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Universal Design – the skill and style of improving the flexibility in your home

Posted on by Gwyneth

It is a well-known and well-publicised fact that we are living longer. This is great news but, it brings with it a whole heap of dilemmas, one of which is the home.

Take an objective look at your home – is it future proof? If you start to loose mobility, can you still access all the utilities you need to or, will life be confined to a few rooms?

The truth is, our homes are not adaptable and flexible enough to age with us.

To help solve this problem, and allow people to live a full life in their current homes, is the concept of universal design.

At James Neale & Son, we have already worked with many customers in Colwyn Bay, Llandudno and surrounding areas to future proof their homes with some clever universal design features.

What is universal design?

A universal designed space is one that will mould and change as your needs change. A great example are the modern day trends for wet rooms. Once found only in hospitals and nursing homes etc., the wet room is a universal design that can be both modern, cutting edge and trendy and yet, should your mobility needs change, you carry on using the same bathroom with no need for adaptations.

Designers have realised that there no longer needs to be a separation between the aids used for ‘the elderly’, ‘the infirm’ or ‘this disabled’ in how they look or when they can be used.

Here are just some of the universally designed adaptations we have made for customers in Colwyn bay and Llandudno:

Say goodbye to steps – steps can be difficult to negotiate, especially as we age. By clever design to the outside of the property and hard landscaping, steps can be replaced with flat, smooth surfaces that don’t look like ramps.

Upgrade the bathroom – everyone loves to wallow in a bath after a hard day but, there may come a time when getting in and out of the bath safely could be a real problem. Many people have chosen to invest in walk-in showers, with a glass partition, excellent tiling and some other trendy, yet helpful gadgets. Again, it doesn’t have to look like a bathroom for those with impaired ability, as we have come to recognise in so many magazines.

A friendlier kitchen – the kitchen is a busy place and so the next time you come to upgrade or modernise it, take some time to think through what needs to be changed to make it friendlier, and easier to use. We have installed cabinets with clever interior shelving that pops out on when opened, and don’t forget there are some great innovations in the future that could make life easier for all of us.

No climbing – stairs from one floor to another can be a real nightmare. Installing a lift is not only expensive, but also a big consumer of space. There are other options and one adaptation is to build an extension on your home, incorporating an en suite. There are other solutions too, so why not contact us to find out more?

Gadget heaven – and then there are gadgets and technological innovations that are perfect in so many ways. From moving light switches and electrical sockets, to installing sensors and gadgets that allows for remote access and so on, there is sure to be a gadget that if perfect for so many things.

Your home is your castle and can be for longer than you think. With some minor changes – as well as major ones like extensions – you can adapt your home to make it a versatile and universally designed haven of loveliness.

Universal design and adaptation brought to you, by James Neale & Son

We can help you with pinpointing some key changes and suggest all kinds of additions and adaptations. All it takes is a phone call – 01492 545514 – and we can provide you with a no obligation quotation at your Colwyn Bay or Llandudno home.

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