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 naturally 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 then, they can be incorporated into the remodeling process.