Home Design Choices that Improve Accessibility

Apr 13, 2017
Tagged with: Home Design Choices that Improve Accessibility


Homes and apartments are a lot more accessible for people with disabilities than they used to be. There are standard door sizes that are wide enough to roll wheelchairs through. Handrails have regulated heights to be able to protect people of varying heights and mobility. Smoke detectors now have lights as well as sounds, to be used by the hearing impaired.

But homes can never be built with everyone’s needs in mind. If you didn’t have the luxury of having input on the design of your home, there are probably many improvements that could be made to enhance accessibility for you and your family. Below are some design and renovation choices and what to consider when making accessibility improvements to your home.

General Maneuverability

Living areas and bedrooms are often set up to maximize space in which to move about. But kitchens and bathrooms can be a bit more challenging. Balancing storage and workspace with maneuverability can be tough. One way to combat this is to put rolling legs on tables and kitchen islands. You can also add wheels to standalone cabinets, ottomans, and other storage devices. Making your furniture easy to move is a big step to improving your own ability to move around easily in your home. Of course, you want to do so in a way that does not sacrifice stability. You don’t want things to move when people are trying to utilize them regularly or use them as a support structure.

Light Availability

Lighting affects the livability of your home in several ways. Most obviously, it affects your ability to see the items and pathways in your home. The better your lighting, the easier it is to move about. If lighting is adequate, it prevents the need to move to different areas in order to see things better.

Lighting can also affect your mood. If you’re prone to depression or seasonal affective disorder (SAD), lighting that imitates the sun can drastically improve your quality of life. Check out ways to battle SAD and other conditions due to light deficiencies by choosing specific light bulbs and light delivery systems.

Bathroom Usability

Bathrooms are generally the smallest room in the house. This can make maneuverability difficult for those with mobility concerns. Making improvements to a bathroom often requires professional plumbers and electricians, but it can be worth the investment. You’ll want to consider the type of tub and/or shower will best suit your needs, as well as the access to the toilet and sink. Adjusting the height of your bathroom commodities can greatly improve the ease in which you use your home bathroom. Bathroom remodel costs can be hefty, so it’s important to make a list of your priorities and talk with several contractors before settling on a company.

These are just a couple of ways to improve the accessibility of your home. Do you have other suggestions? Share in the comments!

Author: Jeriann Ireland

  • http://breezycreativedesign.com Emmerey Rose

    This is a very informative post Jeriann! You’ve got lots of useful tips. Thank you for sharing!

  • Trish Blassingame

    Until my parents got older I never realized just how difficult it was for someone to use the bathroom, get around the kitchen, even prepare for bed. I wish I’d had this article then! We did modifications for my Mom and then updated things such as windows and a much nicer patio door. She loved all of it.
    Thanks for your input!
    Empire Window Company

  • Felicia

    Making improvements to a bathroom often requires professional plumbers and electricians, but it can be worth the investment.