Universal Design

Universal Design is a basic design concept that is widely used to make something easily accessible to everyone without compromising on the aesthetic of it. With products as well as home renovations, this means they design it with everyone in mind including those with a physical handicap, elderly, young, and everyone in between. The three main elements of universal design is that it is safe, stylish, and meant for everyone.

Many features of universal design are very minimal but can significantly impact the way your home works for your family in illness, injury, and the everyday. For example, tiered counters, or counters with multiple heights allows for small children or family members confined to a wheelchair access to everyday kitchen activities. Well lit rooms with task lighting and easy-to-grab door and drawer pulls also keep a kitchen in the universal design game.

Universal Design could also be as minimal as choosing a toilet paper holder or towel rod that is also rated as a grab bar. A few small changes could help keep a person independently living at home years longer. Having door frames that can accommodate a wheelchair or ground level access or a ramp instead of stairs going into the home can be a huge advantage either for everyday physical handicaps or in case of a broken leg. Even the location of a shower nook can be a universal design decision. Keeping the nook at belly button height to prevent overreaching and near a built in shower bench are all universal design decisions.

Universal design can keep a person independent longer and keeps a home functional for everyone. These decisions are also a good thing to consider if you’ll be selling your home in the future. Functionality is never a bad feature to have. The aesthetics of universal design have never been better with so many products and finishes to consider, choosing the right materials is also a universal design decision. You wouldn’t want a wheelchair accessible house with a thick carpet that is difficult to roll over. Cork flooring is a good material for floors in universal design. It is smooth, not too slippery, comes in a variety of colors, and is warm on the feet.

With all the products out there today, universal design is not difficult to achieve. A home you can grow old in comfortably and is safe, stylish, and meant for everybody–that sounds like a new dream home to consider.

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