The National Association of Home Builders this month announced the winners of its annual Homes for Life Awards competition. The award recognizes “excellent remodeling work for aging-in-place and universal design” in two categories: Major Space and Single Space.
The winner for Major Space was Nancy Schnur, owner of Interiors LLC in Kailua, Hawaii. Schnur’s client has spent most of their life bound in a wheelchair and for years was having a difficult time finding the right contractor to fit her needs. That is, until Schnur came along. Schnur lowered the counter heights, created a roll-in shower, and created storage space on wheels. The result is an aging-in-place kitchen area fit for a wheelchair with a sleek design.
The winner for a Single Space was Barb Mueller, owner of Designs Anew in Houston. Mueller was tasked with designing a space for an older couple with very limited mobility. The wife wanted to continue developing her passion for cooking and so the design centered around making appliances accessible and easy to use. The wife was also mobile through a scooter and needed a less-tight space to maneuver around the kitchen.
Measuring the scooter in motion, the aisles were planed at 48inches on each side of the island and 60inches between the main countertop and the island. This provides a good turning radius for the scooter to easily move around the space. The kitchen now has updated appliances including, but not limited to: a shallow pantry, a countertop that was relocated to the island, an oven with a two-hinged door with base cabinets, drawers for dishes and glasses, and much more.
In a blog post from the NAHB, Remodelers Chairman Tim Shigley said,
The Homes for Life award-winning projects exemplify innovative home design that prioritizes safety and style. Certified Aging-in-Place Specialists are trained to transform a house into a home for a lifetime with custom solutions for any age and ability.