Can Architects Remodel Lives?

I just saw an article in The Washington Post that highlighted the work that architect Michael Graves has done for the US Army: He has designed homes to give injured and disabled soldiers a chance to live with dignity and independence. What I think shines about these new homes is the way the architect (himself paralyzed from the waist down) incorporated accommodations with such subtlety that the impression is of graciousness, lightness, and great home design rather than institutional spaces built for soldiers in wheelchairs.

Many of the ways the architect uses space and builds in universal design features (wide hallways, multi-level kitchen work surfaces, high-contrast walls and floors, etc.) would add to the visual appeal, functionality and general livability of any home. These safety and accessibility features also make homes more “multigenerational.” Small children enjoy adaptations like having at least one lower-height counter in the kitchen, while older adults – visitors or the homeowners themselves – appreciate mobility-friendly spaces, lighting design, and safety features. The added benefit is that by designing a home that is more accessible, an architect also designs a home that is usually lower maintenance for the homeowners as well.

The Army’s injured-soldier homes offer an excellent example of how an experienced residential architect can design homes that do indeed improve how the homeowners feel about themselves, their living space and their lives.

If you’re thinking about remodeling or building a home, our own architect can work with you to make a home yours. Whether you have young children, aging parents, mobility issues or simply hate cramped spaces and climbing stairs, we can turn blueprints and plans into home that’s warm, welcoming, designed with plenty of “wow” and planned with care to remove frustrations, streamline functionality and give you spaces that are absolutely perfect for how you live.

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