Universal Design

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.


Kitchen Lighting


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.


Bathroom Lighting


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 FacebookTwitterPinterest, and Houzz!

Cabinets & Designs Showroom Update: Breezy Beach Bathroom

One of our favorite designs taking shape in our new showroom at The Shoppes at Memorial Villages is what we call our “beach bathroom” display. We love the laid-back vacation vibe, which is a bit of a departure from the ultra-trendy ‘spa retreat’ bathroom but achieves many of the same ends—a relaxing space to retreat for privacy and pampering.


Think “Weekend in Galveston”


The color and design of our breezy beach bathroom call Galveston, or perhaps Key West to mind; in fact, the door style on display is the Key West with Louvered inserts in Aqua Shade. A Dekton from Cosentino in Makai gently picks up the blue from the cabinetry.


Hidden Treasure


Interior drawer lights that turn on automatically when you open a drawer; special routing for the wiring that snaps into place and for a plug-in-and-go installation, proprietary to Wood-Mode; almost wish we could leave it open so you could see how intricate the design and engineering are.


Drawer-within-a-drawer interior organizers to keep cosmetics and personal care items separate and organized.


Kohler Sink + Mirror


Another design choice that contributes to the beachy vibe of this bathroom is the wading pool sink by Kohler. Not only does it resemble beach glass, the shallow organic shape feels ocean-inspired. The shape, and the way the bowl sits in the countertop, quietly suggests a wave lapping at the shore.


Kohler is also giving us a beautiful lighted Verdera mirror, a new product with unique features: optimally bright lighting eliminates harsh shadows, optional dimmer switches offer control, an inset electrical outlet adds convenience, an adjustable pull-out mirror (with or without magnification) accommodates different heights, and adjustable glass shelves make the unit entirely customizable.


We would love to see you at our new showroom at The Shoppes at Memorial Villages–stop in and say hello! Don’t forget to stay connected with us on FacebookTwitterPinterest, and Houzz!

Trends on Display: Wood-Mode Tiffany + Whitney Door Styles Showroom Kitchen

Our new showroom at The Shoppes at Memorial Villages continues to take shape, including some beautiful new updates in our Wood-Mode Tiffany + Whitney kitchen. Some of our favorite details dovetail nicely with current trends in home renovation and kitchen design.

Whitney II Tiffany Kitchen Cooktop

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Best of KBIS 2017

One of our favorite parts of the annual Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS) is the incredible “Best of KBIS” awards that are presented each year. The official list of 2017 Best of KBIS Award winners features innovative products in the following categories: Best in Show, Best of Bath (Gold, Silver), and Best of Kitchen (Gold, Silver), as well as the People’s Choice Awards which are voted on the week after KBIS.

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Last Call for Wood-Mode ‘Pick-a-Premium’ Sale

Interest in the latest Wood-Mode ‘Pick-a-Premium’ Event has soared in recent weeks, which means it’s time to remind you that it’s your last chance to save big, so act now! The deadline to save is February 24, 2017, but we urge you to stop in and get started before February 10 in order to have time to shop, and take full advantage of this incredible savings opportunity.

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Renovation Goals for 2017

Happy New Year! We’ve hit the ground running in 2017 here at Cabinets & Designs, so stay tuned to the blog (and subscribe to our newsletter) for coming updates on the new showroom and much more. Don’t forget that the Wood-Mode Pick-a-Premium event deadline has been extended through February 24, so if one of your resolutions was new cabinetry, now is the time to shop.

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GHBA Rally Day 2017: Wednesday, February 22

The Greater Houston Builders Association (GHBA) is the largest home builders association in Texas, and the third-largest nationwide. GHBA members are involved in all aspects of the development, homebuilding, and remodeling industry, including advocacy. In a few weeks, GHBA members—including Cabinets & Designs’ president Maria Frank—will head to Austin to visit with state legislators and weigh in on legislation affecting homebuilders across the state at Rally Day 2017.

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