Award-Winning Universal Design

This award-winning universal design received 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.

Designed to Foster Independence

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 are especially proud of this project 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. It is conceivable she will be confined to a wheelchair someday and the design of the space needed to accommodate this possibility.

The scope of the project was focused on remodeling her lower-level bathroom and walk-in closet and installing an elevator to provide for complete independence.

Functionality and Aesthetics a High Priority

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. The bathroom requirements were to install an accessible vanity, shower, toilet, and electrical switches.

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 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.

The elevator needed to blend in seamlessly, so as not to obstruct the space in the family room.

A curbless open doorway and a trough drain provide easy accessibility.

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. There are two showerheads. One with a hose that can be moved. The second is mounted on the wall so it can be used while seated.

We included a customized shower control and accessible niche next to the bench for the ability to shower while seated.

The wall-hung toilet is at a customized height to ease muscle use.

All light fixtures and controls are easily accessible. The ledge, in lieu of grab bars, adds both functionality and aesthetics.

We are thrilled that NARI and our client both agree: we successfully achieved our client’s objectives and beautifully incorporated universal design features in the remodel of this bathroom.


Remodeling for Your Future: Stay in the Home You Love

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.

Download our free e-book, Remodeling for Your Future: Preserve your lifestyle. Stay in the home you love!


Give John a call at 612-861-0188 or fill out our Getting Started Form if you’d like to explore possibilities for your own Universal Design!


Watch it Happen

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 this bathroom remodel timelapse video.