What We're Learning: Design For Life
Many of us have this idea on what “good design” is. We believe it’s having a fully functioning, sustainable house that incorporates personal style. Which it is but, there’s one major factor that often gets overlooked. Accessibility. This is something I’ve been recently learning in my design classes and I’d love to extend my knowledge and awareness to all of you.
A phrase that stuck with me was “What is a good design if it’s only available to some?”. It makes you think that while the house you live in now may be perfect for this moment in your life, 30 years from now when it’s harder for you to move around, is having that second story something that’ll appeal to you? Probably not. Unless you’re some health guru and can run marathons at 80 years old then those stairs are probably looking like a warm up!
However accessibility doesn’t just apply to the baby boomers but it’s relevant to anyone with a different ability. How many of us know someone with autism or someone with paraplegia? How many of us know someone who was healthy and unexpectedly was in a traumatic accident or became very ill? I know I can raise my hand to a few of those.
Now, why would it apply to those of you that are completely healthy or for those of you with a blossoming family? Well, for those of you wanting to take interior design into your own hands and move furniture around, those widened doorways and hallways make it much easier and you don’t have to squeeze and scratch your way through. Plus, it just has an elegant look to it and makes your space look a lot more open.
What about bathrooms? I don’t think I know anyone that likes to clean the track on the shower curb and what are those good for anyways? All they do is cause a possible stubbed toe or enhance your chances of tripping and hurting yourself. The solution you might ask, curb-less showers! Speaking of safety, eliminate steps and stairs. It makes it easier for deliveries and you won’t have to worry about you, your kids or whomever falling down them. Aside from having a more ergonomic home they can advertise accessibility when selling! It’s been proven that homes with universal design sell a lot faster and for a lot more.
Accessibility creates a safe space that’ll adapt with you and nourish your health through any and all life's unexpected events. What are some ways you've made your home more accessible or what are some changes you'd like to make to make your home more accessible? Comment below!