Monday, April 19, 2010

Getting back on the informational series on home improvement/home modifications. Gads, found it is probably easier to write a book than shorten things up for a blog!!!! But here goes!!!

PART I Home improvements/home modification for a more livable, supportive home environment.

Let's think realistically about home design; homes you've lived in, homes you have visited and model homes you have seen. Observation: aren't most "reworks" (even new homes) focused mostly on: providing space, adding/subtracting square footage, &/or updating furnishing, fixtures, appliances?

The focus is on the style, configuration, appearance of the STRUCTURE, isn't it. Even that "curb appeal" thing. Little, if any, focus is directed to LIFE-STYLE. How you (some one) function in a home; how you interact w/others. How best to compose the various elements, arrangements to assist you in your day-to-day living.

How many homes are designed with these governing principles in mind:
  • mobility and interaction
  • ergonomic usability
  • safety
  • functionality
  • adaptability
  • comfort

Why not???? Aren't the "design principles" simply focusing on such as room arrangements, fireplaces, fancy kitchens (heard some designers say just put in granite tops and SS appliances, some one will go for it) big bathrooms (need?). And don't most of these "principles" follow good ole "conventions"; designing one home after another just the "way it has always been done"? Seen one, seen 'em all. What's with that? Are we all that identical that one "fits all"?

If that's the case, why are there so many different vehicles on the road. All designed/built with different people, different uses in mind. Shouldn't that also apply to homes, esp. custom homes, custom remodels.

Let's focus on the kitchen. There is a particular national association that has put forth established "design standards" for how one is to put together a kitchen. Is that the paradigm from which not to deviate? Do you figure you use your kitchen exactly like everyone else does? THOUGHTS:

Why do counter tops all have to be set at certain height, and all AT that same height?

Why do wall cabinets have to be a certain height above the counter and in a certain place? And so high on the wall. How about that above the refer cabinet..(.how many of you know what's in yours!!! When is the last time you used it!!!)

Why can't wall cabinets be grouped together from the floor up?

Why do dishwasher have to be set way down on the floor (is that convenient to reach)?

Why do ovens,especially if double ovens, cook tops have to be set so high (low), or the sink for that matter.

Why do designers think a ceiling blasted full of can lights is so great (certainly not essential..just expensive)

Why put the refer in the middle of the kitchen so every one must walk through to even get a drink.

Are "kitchen offices" necessary with today's laptops/phones?

How's this for starters!!!! Fact is: NONE of these things have to be a certain way. You actually can have your kitchen assembled, configured any way you want, need it to be!! How would you figure a physically challenged person could use a "standards" conventionally defined kitchen?

Stay tuned!!!! we have the rest of the house to go yet!!!! (TBC)

1 comment:

  1. Great blog post. You might be interested in joining the Universal-Design Network. It is an online community for those who are passionate about Universal Design. It's free to join: