The most popular home remodeling projects are kitchens and bathrooms, according to surveys from the National Association of Home Builders. Homeowners want to improve areas of their home that will give them the greatest return upon resale, but will also benefit them in the meantime. With kitchen remodeling, cabinets are one of the features that people want to change most.
Older cabinets were not primarily designed for function or accessibility, but for style. They had many “dead” spaces that defied access. The shelves were too high or too low or were unreachable black holes in corners. Newer, accessible cabinet designs remedy this with an “Optimum Reach Zone” or ORZ... Read the rest
The beginning of the year is a good time to take inventory of your home and just how safe it is. There are many home security devices and systems on the market, ranging from a simple lock to a full-blown “safe room.” Choices exist for every particular need and budget. New door camera devices like Ring, Remo DoorCam, and Z Modo can alert you to who is at your door whether or not you are home. You can also integrate your home security apps with Alexa, Nest and even your Apple watch. There are also many security services that can monitor your home for a monthly fee... Read the rest
Welcome to 2019! If you’re like most Americans you have made resolutions to exercise more, lose weight and get organized. Why is getting organized so high on the list of things to accomplish? It could be because it has been nagging at you for so long. You know you could do more if only you didn’t have to contend with so much clutter and disorder. Studies support this. Neuroscientists at Princeton have shown that clutter has a negative impact on your ability to be productive and focus. It bombards the brain with unimportant information. Psychologists at UCLA confirmed this with a study of families and their clutter... Read the rest
The Guiness World Record for the “Most Holiday Lights” belongs to David Richards in Canberra, Australia. His display has almost 1.2 million LED lights strung on 75 miles of cable. The most lights on a residential property is 601,736 lights held by Tim and Grace Gay in LaGrangeville, New York. Their display spans two acres and takes two months for their entire family to rebuild each year. Most of us don’t come close to having this amount of lights, but many of us do amass our own large holiday collections. It can be a lot of work to drag out all the boxes and hang the lights and decorations... Read the rest
We are headed into those dreaded dark winter months. Our mood grows gloomy and we feel tired and lack energy. Lighting is often overlooked in the realm of accessibility even though it is critically important. Without light, there is no perception, no color, no style to guide you. A lack of lighting can lead to falls and it also adversely impacts our mood. People most profoundly affected may develop Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) or other health problems associated with insufficient natural light.
The older you get, the more important light becomes. The lens of the eye yellows over time and eye muscles weaken... Read the rest
Modern couples typically do not order china and crystal for their wedding registries, or at least not like the old days. In fact, couples are marrying at older ages now and prefer online registries at places like Amazon, Home Depot or Honeyfund (for honeymoon trips). Many Millennials are choosing experiences, not seldom-used items that merely take up valuable space. We remember visiting older relatives and seeing the china and crystal in museum-like china cabinets. Then, it was passed down. Ask anyone. They will tell you about that box of china they have in the attic or garage or some inaccessible place in the kitchen... Read the rest
Does your playroom look like a tornado has hit? Do you find toys everywhere in your home? Are you constantly stepping on Legos or picking up puzzle pieces? I can relate. Having had three children in a ten year span, I know what having too many toys looks like. When my youngest was a toddler and the oldest was in junior high school, there were tons of toys for all age groups all over the floor of my house. I also had a girl and two boys which meant having additional toys to please each gender. I fell prey to the marketing of the era... Read the rest
Make the Heart of Your Home Easier to Use
The kitchen is the heart of your home. It is increasingly being used for multiple purposes. It’s where family and visitors gather to prepare meals, have conversations, and build memories. As our lives become more casual, the kitchen becomes more important. It is the central meeting area for the family. By following some simple rules of accessibility you can make your kitchen one that is more comfortable and easy to use for everyone. Universal Design principles will reduce fatigue and allow for safer and more efficient use of your kitchen.
To start, the layout should be one that allows for flow through the three major areas of use: the refrigerator, the sink and the cooking area (stove, oven or microwave)... Read the rest
I have many pleasant memories of camping with my family – the beach, hiking, fishing and eating around the campfire. Everyone would dutifully unload the car upon our return, but then everyone would disappear. Somehow, it always fell upon mom to clean the camping supplies and put them away. I remember trying to put everything back where it came from, but somehow, it wouldn’t fit on the same garage shelves. How was this possible? Wasn’t it there before? Well, yes and no. We always seemed to buy new camp gear during each trip although we kept all the old gear for back-up... Read the rest
We all want our homes to be warm and welcoming. We want our friends and relatives to be able to visit and have access to everything they need but what if your friend is in a wheelchair or uses a walker? Would the person be able to visit your home? Would he or she be able to enter the home, have access to the main floor and visit the bathroom? These are all important questions and sometimes we honestly have to respond, “No.” In the field of home accessibility, this is called visitability. Although it usually refers to indoor features, it can also refer to outside qualities of your home, too... Read the rest