Wheelchair users know how essential it is to have a home that’s easy to access, however, sometimes the design plans or upgrades leave little to desire when it comes to aesthetic appeal. While functionality, accessibility, and safety should be your main concerns in your apartment or house, don’t assume that you’ll need to fall short on showcasing a little of your own style. Your home can reflect your personality and all the things you enjoy while still being functional.
Be Inspired By Your “Dream Home”
From vintage farmhouse to the famous American Craftsman home, there are a lot of charming features that have lasted throughout the decades, but the homes themselves are not particularly accessible for wheelchair users. These style of homes typically have narrow doorways, narrow and winding staircases, and many built-ins that may be out of reach or difficult to use. While modifications may be made in older, historic homes, many individuals choose to reside in a place with an open floor plan that has a nice flow, easy-to-access areas, and minimal modifications.
If your dream home is a vintage style of architecture, adopt some of your favorite aspects and incorporate them in your modern and accessible home. Consider some of these decorating ideas that represent a popular era, but function properly for you:
Lighting: As you know, lighting is everything. It illuminates your path for safer navigation, it creates a mood, and it’s essential in everything you do, but the wrong lighting can be annoying and harsh, making some of your favorite rooms unpleasant. While your light switches should be placed within reasonable reach, there’s no reason why you can’t have fun light fixtures. Whether you love the look of a Tiffany lampshade or a classy chandelier above the dining room table, most lighting can be modified for easy access.
Flooring: If you have love the look of a wood floor, you’re in luck because it’s a nice surface for wheelchair users. However, it’s important to have your floor inspected to make sure that the floor is in good condition as your floors should be as level as possible (say “goodbye” to high pile carpeting). Fortunately, these days, there are countless options for safe and accessible flooring. Many experts recommend laminate flooring or even floor tiles. You can still have the look of hardwood without the troublesome upkeep and risk of sag and buckling.
Show Off Your Style: As a wheelchair user, your floor plan needs to be barrier-free and easy to navigate. While this plan may leave little options for large pieces of furniture, such as lounging couches or display cabinets, pick decorative pieces that will make a statement without interfering with your accessibility.
Decorate your home in vintage pieces or reproductions. Have your rooms painted in your favorite colors or have theme rooms (ie. Beach or Tropical). Browse the internet and check out sites like Pinterest. There are a bunch of fun design ideas for wheelchair accessible homes (if nothing else, it’s fun to browse). Whatever your dream design, let it show in your easy-to-access home.
(Image from Flickr user Boa-Franc)