A growing aging population and more awareness of disabilities has forced many home designers to think more inclusively. A home that anyone can live in is more sellable. This doesn’t have to mean sacrificing stylishness either – in fact many elements of inclusive design are becoming trendier and more practical for able-bodied people too. Here are just several features that can make a home both inclusive and stylish.
Go open plan
An open plan layout offers more space for freely getting around as there are no tight doorways or corridors to negotiate. It also has the added benefits of making a home more social, allowing easier communication between rooms. On top of this, it can improve ventilation and make a home brighter. If you’re renovating an existing home to make it open-plan, you’ll want to hire professionals to knock down any interior walls safely. Cut-outs can sometimes be a more economical option to knocking down entire walls and can usually have the exact same effect.
Get creative with ramps
Ramps can help to provide wheelchair access and are essential to inclusive design. When choosing a ramp, look beyond basic options and find a design that will match the décor of your property. A metal ramp could be great for a glossy modern home, while a wooden ramp could compliment a traditional home well. Incorporating a ramp naturally will make it feel less like a home for disabled people. Doing away entirely with stairs may not be possible in two storey homes, but some properties have accomplished it using only ramps (of course, a lift is sometimes the more convenient option – although this can sometimes make a home look a little too disability-focused).
Install a walk-in shower
Walk-in showers can be both a sign of inclusivity and luxury. Curbless walk-in showers can allow easy access suitable for those with disabilities, however you may have to spend a little extra wetproofing the room. Fitting a walk-in shower into a small bathroom can sometimes be difficult – you’ll usually have to sacrifice the tub to make it work. Alternatively, you may be able to keep a tub in your bathroom and find another space in your home to fit a walk-in shower such as a cupboard under the stairs.
Integrate smart technology
Smart technology is the future of home design. It can also be a useful technology for those with mobility issues, allowing remote-control of elements such as heating and lighting without having to physically move. There are all kinds of ways in which smart technology is being integrated into homes. Smart electrical sockets could allow you to turn sockets on and off remotely to save energy (useful for sockets in hard to reach locations). Smart security meanwhile can allow windows and doors to be locked and unlocked remotely. It could be worth looking into companies that deal with home automation to see what other creative ideas they can implement.