A Friendly House: First in a Series

Steps cleverly placed in the toe kick of lower kitchen cabinets give sturdy access to cupboards above and let cooks avoid the risk of using a stepstool. A toe-pull built into the step negates the need to bend over. [via afriendlyhouse.com]

Steps cleverly placed in the toe kick of lower kitchen cabinets give sturdy access to cupboards above and let cooks avoid the risk of using a stepstool. A toe-pull built into the step negates the need to bend over. [Via afriendlyhouse.com]

Are you considering home modifications—major or minor—for your own aging-in-place plans? A Village reader recently passed along a website that may interest you:  AFriendlyHouse.com. “A Friendly House” (tagline: “Where Style Meets Safety”) describes itself as a resource for aging in place, Universal Design, barrier-free living, livable communities, and the latest headlines on these topics. It’s an informative and helpful website and has a number of helpful project photo galleries and links. 

This post is the first in a series inspired by “A Friendly House” and follows previous Village posts on home modification by Stuart MacMillan, CSA, CAPS and Andy Goulding, AIA. In this series, we’ll continue exploring practical aging in place issues and opportunities and constraints to barrier-free living in our homes and communities, as well as share ways others have solved accessible design challenges.

Low-pile carpeting recessed into wood floors allows for sophisticated interior design without compromising safety  [via afriendlyhouse.com]

Low-pile carpeting recessed into wood floors allows for sophisticated interior design without compromising safety  [Via afriendlyhouse.com]

To start, we’ll begin with the concept of “Universal Design”.

As noted on the A Friendly House website, “Universal Design refers to making design choices that enable the use by virtually anyone, regardless of their abilities or disabilities.” According to the Center for Universal Design at NC State University, the Seven guiding Universal Design principles include:

Principle 1:  Equitable Use
Principle 2:  Flexibility in Use
Principle 3:  Simple and Intuitive
Principle 4:  Perceptible Information
Principle 5:  Tolerance for Error
Principle 6:  Low Physical Effort
Principle 7:  Size and Space for Approach and Use

For a visual display of these principles, see: Pinterest board: The 7 Principles of Universal Design.

In our next post, we’ll take a closer look at the principle of “Equitable Use” and the concept that good design is design that is useful and marketable to people with diverse abilities.

_________________________
Related Posts:
https://pnavillage.org/2013/10/24/simple-aging-in-place-modifications-you-should-do-now/
https://pnavillage.org/2014/04/15/moderate-cost-aging-in-place-modifications/ 
https://pnavillage.org/2014/07/14/renovations-to-improve-safety-and-access-for-the-disabled/
https://pnavillage.org/2014/02/25/mobility-assessments-available/

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