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Make Your Home More Functional Through Universal Design

Last week I wrote about Aging in Place and Universal Design Principals. Today I have easy suggestions for you to incorporate these principals in your home.

No matter the current state of your home – new, older, recently renovated, in need of renovation, or the dream home that you are planning to build – there are easy changes that you can make to increase functionality and longevity.

Handles Instead of Knobs

This applies to doors, cabinets, and faucets. A handle is much easier for users of all ages and abilities, whether it is a toddler just learning to turn on the faucet, or experienced arthritic hands.

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Or, if your budget allows, upgrade to “touch” technology. It’s a luxurious upgrade for users of all ages and abilities.

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On that same thought, light switches can be changed out for easier to use versions. The rocker-style switch is easier on hands than the traditional light switch.

rocker switch

Or upgrade to very cool touch technology light switches.


If you will be building a new home or renovating an existing home, now is the time to make changes you’ll appreciate now and later. These changes will not only help you to age more easily in your own home, they are luxurious upgrades before you “need” them.

In the Bathroom

Comfort height toilets and vanities

Blocking in the walls to support the addition of grab bars at a later date

Zero-threshold showers/Continuous shower floors


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See the full project by Beautiful Habitat

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See the full project by Beautiful Habitat

In the Kitchen:

Rollouts and pan drawers in base cabinets

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Task lighting onto countertops and work spaces

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Drawer-based appliances such as microwaves and dishwashers

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Throughout the Home

Wider hallways and doorways

Lower thresholds

Minimal flooring transitions

For more ideas on increasing the functionality and longevity of your home, talk to an Interior Design expert today.