What is Universal Design?
Over the last decade, I’ve developed a specialty in Universal Design because I believe it represents the next big step forward in our approach to the living environment, just as we are now incorporating “green” design into all new projects.
Simply put, Universal Design is an architectural approach to designing a home so that it’s user friendly to all occupants, whatever their age, ability or size. It makes the home multi-generational and flexible, so that a 4-year old can use the kitchen counters as easily as a 94-year old, a five-foot woman can access the same shelves as her 6′-2″husband, and someone with even a temporary disability can make their home work for them. It’s specifically about adapting the basic home to our evolving needs as our bodies change. The breakthrough is that, by designing with these accommodations in mind, the result is a home designed with more thoughtfulness and mindfulness– better for everyone.
As an interior designer, my passion is designing a home with style, beauty, and practical elegance–and to me, practical IS elegant. If my client recognizes the benefits of Universal Design, I integrate these underlying features in a seamless way. Once in place, Universal Design principles are taking care of you and your family even before you ‘need’ them. It bears repeating: I believe that, eventually, every home will be designed with these common sense features. Until Universal Design principles become mainstream, they can be incorporated into the remodeling process.
ROI fact: For younger families, homes that incorporate these forward-thinking design principles are shown to have a higher resale value and are wildly in demand for empty nesters looking to downsize to a home they can live in for the next 30 years. Therefore, I couple all remodels with an eye towards long-term living—for you, your family, your parents.
If you are interested in just finding out what is possible, ask about Robineve Interiors’ Universal Design Walk-Through checklist to learn about ways your home can be remodeled. It’s like a home inspection list that offers suggestions for solutions to potential issues you’ve never even realized!
These are a few examples of the many features we can consider together: