In the past few decades, an innovative design trend has provided crucial improvements to a large population: Universal Design. This method of home design accounts for the homeowners, both new and old, who need extra support in their day-to-day activities. 

At Paradigm Homes, our Custom Home Builders have had a fair share of projects based on this idea of accessibility. Throughout Alexandria, VA and the Northern Virginia region, we have built many dream homes to our clients’ exact specifications and preferences. As more families are looking to age in place or have a multi-generational home, we welcome requests for Universal Design and would be happy to create a home with all the extra support you need. 

Here, we discuss what you should know about Universal Design:

What is Universal Design? 

Universal Design is an architectural design concept that emphasizes safety and accessibility for all inhabitants no matter their age or physical limitations. According to Architectural Digest, the principles aim to change the designs of our homes and public spaces so that they may benefit and serve the needs of everyone.

This concept has developed to address shifts in our society due to modern technology and medical advances. With life expectancy having risen dramatically over several decades, many individuals now live longer lives or survive once-fatal injuries. With an increased population of elderly and disabled, our structural designs must update accordingly. 

Features that reflect Universal Design provide for the general and specific needs of all inhabitants over the course of their lives, connecting it with other design concepts such as “Aging-in-Place.”

Examples of Universal Design in Homes Today

While many consider features such as ramps, railings, and grab bars as elements of Universal Design, others feel that we may take such features for granted as parts of modern home design. Here are some further examples: 

Wide-Open Spaces: Providing more space between pieces of furniture, as well as in doorways, is a telling feature of universal design. It allows for easy movement within and between rooms, particularly for wheelchair bound inhabitants. It also has additional advantages such as extra space for moving furniture and easier circulation for guests during large parties. 

Motorized Storage: Installing cabinets that can be mechanically raised or lowered accommodates a home’s overall storage space for children and/or individuals that are unable to reach heights. Pull-out cabinets and shelves at the floor level also provide greater accessibility. 

Seamless Counters: Closing the distance between certain areas within a room helps reduce the amount of labor in daily tasks. For example, placing the sink, stove, and refrigerator along the same wall with a sizable, open counter between each makes cooking and cleaning easier for everyone. 

Curb Less Showers: Another modern design feature, curb less showers appear as seamless with the rest of a bathroom, doing away with a raised curb or bathtub edge common to many bathrooms. This makes the space much safer and easier to access for inhabitants with limited or impaired movement. 

Paradigm Homes: Affordable Home Builders in Alexandria, VA

Universal Design is a welcome shift for those limited in movement. It has developed specifically to address and accommodate conditions that any individual may face in his or her life. At Paradigm Homes, we seek to embody this within each of the Custom Homes we help design and construct for our numerous clients. 

As the sought after Custom Home Builder in Alexandria, VA and Northern Virginia, we have spent the past 13 years providing client-centric Home Building and property services, including Design Consultation, Pop-Top Additions, and much more. 

Contact us at (703) 476-5877 for more information and get a free consultation.