Whether you’re designing a new home or renovating your existing home, incorporating accessible living design concepts is a great idea! Read on to find out why!
What does ‘accessible living’ mean?
Put simply, accessible living is a concept used by designers for homes to have the ability to suit a range of needs. Doorways may be wider, thought is put into the location and accessibility of amenities, and the way people will interact with the space is front of mind. Normally an accessible home is niche and highly customised towards the particular ability of the client. Livability is the measure of how a house can meet the needs of the occupants throughout it’s lifetime with minimal or zero changes. Generally these are two different approaches to building a home for special needs. However, by combining the two concepts, the end result is a beautiful and functional home that can sustain a lifetime of changes.
Benefits of accessible living design
Designing a home to be usable for a range of purposes and abilities is not just beneficial for those with special needs. We find most of our clients want for value for money, which means being able to stay in their home for as long as possible. The benefit of an accessible home is that it reduces the need to move to a different house and suburb, even if things change for you and your family. Mindful Homes can build a home that is less likely to be renovated or adapted when life changes. A great benefit of accessible design, for example, could be an accessible powder-room or toilet for your guests. Your friends and family can visit or move in, even if they’re wheelchair bound. Accessible living design also allows for multi generational homes where parents or grandparents can coexist with younger family members. This increases familial connections, saves money for you and also the government funded aged care system.
Form and function
Accessible design does not mean sacrificing great style! There are many creative ways to approach this type of design without resulting in a clinical and boring space. Kitchen benches with varying heights are not just for people with disabilities, your children can also cook, bake and play at a height that is safe and accessible for them. Having wider than normal doorways and hallways is always a plus because your home will automatically feel larger. A seamless flow between outdoor and indoor spaces is a huge trend but it will also make your home more accessible! An accessible living concept to adopt could even be choosing mixer taps and push to open doors instead of tricky handles and screw taps. The opportunities are endless!
Incorporating accessible living
When considering the interior of your home, focus on how easy it is to move between the rooms and spaces. Flow of movement is especially important if you want your home to be able to adapt to your changing needs. If you have areas with different floor coverings, make sure the joins are level and even to remove the risk of tripping. Incorporating living and at least one sleeping area on one level means wheelchairs or walking frames can be safely maneuvered without expensive equipment like elevators and chair lifts. If you have the space, make your doorways and hallways wider than normal, just in case you ever need the extra width in future. Hob-less showers and shower seats aren’t just great for access, they also add comfort and style. Mindful Homes can assist with the level of accessibility you need, and our team is experienced in custom home design. The extra consideration at the design stage of your build will mean a lot more functionality later.