As we’ve talked about often, universal design is about making home design accessible to everyone. It takes into consideration the needs of all types of people. Not only does universal design make sense, it addresses the various senses. This week, we’ll conclude the 12 universal design features with a group that emphasize sight, sound and touch and that are easy for your custom remodeler to include.
Abundant and even lighting: this makes good common sense, but so often homes in northern VA don’t have it. There’s not enough light to see the stairs or the light is so varied that it’s difficult to see at all. Make sure all your rooms, hallways, stairs and other traffic areas have lots of light, spilling evenly across all areas. As we age, it is more difficult to see, and if the lighting is uneven, it’s more difficult to sense the edge of the step or the cross-over area of a room.
Install grab bars in bathing areas: anyone can slip and fall in the tub or shower, no matter your age. Grab bars are sensible and can be unobtrusive in the shower or bath. By making them the same color as the wall tile or shower stall with a chrome or brass highlight, it will blend in yet stand out for you to see when needed.
Comfortable furniture and furnishings are a must, especially as we age. While a cushy sofa or chair may look great, you have to be able to sit in it comfortably and get out of it when it comes time to stand up! It’s also helpful if the furnishings have back support to protect your back and legs.
Finally, telephones and doorbells should have low frequency tones. It’s easier to hear them and they are easy on the ears. Your custom builder can select these for you.