Love your home so you never have to leave it

With its mild year-round temperatures and the natural beauty of the mountains, Northern Arizona is a great place to live, work, and play.

So why not love your home love your enough to never leave it?  With a little planning and these few tips, you can do just that!

Ever heard of universal design?  Universal design solutions make life easier for people with mobility, agility, balance and coordination differences.   

Successful universal design creates a barrier-free living environment making our homes enhance our ability to live by our own choices instead of forcing us to move. 

As with any interior design project, and since none of us are exactly alike, everyone needs to be their own advocate for their specific  abilities and aging in place.  Homes MUST be designed for the individual user’s unique capabilities. 

A professional interior designer can help you remodel or build your next home with the future in mind. When selecting a designer for a home where you intend to “Age-In-Place,”  find one who listens to you and designs to your personal needs. 

Below are a few items to consider when designing your home with the future in mind.

In the kitchen and laundry

  • Install dishwasher drawers or add a 9″ high kick plate under a standard size dishwasher.
  • Install a Microwave drawer.
  • Add under counter safety lighting.
  • Buy a front-loading washer and dryer set and mount them on a pedestal.
  • Buy a side by side refrigerator freezer.
  • Use “U” shape cabinet pull that are sleek in design and that don’t have any elongated areas where clothing could get caught like this one from Top Knobs,  the Mercer Collection in Honey Bronze.
  • Use a 3′-0″ pocket door on the pantry.
  • Install a pull-out flexible lever faucet at the kitchen sink and laundry sink.  Even better select a “touchless” faucet like the Artesso Smarttouch pull down faucet from Brizo.

In the bath

  • If you currently sleep upstairs, consider designing a first floor Guest Suite large enough for a full-size bed, large chair and dresser with a minimum of 4′-0″ clear on all sides and 5′-0″ clear on the closet side, exit door side and direct access to a 3 foot wide pocket bathroom door.  The bathroom with this suite should be accessible.
  • If possible, on the first floor, have a roll-in curb-less shower without a step or lip (slope floor to drain in at least one bathroom).  Or consider changing your existing tub/shower to a walk-in bath.  Check these out from Kohler
  • Add a handheld shower head mounted on a slide bar, with a separate valve to control it from a seated position.
  • Install lever faucets.  Do the closed fist test, by seeing if you can turn the water on and off with a closed fist.  Check out the Rook single handle lav faucet by Brizo.
  • Install comfort height toilets like the Archer from Kohler


  • Add extra lighting to the Garage for maximum visibility.
  • Consider easy touch lighting and electrical switches like the Diva from Lutron.   If your feeling techy check out the Caséta by Lutron Smart Lighting Control System
  • In the kitchen add some electrical outlets can be reached from a seated position.
  • Install flood lights on all corners of the outside of the house and have them on timers.

When working with the right interior designer you will have home that’s not just a beautiful refection of you, but also be functional now and in the future. 

Until next time, cheers!

Published by Nicole Renee

With over 16 years’ experience in creating crisp luxury interiors, I’ve created hundreds of inviting designs making clients dreams come to life. A love of travel and experiencing new places has brought me from Ohio to Tennessee and now Arizona. In my free time, I’ll be at local shops looking for that next great design find or taking in the natural beauty of the white mountains with my two dogs.

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