AARP has chosen two winners for its Recession Room Makeover contest. Designers will work with families to makeover a kitchen in North Carolina and a bathroom in Washington. The renovations will provide easier access for elderly residents and show that universal design can be beautiful and cost-effective. Designer and accessibility expert Cynthia Leibrock will work with local interior designers and remodelers at each site to complete the projects.

Jamie Hammill’s mother has knee problems that make it difficult for her to reach the lowest and highest cabinet shelves in their farmhouse kitchen. The kitchen also has inadequate lighting and lack of storage. Mary Waggoner cares for her elderly parents on the weekends. Both of them use mobility devices that make it hard for them to use her bathroom. The project includes widening the doorways and installing a walk-in shower and higher toilet.

Both projects will be chronicled on video for the AARP's website. The organization will document the makeovers to film a series of "how-to” videos for its home design Web page. The AARP worked with local chapters of the American Society of Interior Designers and the National Association of Home Builders’ Remodelers Council to provide assistance for the makeovers. Click here to see slide shows of the existing rooms and to follow the progress of the projects. --Nina Patel, senior editor, REMODELING.