2017 Remodeling Design Awards
Specialty Remodeling, Universal Design: Merit
Twenty-five years after completing a sunroom addition and kitchen remodel for longtime clients, Carnemark design + build returned for a different mission. One of the homeowners had been diagnosed with a debilitating illness that would limit mobility and ultimately require the use of a wheelchair.
To accommodate these changing needs, the firm modified the ground level to include a fully accessible master suite as well as a functional powder room.
All doorways were expanded significantly, and all floors and entrances were made barrier-free. Typically this is done by cutting into the floor joists, but that can be complicated and costly. Instead, for the bathroom, the team installed a long linear drain amid imperceptibly ramped slip-resistant porcelain tiles that direct the flow of water without modifying the original floor system. Using special insulation, Carnemark also moved the plumbing for the sink and toilet to the outside wall of the house, allowing for a better flow within the room.
Design elements include shallow-depth pine cabinetry and quartz counter, an extended sink basin for an easy reach, and low-maintenance LED lighting in and around the medicine cabinet mirrors. A self-sanitizing bidet-combo toilet and thermostatic hand shower allow for effortless bathing and cleaning. Careful procurement of accessible yet attractive materials—including sleek chrome grab bars; a luxurious, weighty shower curtain; and overhead rain shower head—keeps this spacious bathroom feeling resort-like instead of clinical.
FROM THE FIRM:
Our aim was to create a space that felt like a luxurious retreat, not a nurses station. Careful thought was put into the functionality of the layout for both residents, and possibly for resale down the road. After checking in with our clients several months later, both say they have found the space to be significantly more efficient and a pleasurable sanctuary. They remain impressed that the movement of water manages to stay within the shower, even though there appears to be no barrier at all. Our hope is that we have provided them with an elegant, comfortable home that they will gladly age in for the rest of their lives.