2012 Chrysalis Award Winner Best Residential Universal Design
MN/Twin Cities Builders Assoc. 2012 Remodelers of Merit Award
Bathrooms under 150 Square Feet
“The Pink Lady” - Breaking Barriers with Beauty
Independence for people with all levels of abilities will become main stream. Accessibility Design has stood behind this statement since we opened our door 20 years ago. Now with our most recent award winner, “The Pink Lady”, we recognize how close we are.
Christie is a 21-year-old woman with cerebral palsy who uses a walker to ambulate due to minimal strength in her lower extremities. She lives with her parents in the family home where she grew up. As she became an adult, she and her parents knew she was fully capable of greater independence, but the structural environment limited her ability and increased her reliance on assistance from her parents.
As a result of her bathroom not being functional, Christie found herself bathing in her parent’s master bathroom which required a process of adding and removing large pieces of equipment each time she showered. The makeshift, temporary solution required re-staging daily, imposed on the privacy of her parent’s bathroom and still required caregiver assistance to climb over the curb at the shower entrance.
The goal of this remodel was to create a bathroom that seamlessly integrated features into the design that promoted access, safety, dignity, ease of maintenance and beauty. The family wanted to avoid an institutional-looking environment often found in public bathroom facilities. Interior design principles drew inspiration from Christie’s love of zebras, the color pink and “all things girl” and seamlessly combined them with accessibility sensitive installations.
Each access solution was explored from the perspective of design, occupational therapy, construction and real estate value. In collaboration with Christie and her parents, an extensive needs assessment was conducted to gain a better understanding of her abilities and the symptoms associated with cerebral palsy to better anticipate needs that go beyond safety, function and aesthetics.
In the end, Christie was provided with a beautiful space integrated with all the practical features needed to use it safely, independently and with dignity. The final cost of the project was $34,256.00.
Accessibility Design's solution included:
Results of the project
By enhancing Christie’s life through home access, the end result helped her regain the dignity she did not have prior to the remodel. The final result increased her independence dramatically, without compromising safety, and reduced the stress and worry felt by her parents. With a private bathroom customized to meet her needs, the family has restored privacy needed to foster cohesiveness of adults living together, while maintaining their individual privacy.
A Milestone has been made…accessible bathrooms CAN be beautiful! You’ve cracked the playing field wide open “Pink Lady”. Not only are you intensely functional and filled with access features, you are attractive enough to be judged on your beauty… and take home the prize.
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