A Bathroom Made Accessible…And What It Meant
Over design and remodel projects, we get to help every one of our clients find what they want…taste and preference are those pieces of the puzzle where we help clients make some of the trickiest decisions.
But there’s a BIG portion of projects that are based more fundamentally on something that the client needs…And we don’t mean like you “need” to knock that wall out between your kitchen and dining room! We’re talking about needs for the future that come down to the safety, comfort, and ability to stay at home for many of our clients.
The client we’re writing about today hired us to make their bathroom accessible. They were one household of the 70% of Americans remodeling who do so to make accessibility updates…YES, 70% of remodels take this need into account. And yet, these aren’t the remodels talked about. They aren’t shown off in pictures and blogs. They don’t show up on your Instagram or Facebook feed. But why?…
Accessibility updates bring to mind handrails in the bathroom and ramps to enter the home. But that’s not always the case! Especially today, with materials and designs available for more creative fixtures and features, these updates can be discrete and graceful with simply stunning transitions.
This was definitely a concern of these clients when they hired us to remodel their bathroom. He’d had a stroke several years earlier and was suffering ongoing health issues. And she needed to be able to take care of him in their home should the need arise in the future. They also really wanted to update the bathroom, so this made the perfect time to do it…in their case, it had to be accessible as well.
The overall layout of the bathroom didn’t change. You can see its spacious layout was a plus. The bathtub was kept since she liked to take baths (not to mention it was quite the luxurious tub), though a new surround was put in so it could be accessible with code standards.
The door was removed off the water closet and the shower remodeled so it, too, would be accessible with a walker or a wheelchair.
The cabinets were spacious and in good shape, so they were simply painted to change the overall look of the bathroom and matched the new cabinet skirt around the tub.
The counters and plumbing were changed as well as a new tile layout and design. One of the key factors in the tile selection was accessibility…making sure the tile had enough texture so that when it was wet it wouldn’t cause slips or falls. As with all our remodels, we blocked out the shower so grab bars could be installed, too. And trust me…grab bars now are NOT your grandmother’s grab bars! With most, you don’t even realize they are grab bars!
The space took on a modern look and feel with their wide, open shower looking totally natural between the fresh and contemporary colors, tile and counters.
These accessibility updates were discrete, but made a life-changing difference for the couple who so clearly wanted to stay in their home.
The difference it made…
We were prepared to do our job, like always…but we were quite humbled when we received a note from the client months after we finished the project.
You see, one night as I was reading my emails, this homeowner had written me. The Monday after her husband had died on Friday, she wrote US to say how thankful she was for the work we had done. By this time, I had tears streaming down my face as I read on…you see, her husband had suddenly taken an unexpected turn for the worse, something they hadn’t planned on…But with the remodel, she was able to keep him at home and care for him there, all because of the bathroom remodel. We had prepared for what we all hoped wouldn’t come—and certainly not this quickly…but how fortunate that we did.
Touching and empowering doesn’t even cover the half of it. Not even a fraction of it! Getting this type of thanks from a client whose update meant so much more than colors, fabrics and trends…it was one of the most impactful moments for us as a team.
Our 23 years of experience plus CAPS designation enables us to change lives. It’s our strength in doing more than design work—it’s about keeping people happy, comfortable and safe in their homes. And with 70% of remodels including accessibility updates, you definitely know someone who’s thinking about it or in need…and that’s where we come in. Call us today!
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