You want a home that both looks great and is practical for every day living. A wide variety of products on the market today seamlessly blend safety, comfort, and style.
Integrate Function and Style Seamlessly
You have style and your home shows it. You want a home that both looks great and is practical for every day living. Traditionally, many products designed to make a home safer and accessible have had an institutional feel, but the wide variety of products on the market today seamlessly blend safety, comfort, and style.
"The threshold for appreciation of design has been raised; people have come to expect more from design," says Melissa Birdsong, VP of Trend and Design for Lowe’s Home Improvement. Eye-catching products that serve a useful purpose are everywhere. From a designer teapot sitting on the stove to sleek iPhones and iPods complete with colorful accessories, today’s consumer is style conscious.
"Taking function and style to every day items is something people have come to expect." Today, products that effortlessly blend practical needs with a great look are available for every room in the house.
Grab bars, for example, are essential in the bath where slips and falls on wet, slippery surfaces are common. Designs that incorporate this safety feature into soap dishes provide an elegant solution that allows home owners to maintain visual appeal while providing a way to help maintain balance and stability.
Touchless, anti-scald faucets, rocker light switches, and lever style knobs are also important elements of universal design. They not only make the home more accessible for those with may struggle with arthritis, mobility issues, or balance, but they are generally more comfortable for all adults and children. And now attractive faucets and door knobs that match classic to contemporary home décor are available.
KitchenSleek design meets practical needs with drawer-style dishwashers, refrigerators, and freezers. Drawers can be opened with one, smooth motion making them easier to open and close. You can also install multiple, smaller freezer drawers at accessible heights throughout the kitchen. This prevents bending and stooping and helps prevent drawers from becoming overly full and too heavy to open easily. Mounting dishwashers on a platform brings them up to a height that is easier to reach for loading and unloading. Drawer appliances are available in wood, stainless steel, and traditional white finishes or they can be designed to blend seamlessly with kitchen cabinetry.
Today’s kitchens often include appliances in contemporary finishes such as stainless steel and black. Now you can stick with your personal tastes and choose safer appliances at the same time. For example, user-friendly oven ranges with front-mounted or touch controls feature elegant designs and come in popular colors. These ovens can also be mounted into cabinetry at heights that reduce the need to bend or that allow you to stay seated, making it easier to cook and bake your favorite foods and desserts. And crafty pull-down or pull-up shelving and Lazy Susans installed in cabinets to bring dishes, cookware, and food within easy reach.
Handrails & FlooringContinue your style from the first floor to the second with handrails that are integrated with molding. While providing practical stability for anyone going up and down the stairs, well-designed handrails can also add a touch of elegance and are available in wood or wrought iron designs.
And finally, tie your design together from room to room with smart flooring choices. Textured tiles not only add interest to a room, they also provide additional traction that helps prevent slips and falls. Heated tile can also help with stability by preventing a sudden shock from stepping onto a cold floor.
For carpeting, low pile choices are easier to walk across making trips less likely. Add non-slip tape under throw rugs for added stability. Woven and braided rugs are great in any room of the house and come in a diverse range of patterns and colors.
FloorplansOpen floor plans are popular blueprints for home design today. They allow for more flowing spaces by eliminating unnecessary hallways and doors, a design that’s not only practical for families who like to gather together to cook and entertain, but more accessible for individuals who have special needs.
Eliminating hallways clears easier maneuvering space for someone in a wheelchair or someone who uses a walker. Fewer doors mean fewer door knobs to grab and twist, a welcome relief for someone with arthritis, and easier for kids as well.
"It facilitates families, not just needs," says Mary Jo Camp, CKD, CBD, CID, CAPS.
With this design, home owners will often want to tie style elements together across multiple rooms. "A design from the kitchen may extend into the living room," says Camp.
A bronze, touchless kitchen faucet blends with rustic living room décor. A touch control stove with clean lines helps carry a contemporary style from kitchen to dining room to living room. Classic style lamps with one-touch controls are an attractive accent for any home. Whatever your style, safe and useful products are available to capture it.
Design a Home You Can Be Proud to Live In for a Lifetime
Lowe’s can help you guide the planning toward creating a home that suits your style and is comfortable and safe for the entire family. "What we have is a team and a company full of heart for doing the right thing for our customers," says Birdsong. "We base our products on real people and real issues; we work to solve things for the human side."
We understand that the aesthetic quality of products is an important factor in a customer’s overall comfort with it. "The home is so personal in terms of style," says Birdsong. "We expect more from our products and our homes today. It adds to the overall comfort when form and function come together; that’s where the magic happens."
With universal design, building or remodeling a home that responds to this depth of comfort becomes an excellent overall investment as well as a sense of personal pride. The home where families and friends gather to share and celebrate symbolizes a lifetime of memories. Now it’s possible to maintain high quality, independent living even when unforeseen life events create challenges. And do it with style.