5 Reasons to Design With Accessibility in Mind

by | May 11, 2024 | Design Trends, For Your Next Project

Home Remodel in Brookline Massachusetts

As a design-build firm, we believe that beautiful homes deserve to be functional and inclusive. This means creating spaces that cater to everyone, regardless of age or physical ability. In this blog post, we’ll be discussing the many options available in the market to create a home that is highly functional and welcoming to all loved ones. Here are 5 compelling reasons why designing for accessibility is an integral part of building a home that welcomes you at every stage of life. Here are ways to transform your home into a safer haven.

1. A Home for Life

Life often throws curveballs at you; but regardless, your job, as a homeowner is to find the most effective ways to protect yourself, your family, and your friends. Designing features that promote accessibility from the outset ensures your home remains comfortable and functional for you and your loved ones.

  • Wider Doorways: Opt. for wider doorways (at least 36 inches) to accommodate wheelchairs and walkers.
  • Universal Design Features: Incorporate grab bars in bathrooms, strategically placed handrails in hallways, and lower light switches to create a user-friendly environment for everyone.
  • No-step entry: Facilitate the tasks for individuals who are pushing strollers, carrying heavy items, relocating furniture, or using walker or wheelchair; a no-step entryway allows people to move about more easily and comfortably with less effort and without obstacles.
  • Motorized curtains: With the use of a remote control or app on your phone, one can easily control how open/closed the curtains are. Motorized curtains provide a greater sense of security and privacy, energy efficiency, and can definitely enhanced the home experience for residents with disabilities.

2. Creating a Welcoming Space for Everyone

Your home should be a place where everyone feels comfortable and welcomed. Accessibility features aren’t just for those with disabilities; they benefit everyone. Here are a few ways to create more welcoming spaces to entertain your loved ones.

  • Easy Maneuverability: Wide hallways and open floor plans allow for easy maneuvering with walkers, wheelchairs, or even strollers. Not only would there be better traffic flow, but spaces could be multifunctional; allowing for improved communication and sociability.
  • Level Entryways: As mentioned previously, eliminating steps at entry points ensures a smoother transition from the outdoors in. Although steps can be beneficial in a home, there are not truly necessary in single-home residences and can be a burden for those with mobility issues.
  • Lower Cabinet Shelves: Making frequently used items in the kitchen and bathroom easily reachable for everyone fosters a sense of independence and reduces the risk of strain. The only caveat to this is that it’ll require you to secure those cabinets for the safety of any children around.
  • Doorless: Opening up spaces in your home by removing specific doors can improve your home’s accessibility and allow more space to roam.
  • Ramps + Rails: Extra support while moving around the house can be an essential feature that also improves your overall quality of life.

3. Increased Value and Future-Proofing

Homes that cater to a wider range of abilities are inherently more valuable. Consider accessibility as an investment in your home’s future marketability.

  • Universal Appeal: An accessible home attracts a wider pool of potential buyers, especially young families or those planning for the future.
  • Reduced Need for Modifications: Built-in accessibility features eliminate the need for costly modifications down the line, saving homeowners money in the long run.
  • Timeless Design: Accessibility features often go unnoticed by those who don’t require them but contribute to a clean and uncluttered aesthetic that endures over time.

4. Smart Technology for Enhanced Living

Smart home technology can significantly improve accessibility and independence within your home. There are several options in the market today that act as another barrier of defense against all the issues that can arise with owning a home. Therefore, consider these options to begin reshaping the definition of owning a home in the Boston area:

  • Voice-Activated Controls: Control lights, thermostats, and even appliances with voice commands, allowing for hands-free operation.
  • Automated Doors and Lighting: Eliminate the need for manual control with automatic door openers and motion-activated lighting.
  • Smart Security Systems: Increase peace of mind and independence with smart security systems that can be controlled remotely.
  • Accessible Microwave: ADA compliant microwaves pull open like a drawer, so it’s easy and more comfortable to use.

5. The Value of Inclusivity

It goes beyond practicality to design with accessibility in mind. It’s about making an environment that accepts and embraces everyone, despite any physical restrictions.

All of the people in your home should feel welcome, competent, and part of the family.

Building a Beautiful and Inclusive Home

At Streck Design Build, we are passionate about creating homes that are not only aesthetically pleasing but also thoughtful and accessible. We work closely with our clients to understand their needs and design spaces that are functional, comfortable, and cater to everyone who steps inside.

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Written by Yuri Silva

Assistant Operations Coordinator @ Gary Streck Design Build