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What is UNIVERSAL Design?

Universal Design and the Aging Society

 

Wikipedia States:  Universal Design ( a close relation to inclusive design) refers to broad-spectrum ideas meant to produce buildings, products and environments that are inherently accessible to older people, people without disabilities, and people with disabilities.

Stairs really?

The term “universal design” was coined by the architect Ronald L. Mace to describe the concept of designing all products and the built environment to be aesthetic and usable to the greatest extent possible by everyone, regardless of their age, ability, or status in life.[1]

However, it was the work of Selwyn Goldsmith, author of Designing for the Disabled (1963), who really pioneered the concept of free access for people with disabilities. His most significant achievement was the creation of the dropped curb – now a standard feature of the built environment.

Universal design emerged from slightly earlier barrier-free concepts, the broader accessibility movement, and adaptive and assistive technology and also seeks to blend aesthetics into these core considerations. As life expectancy rises and modern medicine increases the survival rate of those with significant injuries, illnesses, and birth defects, there is a growing interest in universal design.

There are many industries in which universal design is having strong market penetration but there are many others in which it has not yet been adopted to any great extent. Universal design is also being applied to the design of technology, instruction, services, and other products and environments.

Transition free floors, elevator behind stairs.

 

Curb cuts or sidewalk ramps, essential for people in wheelchairs but also used by all, are a common example. Color-contrast dishware with steep sides that assists those with visual or dexterity problems is another.

There are also cabinets with pull-out shelves, kitchen counters at several heights to accommodate different tasks and postures, and, amidst many of the world’s public transit systems, low-floor buses that “kneel” (bring their front end to ground level to eliminate gap) and/or are equipped with ramps rather than on-board lifts.”

Designing Spaces using Universal Design Principals

 

So… what has been done recently in the building and design world to bring this Universal Design concept to the average home whether it is a house, townhouse or apartment?  

As a veteran Interior Designer, I am seeing more homes incorporating this concept.  In fact, I have recently designed two very different ‘user-friendly‘ homes.  For one owner, is in his late 60’s,  I designed 2 elevators; plus several ADA compliant areas in the home by using side ramp into the main house, wider hallways and doorways with lever handles on the doors.  I also designed a transitional/accessibility vanity (where the cabinet was 34″ high and could be pulled out to accommodate a wheel chair) I also created a transition free 7′ shower in the Master ensuite.  

My other clients, in their late 30’s, had a keen awareness of wanting their home to be accessible to aging relatives. I designed their contemporary styled 2 story home with an open concept around a 3-floor access elevator, ADA  compliant washroom on the main floor and a ground access ‘in-law‘ suite with ADA compliant bathroom, kitchen and bedroom areas with access to the main and upper floors.

As I too am aging, I am doing more and more research on this topic.  However, I want to add another element = creating a Hotel or Resort feel to any home I design that has ‘designer looking’ products that are easy to understand and use; require low physical effort; spaces that have easy access to all areas of the home and are beautiful to behold and touch. 

 

Join me on this journey and let’s see how we all can embrace this ‘re-Newed’ standard of living!  If you want this info as I get it…  Go to my Training Site and Subscribe to my ‘Aging Resort Style’ – Newsletter >> HERE

 Aging ‘Resort Style‘ by Design,

 

Jan Addams
Designer, Author, Trainer

and fellow Baby Boomer

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4 TIPS to create a Resort Style Home

Casa DeckIn January, my husband and I downsized from a 3700 sqft. home on a half-acre to a low maintenance 2500 sqft home in the city with virtually no storage.  A month later after a horrific move (we thought we had downsized – apparently not enough…) we are now nestling into our new home.

Rather than bemoan the fact that we have no space, we have embraced the challenge and have called it ‘Resort Style Living‘.  When we are on holidays, we typically stay in an apartment style room with a beautifully decorated living room, bedroom(s), bathroom, and a mini kitchen with an eating area plus a laundry closet. There is internet, a TV and everything we else we need with nothing extra: 4 sets of cutlery, dishes, coffee maker, toaster oven, microwave, pots and pans, utensils as well items we need to cook with. There are also 2 sets sheets, towels; pillows, blankets… you get the idea. If we need anything, we call the management and it is taken care of.  We are there to have fun by exploring and enjoying our vacation destination.

We took that concept and are creating a ‘Resort Style Life‘.  We have thrown or given away items that no longer has a place in our home and have made room for things of enjoyment in our retirement years, such as a fun car, pool table, TV room and other areas (inside and out) to entertain family and friends. When we get back from our next holiday we won’t be sad to come home because we are living a Resort Style Life.

4 TIPS for Resort Style Living:

  1. Identify your true passions (hobbies, collections, entertainment, sports etc). Keep the items you will use and sell or give away the rest.  (I collect all things ‘Mermaid’ and of the sea.)
  2. Create a uniquely you spot in your home for each member of the family. (We have our own personalized office areas that is congruent with the theme of our home’s colours and style).
  3. Keep only items that give you the most joy and good memories. Take pictures of everything else as a digital memory.  (I took pictures of photos fading away in old albums and placed them on an expandable memory card in my digital frame continuously playing in my office.)
  4. Create a vacation themed home with furniture and accessories, colours, scents, and sounds that transitions your home (no matter its size or location) with your favourite vacation spot. (My husband and I are water babies that love the ocean; we are in the process of creating a tropical resort theme in our new home – now we can’t wait to get back from our Hawaiian vacation to our own little Mediterranean Resort.)

What type of Resort Style Living home do you want to make?  Share your thoughts below and let’s brainstorm ways to create it (uniquely and on a budget).

Written by Jan Addams (Designer, Author, Trainer) DAT Girl

 

 

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FAQ

Interior Designer vs Interior Decorator

vs CIIID ‘Interior Style Strategist’?

Interior Designer Jan Addams
Hiring an INTERIOR Professional is a wonderful and very cost effective decision. The process however can be like finding a high-quality marriage or business partner. You should talk to associates, friends and get referrals. Once you have narrowed done the options, call or meet with them as it is crucial to like, trust & value your partner.

At IMAGE To INTERIOR®, we feel so strongly about being able to understand and fulfil your interior style & design needs that we send you (via email) a short Style Options Survey to help us ensure that we are all on the same page.

OK, so what is the difference between an Interior  Designer vs Decorator vs Home Stager & a ‘Certified ImageINTERIOR, Industry Design’ CIIID – Interior Style Strategist?

All perform important functions with various specialities & duties as described below:

1.  The Professionally trained Interior Designer of residential, retail or office spaces can & do perform similar duties as an Interior Decorator but have more advanced education in interior architectural elements and space planning and go further to specify inherent products like plumbing, electrical, media, appliances, furniture & built-ins and then design the ‘walls’ to go beyond aesthetics to create or redesign the basic structure, layout & functionality of the space.

Interior DESIGNERS create ‘FUNCTIONAL WALLS’

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2. The Professionally Trained Interior Decorator is concerned mainly with the aesthetic & physical adornment of a residential, retail or office space. ie: Paint Colour selection & placement; appropriate and price sensitive furniture & accessories that will best utilize the specific area; Window and Floor coverings designed for beauty & function as well as hard & soft accessories that add the final touch of value to an interior space.

Interior DECORATORS create ‘BEAUTIFUL WALLS’

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3. The Home Stager qualified by specialized training programs is called in to set up a home or space to SELL. They remove, refresh & revamp a space to heighten the value by making the property less personal and more desirable to the future purchaser. Many, but not all, have interior decorating or design backgrounds.

Home STAGERS create ‘PROFITABLE WALLS’

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4. The Professionally Trained & Certified CIIID – Interior Style Strategists have their background from the Home Staging, Interior Decorating and/or Interior Design Professions and have been further educated and trained with BUSINESS Behind DESIGN to create interior spaces around the occupants style using custom interior project management tools to save their client’s time, energy & money when creating an interior that is Simply You by Design…

CIIID’s create ‘FUNCTIONALBEAUTIFUL & PROFITABLE Walls 

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To hire one of our Certified Interior Style Strategists – ask for a results oriented FREE 15-20 Minute Style Strategy Session.  You will receive instant solutions and Interior TIPS.  This session is essential to determine whether we can work together to achieve your desired results.

IMAGE To INTERIOR™ incorporates The Triple ID Style Classification System© which transitions your personality, body shape and colouring to create your own unique Image, Interior or Industry Design Style. This information is proven to be invaluable when you are purchasing clothes, furniture & accessories and even business marketing materials to match your style and budget.

 

Wikpedia’s Definitions: Professional versus D-I-Y

There are three main approaches to managing a home improvement project: hiring a general contractor, directly hiring specialized contractors, or doing the work oneself.

general contractor oversees a home improvement project that involves multiple trades. A general contractor acts as project manager, providing access to the site, removing debris, coordinating work schedules, and performing some aspects of the work.

35% of homeowners, according to the Remodeling Sentiment Report bypass the general contractor, and hire tradesmen themselves, including plumberselectricians and roofers.

Another strategy is to “do it yourself” (DIY). 67% of homeowners report they will do some work themselves when they remodel according to the Remodeling Sentiment Report. Several major American retailers, such as Home Depot and Lowes, specialize in selling materials and tools for DIY home improvement. These stores host classes and carry numerous books to teach customers how to do the work themselves. DIY websites also provide information, in the form of how-to videos, articles and step-by-step instructions.

Home improvement industry

Home or residential renovation is a $300 billion industry in the United States,[2] and a $48 billion industry in Canada.[3] The average cost per project is $3,000 in the United States and $11,000–15,000 in Canada.[4]

There are several types of companies that contribute to the booming renovation industry. Supply businesses such as Home DepotLowesMenards and Rona Lansing provide all the materials and tools necessary to facilitate home renovations. Many online companies and home improvement websites offer tips, guidelines and trends to give homeowners ideas for design and décor.

Associations

Playing a critical role are the professional associations created to represent the architects, architectural technologists, interior designers and skilled trades that provide specialized services tohomeowners. These associations provide credibility, trade guidelines and useful information to help homeowners learn more about the trades they are about to hire.[citation needed]

Associations include:

Renovation contractors

Perhaps the most important or visible professionals in the renovation industry are renovation contractors or skilled trades. These are the builders that have specialized credentials, licensing and experience to perform renovation services in specific municipalities. While there is a fairly large ‘grey market’ of unlicensed companies, there are those that have membership in a reputable association or are accredited by a professional organization.