With an eye to aging in place, more older adults are building or renovating homes that will support a safe and comfortable lifestyle. Hallways that can accommodate wheelchairs or walkers, main level master bedroom and bathrooms, and outdoor ramps are just some of the considerations homeowners of a certain age are incorporating into their living spaces. Now a popular furniture retailer has launched a collection of pieces adapted for people with disabilities.
Pottery Barn recently debuted its Accessible Home furniture collection designed to be easier for people living with a disability, the elderly, or those who have suffered an injury to use. With guidance from the Disability Education and Advocacy Network and specialized disability designers, Pottery Barn was able to adapt existing pieces for people who may have difficulty standing up or who use a wheelchair.
A collection of desks and tables have been modified to accommodate a wheelchair, popular armchairs are available with a power lift feature, and certain wall mirrors have been adapted to tilt, making it easier for people in a wheelchair to see themselves in the bathroom. All the pieces have the same design features expected from Pottery Barn products – a welcome alternative to the mainstay of functional but clinical or unattractive products currently on the market.
Pottery Barn is a high-end retailer, and the price point of the furniture may be outside the budget of many elderly or disabled people. But creating more inclusive products may encourage other, more affordable retailers to follow suit and offer stylish and accessible home accessories and furniture.
Ikea, for example, recently partnered with an Israeli non-profit to create ThisAbles – an online platform that allows people to download a file for 3D printed add-ons that help make Ikea furniture and accessories easier to use. Legs that elevate a couch, easy handles for cupboards and drawers, and a shower curtain gripper are just a few of the 13 products currently available.