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Published on Jun 17, 2008
The latest home design craze isn't about stainless steel or leather couches. It's about function. Many baby boomers have an overwhelming desire to remain in their current homes as they grow older. That's why many of today's homes are being built or remodeled using what is known as the "universal design" principle.
Universal design is really about making a home more livable, regardless of age or ability. It's all about mobility, ease of use and planning for the long term. Done right, universal design can help homeowners live comfortably and stylishly
Experts say that the overall concept of universal design incorporates much more than simply adding shower grab bars and non-stick mats. Architects, manufacturers and builders are taking into account how people can age comfortably at home -- all the way from concept to the final floor plan. Some universal design examples include wider doorways, easy to operate handles and levers, variable kitchen countertop heights, and smooth floor surfaces between rooms to allow for better quality of life, regardless of the age or capabilities of a home's inhabitants.
See an example of universal design at its best in this video from the 2008 Cooking Light FitHouse near Portland, Oregon.