New Home Tips, Trends, and Ideas - Raleigh Custom Home Builders

What's in a Universal Design Home? Kitchen and Bath Features

Posted by Penny Hull on Mon, Mar 26, 2012 @ 11:03 AM

Universal Design Home Features

What's in a Universal Design Home?

A Universal Design home is focused on ease of use and flexibility - for homeowners of any age, status, and ability - for safety and comfort in a home that does not sacrifice visual appeal.

Universal Design features can be described in the two most used rooms of the home: the kitchen and bathroom.

Universal Design KitchensWhat's in a Universal Design Home | Kitchen Univeral Design Features

Universal Design kitchens can include features like:

 - Induction cooktops - there are no open flames, and the cooktop temperature generally remains neutral.

The custom home pictured here - the Linda - features an induction cooktop.

 

What's in a Universal Design Home | Kitchen Universal Design Features

 

 - Empty space under countertops, sink, or cooking areas - allows for seated (or wheelchair) access.

 - Lower countertops and sinks - allows for seated (or wheelchair) access.

 - Adjustable-height countertops - allows more flexibility for various kitchen users.

What's in a Universal Design Home? Kitchen Universal Design Features

 

 - Roll-out shelves or drawers - allows visibility and easy reach.

 - Pull-out counter underneath a built-in wall oven - allows easier transfer of hot items from the oven. 

 - "Hands-free" or touch faucets - allows for easier use of faucet.

 

 

Universal Design Bathrooms

Universal Design bathrooms can include features like:

What's in a Universal Design Home | Easy Access Tub

 

 - Tub ledge or seating area - easier movement into and out of the tub.

Pictured here is a custom home - the Dugan - with universal design bathroom features such as a wide tub seating area and separate roll in shower.

 

 - Textured flooring - preventing against slips on slick, wet surfaces. The Dugan includes textured tile flooring.

 - Night lighting - to help safely navigate a dark room.

  

 

 

What's a Universal Design Home?

 - Grab bars - manufacturers now offer coordinating grab bars, faucets and shower fixtures. 

Pictured here is a custom home - the Terrell - with universal design bathroom features.

This bathroom contains matching towel rack and grab bar. While these bars are a simple brushed nickel design, manufacturers offer many "loud" choices as well.

 

What's in a Universal Design Home? Shower Benches

 

 - "Zero-threshold" shower bases - the shower entrance is flush with the bathroom floor, allowing for wheelchairs and generally easier access.

 - Removable bench - can be used in the tub or shower.

 - Contrasting color design - to help distinguish where surfaces change.

 

 

What's in a Universal Design Home? | Universal Design Bathrooms

 

 - Hand-held/maneuverable faucets - to make bathing, or helping someone else bathe, easier.

The Terrell master bathroom - pictured to the right - features secondary shower and tub hand-held faucets, in addition to the static faucets.

 

What's the Difference Between Universal Design Homes and Accessible Homes? 

Universal Design homes are intended for easier living, no matter what physical condition, age, or ability. Accessible homes must meet higher, more specific standards (especially when government funding is utilized to build the home).

For example, for a home to be accessible, not just universal, the turning radius in the bathroom must be 5 feet in diameter.

Universal Design meets your needs now and later

Each universal design home is different.   Not every feature is included in every home - you'll choose what's most important to you and your lifestyle.


The best time to add universal design to your home is in the planning stage, before the building process begins. Ask us how!



Universal Design Builders | Custom Universal Design Homes | Universal New Homes Raleigh NC Universal Design Builders | Custom Universal Design Homes | Universal New Homes Raleigh NC Universal Design Builders | Custom Universal Design Homes | Universal New Homes Raleigh NC Universal Design Builders | Custom Universal Design Homes | Universal New Homes Raleigh NC

 

Tags: universal design, universal design homes, universal design ideas, 50+ Floor Plans

What's in a Universal Design Home? Kitchen and Bath Features

Posted by Penny Hull on Mon, Jan 09, 2012 @ 10:01 AM

Universal Design Home Kitchen and Bath Features

What's in a Universal Design Home?

 

A Universal Design home is focused on ease of use and flexibility - for homeowners of any age, status, and abiltiy - for safety and comfort in a home that does not sacrifice visual appeal.

Universal Design Stove

Universal Design features can be described in the two most used rooms of the home: the kitchen and bathroom.

 

Universal Design Kitchens

Universal Design kitchens can include features like:

  • Induction cooktops - there are no open flames to worry about.
  • Universal Design Pull Out ShelvesEmpty space under (or lower placement of) countertops, sink, or cooking areas - allows for seated (or wheelchair) access.
  • Adjustable-height countertops - provides more flexibility for various kitchen users.
  • Roll-out shelves or drawers - allows visibility and easy reach.
  • Pull-out counter underneath a built-in wall oven - allows easier transfer of hot items. 
  • Hands-free, single lever, or pull-out spray faucets - each gives more flexibility to the user with little arm strength.
  • Pulls (rather than knobs) on cabinets

 

Roll-In Shower

Universal Design Bathrooms

Universal Design bathrooms can include features like:

  • "Zero-threshold" shower bases - the shower entrance is flush with the bathroom floor, allowing for wheelchairs and generally easier access.
  • Textured flooring - preventing against slips on slick, wet surfaces
  • Grab bars - manufacturers now offer coordinating grab bars, faucets and shower fixtures.
  • Tub ledge or seating area - easier movement into and out of the tub.

Universal Design Shower Bench

  • Removable flip-up bench - can be used in the tub or shower.
  • Night lighting - to help safely navigate a dark room.
  • Contrasting color design - to help distinguish where surfaces change.

 

 

Read More about Universal Design Homebuilders in North Carolina:

 

Universal Design Builders | Custom Universal Design Homes | Universal New Homes Raleigh NC Universal Design Builders | Custom Universal Design Homes | Universal New Homes Raleigh NC Universal Design Builders | Custom Universal Design Homes | Universal New Homes Raleigh NC Universal Design Builders | Custom Universal Design Homes | Universal New Homes Raleigh NC

 

Laundry Room Universal Design Ideas | 50+ Housing Council in Raleigh

Universal Design Color Basics | Raleigh Universal Design Homes

Is Universal Design Right for You?

Easy to Use Driveways | Accessible Home Tips

 

Tags: universal design homes, Universal Design Home Builders, new home trends, universal design ideas

Kitchen Design Trends - Where Should the Microwave Go?

Posted by Penny Hull on Tue, Nov 01, 2011 @ 12:11 PM

Kitchen Design Planning - Where Should the Microwave Go?

Top 5 Places to Put the Microwave 

Lifestyle concerns, such as the number of cooks in the kitchen and ease of use (including universal design aspects), can help determine where the microwave should go when you design the kitchen for your next new  home.

Practical concerns, such as microwave width/height/depth and the placement of other appliances (especially the refrigerator), can also affect your placement decision.

 

Kitchen Design Planning

1. Above the range

One of the most popular places to keep a microwave is above the range.

In this custom home, the microwave is central to the rest of the kitchen - with easy access to countertops (including the island), refrigerator, and sink.

This microwave is probably at the maximum convenient height.

 

2. Above the counter

Kitchen Floor Plan Design

 

This custom kitchen design takes advantage of the most common day-to-day traffic pattern: from refrigerator to microwave.

The large, professional grade range/oven takes up the majority of space and notoriety in the kitchen, while the microwave maintains ease-of-use aspects.

 

 

Kitchen Design Pictures

3. Above the wall oven

This kitchen design places the microwave at eye level, a height more managable for many people.

The refrigerator is placed directly opposite the microwave, and there is plenty of "landing space" to the right of the microwave, to set hot plates. 

 

  

4. Under the counter

Kitchen Microwave Placement

 

Microwaves are placed under the counter when they are used less often than other kitchen appliances, or when height is a concern (such as in accessible kitchens).

 

This custom designed kitchen places the microwave between the walk-in-pantry and the refrigerator.

  

 

 

 

5. Under an island or peninsula

Island Kitchen with Microwave

 

Finally, the under-the-island microwave design is becoming more popular among new homebuyers, as well.

In this kitchen, the cooks can share island counter space, while looking out to the breakfast room and two-story great room.

 

 

 

More NC Custom Home 2012 Kitchen Design Ideas:

Click Here to View Kitchen Tile Backsplash Photo Tour

Click here to view Island Kitchen Video

Are Kitchen Islands Disappearing?  Island vs Peninsula Kitchens

2012 Kitchen Design Trends - Is Stainless Steel on its Way Out?

Kitchen Tile Ideas | Top 5 Kitchen Tile Backsplash Design Trends

Get ideas from these kitchen floor plan transformations, designed by Stanton Homes to fit the lifestyles of our homebuyers.

The Gershwin

Custom Kitchen Photo Tour | New Home Kitchen Design | Kitchen Design Trends

The Worthington

Foyer Photo Tour | New Home Foyer Video | Custom Home Foyer Options

The Kessler

NC Custom Home Builders | Custom Floor Plans | Custom Kitchen Design

The Lightsey

NC Custom Home Builders | Custom Floor Plans | Custom Kitchen Design

More 2012 Design Trend Ideas for NC Custom Homes:

Fireplace Design Ideas for Your New Custom Home

Fireplace Trends in New Homes: Disappearing Act

Open Concept Floor Plans – What does an “open floor plan” look like?

Trey Ceiling Ideas | Top 5 Trey Ceilings by NC Custom Home Builders

Click here to view Master Suite Bathroom Video


Contact Stanton Homes for floor plan ideas, to get a new home cost estimate, or find out more about building a custom home in North Carolina.

Tags: kitchen design, Kitchen Islands, kitchen design trends, universal design ideas, kitchen trends, design trends

Universal Design: What Features to Consider in Your New Home

Posted by Penny Hull on Mon, Apr 11, 2011 @ 11:04 AM

Universal Design Options to Consider

Top 4 Areas You'll Want to Tackle with Universal Design Concepts

The most popular features in a universal home focus on ease-of-use. When you talk with your builder about special adaptations to make your home work with you for years to come, consider the difference it would make to have these kinds of universal design adjustments:

 

Universal Design Elevator

Ease of movement throughout the home

  • No steps (possible ramps or elevators)
  • Smooth surface flooring, non-slip tile or dense-weave carpet
  • Wide hallways and doorways
  • Open floor plan

 

Universal Design Kitchen

 

A kitchen anybody can cook in:

    • Lowered countertops and cabinets
    • Appliance accessibility
    • Open knee space under sinks and counters
    • Full extension drawers
    • Shallow sink with side-mounted faucet

 


Universal Design Shower

Special touches in the Master suite:

  • First floor location
  • Adjustable hanging rods and shelves in closets
  • Bathroom with integrated grab bars
  • Curbless shower with transfer bench
  • Slide-bar showerhead and/or multiple-height showerhead

Other universal options throughout the home:

  • Lever handles on all doors and faucets
  • Sliding casement windows
  • Light switches 36 inches or lower from the floor
  • Electrical outlets 25 inches or more above the floor

Universal Design Closet

 

These kinds of features help your home adjust to changing needs over the years as your family grows, you care for elderly relatives, and you even grow older, yourself.

The more you consider as your new home is built, the less you will need to remodel later – and the more you will enjoy your home for years to come.

 

Experienced Accessible Home Builders –

Stanton Homes is an industry leading accessible, universal, certified Aging in Place and VA-approved Specially Adapted Housing custom home builder.

Whether you start with a plan that is designed for accessibility, ask us to modify or create a new plan, we can build in wider hallways and doorways, entry ways, turning radius, non-slip flooring, ramps and walkways, special lighting, roll out or pull out shelving, easy grope door, faucet and drawers, accessible switches, no step entries, roll-in showers, ADA roll-under countertops and work spaces, and whatever else you need. 

 

Tags: universal design, universal design homes, Universal Design Home Builders, accessible home design, universal design ideas

Universal Design Ideas | Color Basics

Posted by Penn Hull on Tue, Sep 28, 2010 @ 06:09 AM

Universal Design Ideas - Color Basics

How To Choose Colors for a Universal Design Home

As part of the 50+ Housing Council in Raleigh, one of the things new home builders look forward to is sharing great Universal Design ideas.

Good use of color and contrast can make your home more livable and enjoyable.  Here's what to keep in mind.

Universal Design Homes | Aging in Place | Custom Home BuildersUniversal Design Ideas - Choosing Colors

Color can set a mood, define the details of a room, and even affect mental health and appetites. 

One of the easiest ways to brighten a home is to add color to the walls or even the floors, countertops, and cabinets.

- for a peaceful bath, use color sparingly.

- Cool colors such as blue can add calm and serenity

- "Nature" colors like green or beige can work well with just about any color scheme

- Warm colors can energy you and help you wake up (yellow and orange) 

Universal Design Homes | Aging in Place | Custom Home BuildersUniversal Design Ideas - Looking for Contrast

Contrast can help everyone "see" better.

- select wall colors that contrast with fixtures, countertops, and grab bars to make seeing those items easier

- items on the countertop can be easier to see when walls and countertops are distinctive colors

- chair rail trimwork in bright white can contrast with darker walls, drawing more attention to the outlines of a room.

- consider using colors on the opposite sides of the color wheel for additional contrast

Universal Design Ideas - Using Color in the Kitchen

Universal Design Homes | Aging in Place | Custom Home BuildersUse of color in the kitchen can be especially helpful in a universal design home.  Consider doing some of the following:

- countertops, flooring, cabinets, and walls all in contrasting colors, to help users better see transitions.

- consider a contrasting color strip at the edge of the kitchen counter, such as a wood edge, to better define the countertop surface.

The smart use of color and contrast can not only make your new universal design home beautiful, it can also make it more livable and easy to use over a lifetime. 

Talk to an interior designer with universal design experience about more ideas for your new universal design home! 

You might also be interested in these related Raleigh Universal Design and Aging in Place articles:

Universal Design Homes | Aging in Place | Custom Home BuildersAccessible Homes - Design and Features

What is Universal Design?  Easy Living Homes

Specially Adapted Housing - Grants for Veterans

Building a Home with the VA's Specially Adapted Housing Program

Mother In Law Suite Homes - Floor Plans and Ideas

Virtual Tours - See This Week's Most Exceptional Homes

"Stanton Homes for Heroes" Military Discounts

Tags: accessible homes, universal design ideas, aging in place