Universal Design in Action

Universal Design Ideas

There are likely elements of universal design in most homes already, including yours. Universal design helps in the kitchen, bathroom and the entire home because of the comfort and convenience it provides to everyone without regard to the homes age, location or needs.

Dan Bawden’s“Actionable Ideas for Universal Design” (Qualified Remodeler June 2013) includes, among others, 18 universal design ideas for your home, inspired by the article. See what you have, see what you need and see what you want to make things in your kitchen, your bathroom and your home, more efficient and user-friendly today and for years to come:

1. Build knee space with a raised wall on lower base cabinets or under counter tops in the kitchen.

2. Include a pull-out shelf under the oven for convenient storage.

3. Widena doorways.

4. More lighting – new LED lighting options are much better and far cooler than prior lighting systems and the last longer.

5. Put microwaves at counter height on a shelf (stop pulling hot plates from above your head).

6. Use appliances built into drawers for easier access and more room – this includes: refrigeration, warming drawers and dishwashers.

7. Consider Induction cook tops – safer and more energy efficient.

8. Consider a lower or adjustable height counter top for easier use.

9. Use Roll out shelves and pull out cabinets for easy access to dishes, pans and other kitchen items.

10. Put lever handles on all door locks.

11. Remove the bathroom tub and put in a cur bless, zero threshold walk-in showers.

12. While remodeling a bath, include a strong grab bar in the spot where users step into the tub or shower.

13. Include a hand held shower head along with the main shower head.

14. Build shampoo niches or shower benches.

15. Put down slip-resistant, textured floors to bathrooms avoid slipping accidents.

16. If you need a bathtub, consider one with a door for seated bathing or a ledge this will help aid young children and can provide easier access for an adult who needs assistance.

17. Place switches and thermostats at 48” above floor and put outlets 15” above finished floor.

18. Make sure there is one no step entry into your house – it will come in handy as the population ages.

Which universal design ideas would be easy to add? Contact one of our designers for insights.


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