Creating a home that is not only beautiful but also accessible is a goal many homeowners share, especially when it comes to independent senior living. Making your living spaces more accessible doesn’t mean compromising on aesthetics. In fact, with thoughtful planning and design, you can achieve both. In this article, we’ll explore five key areas of the house where you can combine accessibility and beauty to create gorgeous, accessible spaces.
1. The Entryway: Making a Grand Entrance
The entryway sets the tone for your entire home, and it’s also the first area where accessibility matters.
- Welcoming Landscaping: Enhance your entryway with well-maintained landscaping. Smooth paths and properly lit walkways make the journey to your front door more accessible. Consider raised flower beds and container gardens to add a touch of beauty.
- Elegant Lighting: Install elegant outdoor lighting fixtures that not only illuminate the entrance but also add to the curb appeal. Low-level path lighting and a well-lit porch create a welcoming atmosphere.
- Accessible Door Hardware: Choose door handles and locks that are easy to operate. Lever-style handles are more accessible than traditional round knobs. Opt for finishes that match your overall design scheme.
- Statement Door: Make a bold statement with your front door. A beautifully designed door in a contrasting colour or with intricate glasswork can become a stunning focal point.
- Mailbox Upgrade: Consider an accessible mailbox with a larger opening and easy-to-open door. Choose a design that complements your home’s exterior.
2. The Kitchen: Where Function Meets Fashion
The kitchen is often the heart of the home, and it’s essential to ensure it’s both functional and visually appealing.
- Open Shelving: Consider open shelving for displaying decorative dishes or cookware. This not only adds a design element but also makes items more accessible. Use stylish brackets and choose shelving that complements your kitchen’s colour palette.
- Under-Cabinet Lighting: Install under-cabinet lighting to brighten workspaces. LED strips or puck lights can add a subtle, sophisticated glow to your kitchen while improving visibility.
- Stylish Appliances: Look for kitchen appliances with accessible features like easy-to-read controls and adjustable oven racks. Many modern appliances come in various finishes to match your kitchen’s style.
- Artistic Backsplash: Elevate your kitchen’s aesthetics with an artistic backsplash. Incorporate mosaic or patterned tiles that serve as a visual focal point.
- Designer Faucet: Upgrade your kitchen faucet to a stylish, single-handle design that is easy to grasp and use. Consider finishes like brushed nickel or matte black for a contemporary touch.
3. The Bathroom: A Spa-Like Retreat
The bathroom is a space where accessibility is crucial, and it’s also an area where you can create a spa-like atmosphere.
- Luxurious Fixtures: Invest in luxurious yet accessible fixtures. Walk-in showers with frameless glass doors exude elegance while also providing accessibility. Choose stylish grab bars that blend seamlessly with your bathroom decor.
- Elegant Tiles: Opt for high-quality, visually appealing tiles that are also slip-resistant. Mosaic tiles can add intricate patterns and a touch of glamour to your bathroom floor or walls.
- Custom Cabinetry: If you have the space, consider custom cabinetry that accommodates accessibility needs while also incorporating unique design elements like decorative moulding or glass-fronted cabinets.
- Spa-Inspired Colors: Choose a soothing colour palette for your bathroom, such as soft blues or earthy tones. These colours can create a spa-like atmosphere that promotes relaxation.
- Mirror Magic: Install a decorative framed mirror as the centrepiece of your bathroom. A well-chosen mirror not only adds style but also serves as a practical accessory.
4. The Living Room: Comfort and Elegance
The living room is where you relax and entertain, so it should be both comfortable and elegant.
- Artful Arrangement: Arrange furniture in a way that encourages conversation and comfort. Consider using decorative room dividers to create distinct seating areas without compromising the open feel of the space.
- Accessible Technology: Invest in home automation systems that make controlling lighting, climate, and entertainment easy for everyone. Sleek touch-screen controls can be both functional and aesthetically pleasing.
- Personalized Decor: Display artwork, family photos, or decorative elements that reflect your personal style. The living room is an ideal space to infuse your personality into the design while ensuring that items are accessible at eye level.
- Statement Rug: Anchor your living room with a statement rug that adds colour and texture to the space. Choose a pattern or design that complements your furniture and decor.
- Cosy Textiles: Incorporate soft and inviting textiles, such as plush throws and oversized pillows, to make the living room a comfortable retreat for relaxation.
5. The Bedroom: A Tranquil Retreat
The bedroom should be a tranquil retreat where accessibility doesn’t compromise on style.
- Luxury Bedding: Select high-quality, comfortable bedding in calming colours or patterns. Layers of pillows and throws can add both comfort and style to the bed.
- Custom Closet: Consider a custom closet system that maximizes storage while making everything within easy reach. Elegant sliding or barn-style doors can enhance the visual appeal of your bedroom.
- Relaxing Lighting: Install a combination of ambient, task, and accent lighting. Wall sconces with adjustable arms offer both functionality and an elegant touch to bedside lighting.
- Accent Wall: Create a focal point in your bedroom with an accent wall. Use a bold paint colour, textured wallpaper, or reclaimed wood panels to add depth and style.
- Bedside Tables: Choose bedside tables that not only match your bedroom decor but also provide accessible storage and easy access to essentials like books and glasses.
In conclusion, creating gorgeous, accessible spaces in your home, especially for independent senior living, is entirely achievable. By focusing on key areas like the entryway, kitchen, bathroom, living room, and bedroom, you can strike the perfect balance between accessibility and aesthetics. With thoughtful design choices, your home can be both welcoming and visually stunning, ensuring that everyone can enjoy it to the fullest.
Jennifer Bell is an avid home decorator, a carer for two ageing parents, and a writer for independent senior living communities in the Philadelphia area.