2017 Remodeling Excellence Award

Universal Design: An Accessible and Stylish Master Suite

A good design has a way of bringing people together. That is the case for this universal master suite by Normandy Designer Bill Peterson. When we say universal, we are referring to a design that is accessible to older people as well as anyone with or without a disability. In the case of this renovation, the homeowners wanted to create a wheel-chair accessible space for their adult daughter when she comes home to visit. Eventually, they will also use this as a main-level master suite for aging in place.

“The homeowners have lived in their mid-century, tri-level home for the past 25 years and want to remain there for many more,” said Bill. “Remodeling ensured the layout and function of the space met the needs of the entire family, allowing them to continue to live and host family gatherings there.”

The suite was fashioned from an existing small bedroom and an adjacent oversized family room. This established a proper flow within the new suite and in the adjacent family room.  This space also works well because it provides easy access to the garage.

The overall design of the bathroom is very spa-like. The color scheme is very relaxing, with shades of blue and green. A cantilevered countertop has hidden structural supports to give the vanity pull up access. The light fixtures are beautiful and provide light at a lower level for someone at wheel chair height. Built-in cabinetry and open shelving also make storage more accessible.

“The owners did not want it to have a clinical feel. The goal was to create a warm and spa-like space to meet their daughter’s needs as well as their own,” said Bill.

The shower design also checks the box when it comes to style and accessibility. The oversized shower has trench drain with a zero-access threshold for roll-in access and a hand-shower with a massage features was selected for its lightweight design and comfort grip handle. The shower niche was placed at a proper height to give easy access to a seated user and grab bars were included to provide stability.

“Grab bars can be extremely helpful, so you should also think about where else you might need them down the line,” said Bill. “In this situation, the homeowners did not want bars near the toilet, but we put in blocking so that they can add them in the future if they wish to do so.”

A pocket door separates the bathroom from the bedroom, eliminating any door-swing issues. A special pressure release latch also allows it to close easily. The closet in the bedroom is open, with a rod at wheel chair height and the bedroom incorporates the same soothing colors as the bathroom.

With this new space, the homeowners can ow enjoy long visits with their daughter. They also have a first floor master suite available to them should they need it.  This guarantees the entire family will continue to enjoy their home for many years to come.

The homeowners weren’t the only one pleased with this design. The judges also loved it and awarded it a Remodeling Excellence Award from the National Association of the Remodeling Industry.

You can set up a time with Bill to get going on your next renovation project. Or, follow Normandy Remodeling on Facebook and Instagram for more design inspiration. The Normandy Remodeling photo gallery also has some great ideas too. You can also learn even more about the design process by registering to attend an upcoming workshop.