Our award-winning expertise in Universal Design can help you have the aesthetics and comfort you desire today while seamlessly building in the functional characteristics you and your loved ones may need in the future.
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In March, I mentioned some of the reasons homeowners looking for a hidden touch of luxury might want to focus on their bathrooms. Bathrooms are uniquely personal spaces where we ready ourselves to face the world.
Renovating them with the latest materials and design ideas can turn the necessities of hygiene and grooming into the pleasures of a spa. We love to transform our clients’ experience of their own homes and the bathroom can be a good place to start.
For a quick and fun peek at an example of the process, please check out the time-lapse photography here.
All projects are transformative, but every once in a while we are given the opportunity to take making a difference in a client’s life to the next level. We recently won a CotY (Contractor of the Year) award from NARI (National Association of the Remodeling Industry) for a residential bathroom (in the $75,001-$100,000 price range). We are especially proud of this prestigious award because it features extensive use of Universal Design, which means that it was designed specifically for accessibility.
The client was looking for a long term solution to foster complete independence for their teenage daughter. She was diagnosed with a degenerative muscular disease, very much like polio, and has extreme weakness below the elbows and knees. It is conceivable she will be confined to a wheelchair someday and the design of the space needed to accommodate this possibility.
The home is modern and elegant, so functionality and aesthetics were a high priority for the client. They wanted to make sure that the bathroom blended in with the rest of the home and appear to be a normal bath, typical for a teenager.
Some before pictures:
The teenager’s living space is on the lower level of the home, therefore, the scope of the project was focused on redesigning her bathroom and walk-in closet and installing an elevator to provide for this independence. The bathroom requirements were to install an accessible vanity, shower, toilet, and electrical switches. The closet needed to have ample storage, accessible shelving, and reachable clothing rods/hooks. The elevator needed to blend in seamlessly, so as not to obstruct the space in the family room.
We added contemporary and easy to grasp hardware and non-slip porcelain tile with a contrasting color to help distinguish level changes. We also included extra knee space under the vanity that can also accommodate a wheelchair.
The heated floor and ceiling panels and the lighting in the shower area provide additional comfort and warmth. The towel warmer is placed at a reachable height providing additional warmth and comfort. Two shower heads provide two options: one with a hose that can be moved and the other mounted on the wall at a height that the shower can be utilized while seated. An open doorway, curbless, and a trough drain to provide easy accessibility.
We included a customized shower control and accessible niche next to the bench for the ability to shower while seated.
All light fixtures and controls are easily accessible. The ledge, in lieu of grab bars, adds both functionality and aesthetics. The wall hung toilet is at a customized height to ease muscle use. The height of the vanity accommodates a wheelchair should the need arise.
The pocket door was modified to accommodate a 36” opening with a handle that is easy to grasp. The walk in closet is open and customized with shelving, clothing rods, hooks, and storage that can be reached in a sitting position. A custom wheeled bench was built to fit in the closet for additional storage and seating.
We are thrilled that NARI and our client both agree: we successfully achieved our client’s objectives and beautifully incorporated universal design in the remodel of this bathroom.
If you love your house, you will want to stay in it as long as possible. Our award-winning expertise in Universal Design can help you have the aesthetics and comfort you desire today while seamlessly building in the functional characteristics you and your loved ones may need in the future.