Houston Furniture Bank D.I.V.A.SFebruary 13, 2019
2019 GHBA Rally Day—March 20February 27, 2019
Whether by choice or by circumstance, there are many intergenerational families sharing living space today—but do those spaces serve everyone in the family? Today we will look at multi-generational living and universal design, and how universal design principals serve everyone residing in your home.
Implementing universal design when you renovate a kitchen is a great way to make the most of the space, regardless of a users’ age or ability. Universal design helps keep things simple and streamlined to help you gracefully age-in-place, or more easily resell your home down the road. Create the conditions for comfortable living your kitchen with thoughtful universal design principles.
The kitchen is the heart of the modern home, a place to both work and relax. Updating kitchen lighting with layered lighting is a great way to improve the ambiance and workability of that space. Create “layers” of lighting to give you options:
- Build flexibility into lighting with dimmer switches; not only does it give you control over lighting levels, but a toggle or touch switch is also more easily controlled by family members with limited hand strength and dexterity.
- Create task lighting above countertop surfaces; under-cabinet lights brighten a work surface for ease-of-use and safety.
- Create ambiance and add safety and security to stairs or hallways with wall fixtures.
When updating cabinets and drawers, think about the following features to improve accessibility:
- Reduce pinching by choosing pulls and handles for drawers and cabinets that have enough space to accommodate hands and fingers.
- Upper-level cabinets can be challenging for shorter family members, or family members who use a wheelchair. Pull-out drawers are easier to access than upper cabinets; they are also more accessible than the bending and reaching required for deep, lower-level cabinets.
- Additional space is sometimes needed to accommodate a wheelchair or walker. A kitchen designer can help you consider clearance to maximize ease-of-use of your kitchen.