For All Ages and Stages of Life
WHAT IS DESIGNS TO THRIVE ?
Designs To Thrive is a place to get ideas for making the world -- and especially our own homes -- easier, safer, more beautiful places to live and thrive.
HOW DO WE DO THAT?
It starts with awareness and understanding. This site will help you answer questions like:
What kinds of designs are ageless? ...Will continue to work for me as my needs change?
What is Universal Design?
What difference will my wall colors make in how I feel?
What kinds of things will make my life easier? Help me stay independent? "Age in place" if I want to?
ASK FOR WHAT YOU WANT!
Let designers, building owners, developers, and contractors know what you need and want.
Insist on Universal Design in new homes and remodeling.
- Be sure the design does what it is intended to do!
- Don't settle for less than beautiful AND functional!
Designs To Thrive
For All Ages and Stages of Life
Universal Design Tips to Consider
12 Ways to make your living space welcoming and friendly for everyone
Wider, Easy Opening Doors
Use 36" doors. Use levers instead of knobs for door handles. Eliminate doors wherever possible, or use pocket doors or doors with swing-clear hinges.
Drawers instead of cabinets, especially in the kitchen
Fully extendable, soft close drawers make access to everything easier. Eliminate cabinet doors and stationery shelves, especially under countertops.
One-floor living is ideal. If you can’t eliminate steps, be sure to have hand rails on both sides of steps and good lighting.
Lots of Light & Ability to Vary Intensity
As we age, the amount of task lighting needed to see well dramatically increases. Consider adding dimmers and rocker style switches to all of your lighting controls to accommodate varying needs of varying occupants and visitors to your home.
Allow for a 5’ turning radius in every room and easily moveable furniture such as a coffee table with wheels.
This is critical if you want to “age in place” and/or enjoy company of all ages and stages of life. Allow a 60” turning radius by the toilet for easy access. Make the shower curbless (zero threshold) with a slight slope to the drain by the interior wall. Keep cabinets open under the sink, with drawers on the side(s). Use lever style faucets and shower controls, along with a handheld shower head on an adjustable arm. Add decorative grab bars to the shower - both horizontal and vertical. The horizontal ones can also serve as towel bars. Add grab bars by the toilet.
Crank-style are prefer over double hung.
Varying countertop heights in your kitchen
In addition to 36” high work surfaces, consider 28-30” heights for seated adults and children. Consider having space under the sink in order to easily access it from a seated position.
Consider using one flooring throughout your home, eliminating the need for transition strips between varying thicknesses of flooring.
Outlet and switch placement
Switches should be 3’- 4’ off the floor. Outlets should be at least 15” off the floor. Ideally, kitchen outlets should be near the front end of the counter, or on the front face of cabinets in easy to reach places instead of back walls.
Smart home technology
Consider adding voice and/ or remote controls for lights, window treatments, HVAC, doors, appliances…
Use designers and/or remodelers trained in Universal Design.
Knowledgeable resources will help you make better decisions and create an environment in which you, and those you care about, can thrive.
To learn or see more, click on the name or title below:
A video tour of a condo renovated using Universal Design principles. Seeing actual examples makes it easier to imagine how you may modify your living spaces. The goal is creating a living space where you can thrive.
National Association of the Remodeling Industry is a membership of trustworthy remodelers. NARI allows homeowners to search for the best fit for their home remodeling needs with a customizable locator of professional NARI remodelers.