Incorporating Accessible Design for Everyone in a Home

Published: March 19, 2024

While the market for incorporating accessible design grows, let’s not ignore the crossover appeal inclusive design has for all our clients – regardless of their mobility needs. Home access is the foundation of my business, and it’s where I carved my niche in the industry. In fact, our showroom was designed with accessibility at its core and aptly named the Home Access Design Studio.

What surprises most people is that up to half of our clients come to us looking for a typical kitchen or bath remodel, without any accessibility needs on their wish list. I use that as an opportunity to teach what inclusive design means and why it makes sense to incorporate it into any project we take on. In this article, I will highlight some of my favorite design features.

The Future-Proof Design Concept

Life changes fast, and as progress in medicine has increased our expected lifespan, it’s also increased the likelihood we will face mobility challenges in our lifetime. Something as minor as recovering from a sprained ankle can be easier in a home designed with access in mind. Incorporating these features into your projects now will save a homeowner from re-investing in them when life happens and those features become a need later.

Favorite Design Tip: When remodeling a bathroom, block between the studs for easy installation of grab bars in the future. When in doubt, overblock and take a photo that can be referenced later.

Get the latest kitchen and bath products, trends and news delivered to your inbox.

Safety Is Always in Style

Most accidents in the home happen in the bathroom – usually in the wet space. It is our duty to prevent those through thoughtful design that does not detract from the style and functionality of the space.

Favorite Design Tip: Many manufacturers offer designer grab bars that match the room’s hardware and can double as a towel bar, a shampoo shelf or a toilet tissue holder. Hide them in plain sight, and they will always be there when someone needs them.


We know the kitchen is a busy place, so designing with traffic flow in mind can make it more enjoyable for everyone. When possible, I like to push the island out 60 inches away from surrounding countertops. This leaves plenty of room for grandma with her rollator or the neighbor with twins in the stroller. Offering dining-height chairs at the table and counter-height stools at the island is an easy way to provide options for people with limited mobility.

We’re not leaving the bathroom out. A wider door into the half-bath and a grab bar/toilet tissue holder combo at the commode are subtle features that can make a big difference to a visitor facing mobility challenges.

Favorite Design Tip: Appliance garages are a great way to keep the coffee maker and toaster oven out of sight, without the homeowner having to lift them from the base cabinets and plug them in.

Crossover Appeal & What’s on Trend

Our company has been installing barrier-free showers for clients since it was founded in 2011. Each year, curbless showers have grown in popularity both in new construction and remodeling. If your shower design calls for a wide-swinging glass door instead of bypass or sliding doors, you’re giving your client a roll-in-capable shower without deviating from the trend of a curbless shower. Taller vanities are also easier on the back and mean less bending down for the user.

Favorite Design Tip: Give your client the spa-inspired luxury shower of their dreams while designing for access. Include a hand shower on a slide bar and a bench or folding seat in their curbless shower.

Resale Value & the Future Homebuyer

Every feature discussed, when designed with an emphasis on style, should net a better return than most projects when it comes time for your client to sell. Inclusive design will also attract a broader audience of homebuyers if it can meet the needs of someone living with a disability or mobility challenge. The interest and appeal will target seniors and the baby boomer segment, which the realty industry predicts will be the core segment of homebuyers for the foreseeable future.

Favorite Design Tip: We know kitchens and baths sell homes. Incorporating some or all the design aspects covered will help your client sell their home faster and at a better price point.

When I speak with my peers in the home access world, we all agree this niche is still in its infancy. The need for inclusive design is growing, and, thankfully, more design and construction professionals are recognizing that need every day. The disciplines of inclusive design will be as ubiquitous as green building in the next three to five years. Now is a great time to get on board with it.

By Jared J Chevraux, CEAC, executive vice president, JTEK Solutions Group, LLC

Photo credit: Adobe Stock/DragonImages

Strategy & Planning Series
Strategy & Planning Series
B2B Marketing Exchange
B2B Marketing Exchange East
Buyer Insights & Intelligence Series
Campaign Optimization Series