Your home says a lot about you as a person, and first impressions are a big deal. How do you want people to feel when they enter yours? Design and architectural elements can make people stay away, or feel drawn-in. If you want people to feel a sense of warmth and welcome, Universal Design is something that may interest you. For a step-by-step guide, read on!
Step One: Think About the Guest
Universal Design is a philosophy of design that asks us to consider everyone, not just the stereotypical norm of society. This type of design is used in many public spaces and buildings that must comply with accessibility regulations and anti-discrimination laws. However, the approach can also work with personal homes.
With this method, we think of people in all age ranges, of varying physical and mental abilities. This can be such a refreshing exercise if you are used to thinking about things as if everyone was just like you. Reflect on an elderly family member, a short child, a deaf friend. This broad perspective will help you design an entryway that is approachable by all.
Step Two: Involve Others and Get Feedback
Ask your family members, neighbors, friends and distant relatives to give you information about your entryway. This isn’t as formal or strange as it sounds! Just start up a conversation. Ask your daughter if she likes where the coat hooks are, or ask your father in law if he would prefer that the steps had a railing.
This feedback will help you to design a space that is welcoming to the world, not just a few. Statistics show that approximately 13.7% of Canadians have a disability. For example, you might find out that your neighbor who is legally blind would visit more often if you put up an extra front porch light. One little light could foster a new and wonderful relationship!
Step Three: Test It Out and Keep Perfecting
The next step is to watch people’s actions as they enter your home. Do they seem distracted, uncomfortable, or excited? Notice if your design is working. Can new people visit, who never could before? What a success!
Universal design principles help homemakers create entryways that are accessible to all. Show those that you love that you care about them and their needs. Your effort alone will speak volumes to those with disabilities or other needs.
Create the perfect space by considering the broad range of guests that come to your house, getting their feedback, and then making changes. A small step, like putting up a railing, could make your home much more welcoming.
Blog written by Sally Writes.
Learn more on how to make your home more accessible.