The Invisibly Universal House

The LIFEhouse, a new, universally designed concept home, offers up design ideas for builders who want to maintain top-notch aesthetics while offering improved accessibility.

An ultra-low–profile ramp leading up to the front entrance is cleverly disguised by landscaping and a front porch.

The home’s main-level design eliminates wall barriers wherever possible, allowing the house to be as accessible as possible without having to designate square footage to extra-wide hallways.

In the kitchen, a staggered-height island was designed to incorporate an extra-high countertop after research at the IDeA Center found that leaning over while using a knife was one of the leading causes of kitchen injuries.

When the Taukes decided to use alternating carpet colors on stair treads, “we both knew it was something that, aesthetically, could go bad very quickly,” says Beth Tauke. To keep up appearances, the sisters opted for a light- and dark-beige combination that stays subtle while still offering visual assistance.

Accessibility at the LIFEhouse extends beyond the home’s walls and into its community. Situated in a lakeside neighborhood, walking trails allow residents to get from the home’s front door to the pier without ever having to leave a wheelchair.

Join the Discussion

Please read our Content Guidelines before posting

Close X