Beautiful Accessibility

Project Photos

“Before” Photos

Drawings

Story

Older homes don’t usually boast roomy spaces, especially bathrooms; and this sweet 1940’s bungalow was no exception. It’s owners, a semi-retired couple with young grandchildren, knew that to stay living in their home indefinitely, addressing the design of their primary bath would be a must. 

Last updated in the 80’s by the owners, the primary bath had lived through the phase of raising children, with a well-used tub, tight toilet space, and two tiny sinks. The bathroom had also gone through the experience of an older parent living with them, and this signaled several major safety concerns for them as they thought about how they would like to live in the future. 

Our main challenge was in redesigning the bathroom space to accommodate a curbless entry shower and create a toilet space large enough to include extra storage and grab bars. We knew quickly we couldn’t do it within the confines of the original footprint, so we borrowed space from an adjacent closet. Doing so allowed us to locate the shower on the “long” wall, while moving the toilet into a new “cubby” space. 

“Don’t make it look like a hospital room!” – A fear many people have if you mention the word “accessible”, or “grab bars”. Thankfully, we don’t have to give up beauty to have accessibility. This is one of those times in life you can have both!

Wellness and Sustainability elements: 

  • Widened doorway to create access for mobility devices such as walkers or wheelchairs.
  • Hinged grab bar by toilet to tuck to the wall when not in use.
  • Curbless shower.
  • Built in-bench with handshower accessible from a sitting position.
  • Floor tile with high-slip resistance. 
  • Humidity sensing ventilation fan to turn on when a certain level of humidity is detected.
  • Touchless bathroom faucets.
  • Locally built cabinetry with no VOC finishing. 

Some of my favorite features: 

  • That the Owner’s cat learned to use the touchless faucets for it’s own eternal water bowl! 
  • One-of-a-kind stainless steel shower curtain that is both beautiful and functional.
  • Built-in medicine cabinets – I’m always a fan of using storage in the wall! 
  • Finding a fold-down grab bar helped to solve the issue of having an open-sided toilet space. 
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