Design for an Independent Spirit

Even the contents of upper cabinets are within homeowner Brian McMillan’s reach thanks to the Hafele gas piston shelves the builder installed. “I grab the metal rod at the bottom and pull that down and out, and the whole shelf cascades out. It stays down until you start it back up and the gas piston sucks it back into the wall,” he explains.

A doorless closet with double hanging rails makes it easy for McMillan to reach his shirts and jackets on the lower rail. Drawers built into the custom-made futon base contain pants, sweaters, and T-shirts, and open shelves on the far side of the futon hold his shoes at an accessible height. The futon serves as a valued ally in dressing, as McMillan is able to transfer from his wheelchair to its firm surface with the clothes he’s selected, and use the grab bars mounted on the wall behind the futon to get fully dressed on his own.

The 18-inch–deep deck on the tub makes it simple for him to transfer out of his wheeled bath chair onto its wide surface and to then maneuver into the tub without assistance.

Wheelchair-bound owner Brian McMillan calls the open cubbies on the end of the floating wall in the master bathroom “brilliant,” and can access all of them, except for the top row.

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