areas that differ in size and feel can create the opportunity for family members to experience different activities while remaining in close proximity. This can help foster family bonding.
Garages are great places for vehicular, seasonal, and recreational equipment. A well-organized garage space allows for extra storage capabilities. There are several great ways to fill your garage with ample storage while still maintaining room for vehicles, bikes, barbecue grills, and other large equipment if necessary.
There are quite a few architectural elements in your home that you have probably dismissed as not adding significantly to the overall character of your house. These may include doors, hallways, stairs and entries. Reconsidering and addressing the significance of these everyday elements, however, may added a renewed vigor to your home.
Planned storage in each room reduces clutter and makes rooms seem larger. When you are designing a home, adding space or planning to change the way you use existing space, evaluate our current and future needs (toys, games, seasonal decorations, bedding, records and files, electronics, etc.). Plan to use adjustable shelving so you'll have some flexibilty.
Portal page for information about the various spaces in the home and how to design these areas for maximum functionality.
Well-designed bedrooms and bathrooms help lead to happier and more positive attitudes. They are the usually the first and last places you visit in your day and should be designed to be relaxing and comfortable.