Top 10 Home Design Trends & Movements for 2011: Universal Design

We considered our own insights, researched and talked with North American Interior Designers & industry professionals to bring you the Top 10 Home Design Trends & Movements for 2011. This week we took on the challenge ourselves to talk universal design!

#6 Movement – Universal Design

0806mcintyre-dkSay goodbye. Say goodbye to older homes with segregated rooms, hardly any storage, small doorways and narrow hallways. Practical and efficient building is here. Every inch of space is being utilized and open concept reigns supreme.

The idea behind universal design is that a house is built with every possible buyer in mind. It is designed using fewer levels (in most cases), open concept, big doorways and wide hallways (with wheelchair accessibility in mind). According to Inventor Spot, open living and working spaces are becoming more popular because they are more efficient and offer a better flow. This design style is executed in a way that does not look clinical and is very cohesive and modern.

Not only is open-concept very popular for the aforementioned reasons, but also because of the reality that baby boomers are getting older. This has a great impact on how accessible houses are being built. Wide hallways are one example but there are many more such as: adding a pot filler faucet above the stove, more light fixtures throughout the house and varying countertop heights.

bungaloft_f_66345342-a11db177Have you started hearing about the bunga-loft yet? The concept is gaining great popularity with new building projects. What is it you ask? A bungalow for main living and a loft for hospitality purposes. Although bungla-lofts can be designed quite differently, a popular model emerging is a second (or third) bedroom, bathroom and living area in the loft: perfect for houseguests.

Bottom line? When a house is built with universal design in mind, the people living there can stay longer and/or the house will appeal to a wider audience for future sale.