Universal Design Kitchen: Luxurious and Accessible

Universal Design Kitchen: Luxurious and Accessible

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2012 NW Regional CotY Award Winner: Kitchen before universal design makeover

2012 NW Regional CotY Award Winner: Kitchen before universal design makeover.

Luxurious should – and can – be a word used to describe a Universal Design home. That’s what Builder Russell Long, president of Aloha Home Builders based in Eugene, Ore., thinks who remodeled his home to fit the accessibility needs of his 16-year-old son who was born with cerebral palsy. He also adds a big misconception of universal design is that it looks institutional.

Long believes many of the design elements incorporated into his project, which won a 2012 Northwest Regional CotY Award in the Entire House $500,000 to $1,000,000 category with Universal Design Project Recognition, are convenient and luxurious, as well as functional and wheelchair accessible.

For example, the universal design features in his home include: Zero barriers, which mean there are no steps in the home, especially for entryways. All living quarters are on the first floor, with the exception of an upstairs area that was converted into an apartment with the purpose of housing a caregiver at some point. Wide hallways, open living spaces and dual entries in all rooms are common design elements used in wheelchair accessibility.

2012 NW Regional CotY Award Winner: Kitchen After universal design makeover

2012 NW Regional CotY Award Winner: Kitchen After universal design makeover

The Kitchen After

The hallways are more than 5 feet wide, and living spaces are expanded so wheelchairs can move around furniture easily. Also, having two entryways in all rooms-including the living room, dining room and kitchen-allows for ample traffic flow throughout the house.

Microwave and/or refrigeration drawers are also common in universal design, but Long says it is also a stylistic feature for those who prefer to showcase beautiful cabinetry and granite countertops rather than the eye-sore of a microwave taking up counter space.

Barrier Free In-Law Suite

Barrier Free In-Law Suite

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Tom Schiebout, President of Tomco Company, Inc. located in Andover, MN, takes us through his process of assessing, recommending and creating a barrier free in-law suite: I remember when Jon and Candace first called me. Candace’s parents in Kenosha were not physically capable of taking care of themselves and the help they had hired toContinue Reading

High Style, High Function, High Accesibility

High Style, High Function, High Accesibility

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Thanks to our good friends at UniversalDesign.com we were introduced to the gorgeous work of the Italian furniture company Snaidero. Snaidero has designed a fully customizable, modular, wheelchair accessible kitchen called Skyline Lab. It’s available in a variety of colors, shapes, sizes, and configurations to suit your style and meet your needs. “The ergonomic design ofContinue Reading

Top 10 Kitchen & Bath Trends for 2012

Top 10 Kitchen & Bath Trends for 2012

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More than 350 National Kitchen & Bath Association member designers took part in the 2012 NKBA Design Trends Survey to cite the materials, product types, and styles that they’ve incorporated into their kitchen and bath designs over the final three months of 2011. The following are 10 overall trends for kitchens and baths across theContinue Reading

Raising The Bar, err, The Wall

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Like the idea of walk-in bath tub but hate the look? Fret no more! Kohler has raised the bar (so to speak) for accessible bathing with their Elevance™ rising wall bath. It’s designed so that you can easily sit down as soon as you enter the bath. It has a chair height seat, integrated grabContinue Reading

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