How to Make Your Home More Accessible While Retaining Style
If you or a member of your household has limited mobility, then you need to make sure that your home is comfortable for them by providing ease of access. However, sometimes these modifications might feel as though they are interfering with your sense of interior design, but this doesn’t have to be the case. There are various home improvements that you can do to your property that will make it a suitable living space for those who have limited mobility while still retaining style. Below are some examples that you might be interested in if you need to make some of these modifications to your house.
Install a Lift
Stairlifts are often used in homes for the elderly or wheelchair users so that they can access the upper floors of a property with ease. However, stairlifts are often bulky and don’t always look aesthetically pleasing. If your staircase is too narrow to fit a stairlift or you would prefer to have a more stylish solution so that a wheelchair user can access these upper floors, you might want to consider having a through-floor lift installed instead. These can be placed in any room of the house provided there is enough space for them to fit in and will help to leave your staircase with more room for others to get up and down. In addition to being great for those who struggle to use stairs, you can also use these lifts to help you transport heavier items more safely between floors, such as a vacuum cleaner, small items of furniture, or a heavy suitcase.
Open-Plan Living Space
Whether you or the person you live with uses a wheelchair or some other mobility aid, getting through doorways can be tricky sometimes if they are narrow. You can have your doorways widened to accommodate this, or perhaps consider creating more open-plan spaces in your home. A lot of modern properties have already adopted this style because it does make your living space feel much bigger and can help to draw in more natural light. This type of design could help to make your home more accessible as there would be reduced doorways to navigate, and generally more space for those with limited mobility to get around with ease. If you’re not keen on open-plan living, then you will need to have your doorways widened. Double doors leading from room to room can look quite impressive if you have enough space to do this, and this way you can leave them open if you want to create the illusion of an open-plan living area, but also have the option for privacy when they are closed. There are plenty of stunning interior door designs to choose from as well, including folding doors, which could work nicely.
Sliding glass doors that lead to your garden are gorgeous additions to any property. They let in light, but also allow you to look out over the beautiful green space that you have and admire it, even if the weather isn’t that great! Similar to open-plan design, these large glass doors can help to create the illusion of bigger living space and will certainly boost your home’s value. What’s even better is that you can get automated sliding doors, which are useful for everybody, including those with limited mobility. There will be no need to struggle with handles and pushing the door to open, but rather let it do the hard work for you instead. They are still safe to use, however, as they can be controlled remotely, so you don’t have to work about strangers being able to walk in and out of your home. You can get an automatic door opener for disabled users so they can go in and out as they please.
Another very stylish and practical modification you can make to your home for those with limited mobility is having a walk-in shower built. These are much easier for wheelchair users to use because they are wider and a seat can be put in for them to sit on when they want to wash. You will likely have to have support bars put in as well so that they can use these when they are moving from their wheelchair to the seat, or if they can stand but need to put their weight on something to help them stay upright. Walk-in showers are also very desirable features in homes because they add a sense of luxury to a property, so this could even add value to your property. This can make your home look very stylish if done properly.
For those who use a wheelchair, standard kitchen counters can be difficult because of their height. You should look into having the counters lowered so that they can continue to prepare meals independently and safely. Kitchen islands that are hollow underneath where they can position themselves in their wheelchair easily are also worth looking into, as well as making sure that the kitchen cabinets don’t go all the way to the floor. The gap underneath will allow them to open the cabinets more easily as they can put their feet in this space and get out what they need. All of these alterations can still look very stylish as you can still choose the finish on your kitchen. Again, consider trying to make this area as spacious as possible to accommodate their wheelchair or other mobility aid that they might use.
Your home needs to feel welcoming and comfortable for every member of your household, so whether it is you or someone else you live with who has limited mobility, you need to make the necessary alterations to accommodate them. However, this doesn’t mean that you have to lose out on style, as all of the above can be excellent interior design choices while still making your home more accessible.