Universal Design for Bathrooms

In our last blog, we talked about the Universal Design Workshop we hosted for our design teams based in Newport News and Virginia Beach. As more and more homeowners opt to age in place, there’s a growing demand for universal design. This week, we’d like to share some examples of how universal features can be worked into the design of your remodeled bathroom.

Universal Bathroom Design Zero Threshold Shower
Photo Credit HomeDesign on Pinterest
Location, Location, Location

The fundamental principle of universal design states that the space should be accessible to all people, regardless of their age, size or ability. While many multi-level homes offer a half bath on the first floor, a universal home should have a full bathroom on the main-level. If your home is a single story, then you’re already on the right track!

Wide Entry

The average size doorway ranges from 30 to 32 inches. For a universally designed bathroom, opt for an entryway that’s at least 36 inches wide. This ensures ease of access for anyone who uses a wheelchair or other mobility devices.

Universal Bathroom Design Wide Entry Barn Doors
Photo Credit Interior Barn Doors HQ on Pinterest
Floor Space

Once IN the bathroom, there should be ample space to maneuver. A good rule of thumb is have enough open floorspace for a wheelchair to make a 180 degree turn.  Beyond the square footage of the floor space, it is also important to choose the right floor materials. Slip-resistant tile and wide grout lines help provide traction even when the floor is wet. If you like having some kind of floor covering in your bathroom, choose for a decent sized non-slip area rug instead of a flimsy bath mat.

Alterations

Bathroom features like your toilet, vanity and shower need alterations to make them universal. A standard toilet seat is only 14 to 15 inches tall. For a universal design, your bathroom should be outfitted with a potty seat that’s 16 inches from the ground. Floating vanities and ones designed specifically for wheelchairs will make accessing the sink easier for everyone. Instead of a tub, opt for a walk-in shower with a wide entry way. A curbless shower threshold provides the safest entry and exit.

Universal Bathroom Design Wheelchair Accessible Vanity
Photo Credit Style Blue Print on Pinterest
Grabbable

Tiny knobs can be hard for people to use, so choose large d-shape door and drawer pulls that are easy to grab.

Universal Bathroom Design D-shaped knobs and pulls
Photo Credit Cherished Bliss on Pinterest

Speaking of grabbing, grab bars should be placed in the shower and beside the toilet to give your bathroom a safety boost. There is a wide range of metals and finishes available, so you don’t have to sacrifice form for function.

Universal Bathroom Design Shower Toilet Grab Bars
Photo Credit American Standard US on Pinterest

To learn more about the universal design options for your next bathroom remodel, reach out to our design team at Hatchett Design Remodel. Just call or visit our showrooms in Newport News or Virginia Beach… it costs nothing to ask!

Universal Design Workshop

Hatchett Design Remodel believes that universal design is important to all of our clients, and it is especially important to homeowners who plan to age in place. That is why we recently hosted a universal design workshop for our entire design team from both our Newport News and Virginia Beach showrooms. This workshop, led by Dr. Kathleen Rose Parrot, helps remodelers empathize with the every day challenges faced by people with disabilities by simulating similar experiences.

Dr. Parrot leading Universal Design Workshop at Hatchett Design Remodel

As a highly respected expert in home remodeling and design, Dr. Parrot authored the textbooks for the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) accredited major. She also happens to be Jessica’s former professor at Virginia Tech. Dr. Parrot is a huge influence in her design career, so Jessica was very excited to share her mentor with her Hatchett family.

Hands On Experience

In the workshop, Dr. Parrot asked our team to “try on” various disabilities by wearing special types of gear, like glasses and gloves. Then she asked us to attempt “simple” tasks, such as gripping knobs and reading displays on appliances. While we might think we understand how hard common household tasks may be for people with disabilities, it’s an entirely different level of understanding to experience a similar type of challenge first hand.

Hatchett Designers in Universal Design Workshop
Understanding the Challenges

The truth is that many standards in home design create accessibility and usability challenges for the disabled. A universally designed space, however, can be accessed, understood and used to the greatest extent possible by all people regardless of their age, size, ability or disability.

Hatchett Design Consultants in Universal Design Workshop
The Value of Universal Design

While you may not currently feel hindered in your home, it is still important to consider universal design options when remodeling your kitchenbathroom or addition. A universal design will improve the livability of your home for both residents and visitors for years to come. Universal features, like widened entry ways, curbless showers, and lowered or raised kitchen appliances, can be worked into any custom design by Hatchett.

Dr. Parrot’s workshop made us even more aware of how our remodeling recommendations will impact homeowners in the near and distant future. This experience will forever influence the thoughtfully designed spaces we create for our clients. To learn more about the universal design options for your upcoming remodel, reach out to our design team at Hatchett Design Remodel. Just call or visit our showrooms in Newport News or Virginia Beach… it costs nothing to ask!

Quick & Easy 4th of July Party Tips

If you too have been blindsided by July’s arrival, then you’re probably scrambling for party ideas for your 4th of July festivities. Hatchett Design Remodel is here to help! Our design teams in Newport News and Virginia Beach have come up with a few easy ideas that will put the patriotic in your party plans!

Front Entrance Decor

As in home design, decor sets the tone. Embrace the flag theme and carry it through every element of our party. For starters, guests should be greeted by old glory upon their arrival. If you don’t already have an American flag hanging from your home, now’s a good time to wave those stars and stripes.

4th of July Party Decor American Flag Front Porch
Photo Credit Southern Living on Pinterest

Luminaries along the driveway, sidewalk and front stoop are a festive way to welcome your guests. All you need are mason jars, small American flags and battery operated votives (all of which can be found at your local dollar store).

4th of July Party Decor DIY Luminaries
Photo Credit DIY Craftsy on Pinterest

If you have a little time to commit to your porch decor, make a patriotic wreath for your front door. This clothespin wreath is simple and inexpensive to make. The wire wreath frame, twine, clothespins, spray paint and foam stars are all available at any craft store. We recommend spray painting the clothespins before assembly.

4th of July Party Decor Patriotic Wreath Front Door
Photo Credit Oh Clary on Pinterest
Backyard Decor

Most 4th of July parties spill over into the backyard, so don’t forget to decorate out there too. This balloon flag display is fun and super easy to replicate. If you’re using helium, attach each column of balloons to a single string tacked to the floor or tied to a weight. Then line them up next to each other to create the stars and stripes. If you don’t have helium, the balloons can be attached to a wall with tape or poster putty. Be sure to clean the surface of the wall so that the balloons stick.

4th of July Party Decor Balloons
Photo Credit Ella Claire on Pinterest
Patriotic Playlist

When it comes to parties, silence is NOT golden. You’ve gotta have good music to create the right mood. Let freedom ring by including these star spangled singles in your 4th of July playlist.

4th of July Party Playlist Patriotic Songs American Music
Photo Credit The Momerie on Pinterest
Kid Activities

If you have little ones attending your soiree, you’re gonna need some games or activities to keep them entertained. This clever Snap, Crackle and Pop display has all the stuff kids love, and it doubles as decor. “Snap” fireworks are harmless and loud – kids love loud stuff. Sparklers are a 4th of July staple, so they are perfect for the “crackle”. Last but not least, little bottles of bubbles are the “pop”. Have at it, kiddos!

4th of July Party Kid Activities Sparklers Bubbles Snap Fireworks
Photo Credit Uncommon Designs on Pinterest
Cocktails

Now that the kids are covered, you need a little something special for the adults. This red, white and blue vodka lemonade slushy is a refreshing party pleaser that will help the grown ups beat the heat. It may look harder than it is, but be sure to follow the recipe carefully. It’s important to pour the heaviest red layer on the bottom, followed by the blue, top it off with the white, then enjoy responsibly!

4th of July Party Frozen Lemonade Vodka Cocktail
Photo Credit Homemade Hooplah on Pinterest

Cheers! All of us at Hatchett Design Remodel wish you and yours a happy and safe 4th of July.

And when you’re ready to remodel your kitchen, bathroom or addition, we hope you reach out to us at our showrooms in Newport News or Virginia Beach… remember, it costs nothing to ask!

Reed Bathroom Remodel

Remodeling allows you to express your own sense of style. For the Reed family, that meant bringing a European sensibility to their home in Williamsburg. They hired Hatchett Design Remodel to get the job done right.

During their initial in-home consultation, we learned that Mrs. Reed is from the Netherlands; and like most Europeans, she prefers the modern design style. Many homeowners in the Virginia Beach area have a traditional or transitional aesthetic, so Jessica was excited about the opportunity to work on a modern space.

Modern Design Style

The modern design style offers clean, crisp horizontal and vertical lines with very few (if any) curves. The color palette is typically neutral and simplistic. Modern spaces also usually contain reflective surfaces like steel, glass and shiny tile.

Reed Master Bathroom Remodel Curbless Shower
Showroom Visit

Material selections are easy at Hatchett Design Remodel, because we have showrooms conveniently located in both Newport News and Virginia Beach. In the design phase of their remodel, the Reeds visited our showroom to pick out their materials. Working hand in hand with Jessica, they were able to see and feel the elements that would be included in their remodeled space.

Reed Master Bathroom Remodel Curbless Shower Universal Design
Material Selections

They chose Etic Ebano tile for the flooring, which also extends into the floor of their curbless shower. The shower walls are tiled in Genesi Cenera subway tile, which offers a modern spin on a classic look.

Reed Master Bathroom Remodel Heated Towel Rack

For contrast, Jessica recommended matte black fixtures from the Moen Annex system for the shower and from the Delta Trinsic collection for their sink.

Reed Master Bathroom Remodel Matte Black Fixtures

The oak vanity from Mid Content is painted Portobello with a Silestone Helix Quartz top and Kohler’s Archer Sink. The look is completed with flat black Pennington bar pulls from Top Knobs.

Reed Master Bathroom Remodel Matte Black Hardware

Staying true to the modern design style, the finished project isn’t just simple… it’s simply stunning. When you’re ready to create a space that’s uniquely you, reach out to our design team at Hatchett Design Remodel. Call or visit our showrooms in Newport News or Virginia Beach… it costs nothing to ask!