What do we mean when we talk about the concept of “universal design”? It means that a living space has been designed to be as accessible as possible by all people, regardless of factors like age, size, and mobility. Often universal design is described with terms like ‘intuitive’, ‘simple’, and ‘common sense’.
Why choose universal design? To accommodate the needs of family members of varying ages in a multi-generational household, or to accommodate the needs of family members of varying mobility and height. More people are choosing universal design for new builds and renovations; whether you choose to sell or age (gracefully) in place, universal design creates the conditions for comfortable living. Let’s take a look at a few examples.
It’s so common you might not realize that layered lighting is a classic example of universal design, particularly for the kitchen. Think ambient lighting for entertaining/gathering in one area, plus brighter work lighting for cook/prep stations.
We’re also fans of Häfele lighting solutions, which include furniture and cabinetry lighting as well as hardware, fitting systems, and electronic systems.
The importance of lighting extends to the bathroom as well. We love the new Kohler Verdera mirror that will go in our breezy, beach bathroom showroom display. The Verdera line of lighted mirrors and medicine cabinets produce optimally bright light, as well as other features perfectly in line with universal design: adjustable glass shelving, a built-in electrical outlet, and multi-level mirrors (magnifying mirror available) to accommodate users of different heights.
Even simple features, like the touchless lights in our own bathroom here in the showroom, contribute to an overall universal design.
Cabinets & Drawers
When looking for cabinets and drawers that fall within universal design parameters, think about the following:
- Drawers: Pull-out drawers are often easier than bending over to reach and rummage through cabinets. Further, upper-level cabinetry can be difficult to reach for shorter family members, or those in a wheelchair.
- Pulls and handles: Choose handles with plenty of space for hands and fingers. Open shelving is a great option as well.
- Clearance: Do you need to accommodate a wheelchair or walker? Talk to a designer about how to create the appropriate clearance for maximum ease-of-use.
Visit Cabinets & Designs in our new showroom at The Shoppes at Memorial Villages! Don’t forget to stay connected with us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Houzz!