“Universal design” is a phrase people in our profession like to use these days. Nationally renowned architect Ronald Mace described universal design as designing the environment to be aesthetic and usable to the greatest extent possible by everyone, regardless of their age, ability, or status in life.
In simple terms, that means designing a house so that people can live in it as they pass through various life stages, or, the Human Life Cycle per the diagram below created by award-winning designer Ellen Cheever.
The concept of universal design is becoming more compelling as the population ages. More and more homeowners are deciding they don’t want to move, even as their children leave home and they become empty nesters and their physical limitations begin to increase. They don’t want to deal with the emotional and physical upheaval of moving from a home and community they love and which hold so many wonderful memories. And, in today’s economic environment, they may be unwilling to sell an asset that has declined in value.
So as you contemplate staying in your home as you age, there are numerous “universal design” features that you can consider to ensure your comfort and safety. I’ve listed a few for … Read More »