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5 Impacts that Accessibility Has on Interior Design

Disabled symbol on a green textured background. Horizontal

Interior design has to do with the visual appeal of a building, residence, or structure. This includes the appearance of individual rooms and spaces as well as overall functionality. These areas being easily accessible to people with disabilities is important, whether they are homeowners or employees. The 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act brought to the forefront, according to Ortal, the importance of having proper access to public transportation, work, and services to those living with disabilities.

This would lead to better practices as it relates to designing businesses, offices, and shopping locations. Construction of infrastructure that made accessibility easier went into effect across the country. Today, accessible features like grab bars are required to be installed in most public locations where business is being conducted. But it hasn’t always been this way.

People who have mobility issues require interior design details that allow them to get around. Due to the changes in the way that buildings and residences are constructed now, it is possible to retrofit public spaces in a variety of ways. This makes it possible to create spaces that are both beautifully designed and that meet the needs of those with disabilities. There is no reason for decreasing the beauty of interior décor simply by including disability features when building.

You can utilize these strategies to build a home from the foundation up that caters to the design needs of those who are handicapped or have a physical challenge. People may also opt to add features of this sort into already constructed properties and businesses. Let’s take a look at 5 impacts that accessibility has on interior design.

1 – Open Concept Designs in Living Spaces

Beige countertop in black and white kitchen interior of house wi
Beige countertop in black and white kitchen interior of house with flowers on table. Real photo

Ambience Design Group highlights that mobility is an important concept when it comes to designing with accessibility in mind. Flooring types from hardwood to tiles can be used when building or redesigning homes and offices. Open concepts seem to enhance these designs and make it easier for people in wheelchairs or those using walkers to get around.

Many people look for properties that are already designed with features that accommodate disability access. It is not as difficult today, however, to add specific features to these structures. Those purchasing homes or renovating them can combine both safety and style together to create the spacious living spaces that they want. Removing doors and even walls make for a more open look.

2 – Expand Entryways and Halls

disabled woman at the open door with space for your content
An image of a disabled woman at the open door with space for your content

No person with a disability will have the exact same need as another. There are some people who find it easy to traverse many settings, including work environments and at home. These are also popular things that are seen in office buildings and other commercial areas.

There is often a difficulty when it comes to the entryways of these buildings and residences. Expanding these areas to accommodate wheelchairs and other mobile equipment is essential. This improves the overall usage of these spaces. Hallways are another location in homes that require expansion in many instances. These projects may involve altering designs or reconstructing existing portions of the home.

3 – Tailor Countertops and Storage Areas

Disabled man working at the table
Side view of serious businessman in headphones sitting in wheelchair and typing on computer at the office desk

Disability access has impacted the way that interior design projects are developed in some cases. Emagispace highlights the point that without accommodating daily activities in these designs, it is difficult for those with disabilities to do things like use hallways or an elevator. This has to do with accessibility in the workplace, but this issue is just as important when it comes to the home.

Tailoring countertops and storage areas are incredibly important, which is why there is a rise in homeowners that hire a design build home addition contractor to eliminate the issue. Many properties don’t serve their owners effectively due to the lack of space or the format. The last thing you want to do is outgrow your room as it results in big decisions, such as deciding whether to move. A professional contractor is able to tailor your requirements to your home so that you can renovate and create a suitable layout. With this, you can check Dub-l-ee which can help you to create a suitable layout that is a professional expert that will ensure your home requirement plans.

4 – Utilize Smart Technology for Home Use

Technology itself has made it possible for interior designers to better serve their clients with disabilities. Smart Technology, thorough interactive monitors, appliances, security systems, and other features are benefits. These can be added to specific rooms or portions of the home to increase accessibility to those with disabilities.

Utilizing this technology allows homeowners to set temperature gages, prepare meals, and do the laundry. There are many different brands on the market that offer advanced systems and appliances. Having these installed is another way to take control of the home setting and to live in comfort and independence. The contemporary appeal and look of these features add to the style of the residence.

5 – Replace Steps with Ramp Designs reports that over the years, many people with disabilities have purchased homes that were just adequate. These residences didn’t’ improve or accommodate accessibility for those with disabilities. Projects, such as replacing existing steps in a space with a ramp is one example of making sure the room is functional for residents. The goal is to make every portion of the home user to everyone.

At the same time, it is necessary to prevent accidents and injuries due to the design of the home. Ramp designs can be used on virtually any level of the residence. These are useful in bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchens, and other settings. Entryways are not the only important areas to consider for these ramps. It is possible to maintain the aesthetics of interior décor designs through these additions, as well.

Interior design professionals have long complied with the Americans with Disabilities Act. In 2010, the act was updated to enhance accessibility and to also meet the modern needs of this population. This update takes into consideration building design requirements for locations, such as movie theaters, hotels, restaurants, and medical facilities. As times change and building strategies progress, it is necessary to improve these techniques for residential building and commercial building projects.

Homebuyers with disabilities or family members in this category will certainly think about the importance of accessibility. In some cases, this may only require things like lift bars, but others may need lifts and entryway designs that are more conducive for use. There are design professionals that have experience with harmonizing client needs along with gorgeous interior décor creations.


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Karen LeBlanc

Karen LeBlanc is a travel host and writer with a popular travel show, The Design Tourist, and a companion lifestyle blog. As a widely published travel journalist and content creator, Karen is a member of the North American Travel Journalists Association. She also serves as the Design and Travel editor of the national lifestyle magazine, LaPalme. Karen believes that every destination has a story to tell through its local art, architecture, culture, and craft. This immersive creative exploration begins with authentic accommodations where the narrative of place unfolds through art, accessories, accouterments, furnishings, fixtures, and food. 

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