Creating a home that would not only offer safety and comfort to her 94 year-old father, but would also be there for when she eventually needed it was this homeowner’s reason behind remodeling this master bath. “We bought this house because the floor plan worked,” stated the homeowner. “All of the bedrooms are on one level. However, the bathroom needed to be more user-friendly for my father. And, I wanted the décor to match my style.”
Original bathroom: As is typically found in homes built in the 1990s, the master bathroom had a large garden tub and a small shower. The tub was difficult for her father to get in and out of, and the small shower was not able to fully accommodate his safety needs. The large space tended to be cold, and the track lighting was not adequate for aging eyes. The lack of grab bars and a shower bench, as well as poor lighting made the bathroom a hazard for her elderly father.
Aging-in-Place Design: As the baby boomer generation ages, more and more homeowners are looking to create a space that will allow them to live safely and comfortably in their homes for as long as possible. There are many changes that can be made to a space to prepare for aging-in-place, so balancing expected needs with budget is a particularly important part of the design process. In this project, the homeowner wanted to design the new space around the immediate needs of her father.
Walk-in-Tub: “The tub was very important to us, and became the main focus of the bathroom design,” stated the homeowner. The tub is designed for safe access. Rather than having to take a large step in to a deep tub, one gets in through the side door, and sits on a low contoured bench. The sealed door allows the tub to be filled to a comfortable level. Once the water is drained, the door can be opened again. Heated floors contribute a lot to her father’s comfort with the tub experience, as they keep him warm as he gets in and out.
Shower Elements: According to the homeowner, “I wanted a safe place for my dad and I, but I did not want the bathroom to look institutional.” Designing with both these goals in mind is truly seen in the walk-in shower. Aging-in-place elements include a large bench that sits adjacent to a hand-held shower head, and multiple grab bars are available for steadying. However, aesthetics were not ignored. Blue tile lines the shower head wall and the bench. Individual blue tiles were carried down to the white tile floor as a whimsical accent. Frameless glass shower doors give an open feel.
Lighting: Poorly lit spaces can pose a hazard to people with diminished eyesight. Therefore, adequate lighting was particularly important to the homeowner. “Even though the master bathroom had a vaulted ceiling and a window, it did not have enough light,” stated the homeowner. Many elements of the final design addressed this issue. Additional canned ceiling lights were added, as well as a new chandelier and vanity lighting. Soft grey and bright white cabinetry, white tiles and blue walls all helped reflect the light and brighten up the space.
Final Result: The homeowner summed it up best: “My dad feels the remodel has made a big difference for him. He loves the tub, and the functionality of the shower. He uses the grab bars a lot as he is needing them more and more now.” For herself, she now has a place that provides safety and comfort for her dad, will also serve her needs in the future, and has a look she has always wanted for her home.
Need more information on aging-in-place design for your home? Schedule a free, in-home consultation with one of our interior designers. Send us an email, or give us a call at 846-2600.