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Universal Design: Creating Homes with an Eye on Your Future

Smart design goes beyond just elegant fixtures or sleek finishes, instead thinking creatively to combine aesthetics with multi-generational functionality. In short, a well-designed home doesn’t just look good — it feels good.


At Fox Home Innovations, we include “aging in place” components in our design whenever possible. Known as universal design, this concept prioritizes an environment that can be accessed, understood and used to the greatest extent possible, regardless of age, size, ability or disability.  


Universal design is not a special requirement that benefits only a minority of the population, but a fundamental condition of good design. This is particularly true for homeowners seeking to age comfortably and safely in their homes, or homes with multigenerational residents. FHI takes pride in considering the diverse needs and abilities of all throughout the design process, creating homes that are accessible, usable, convenient and truly enjoyable.


Becca Traxson, FHI interior designer, says she considers universal design concepts for various aspects of a home, including grab bars, widened doorways, or flooring that can stand up to a walker or wheelchair.


“If you are planning for the future, consider ideas like installing a few base cabinets that can be removed down the road so you can roll up in a wheelchair,” says Traxson. “Cabinet accessories at lower levels can create easier access for things like spice racks, small appliances and utensils.”


Traxson is a certified aging-in-place specialist (CAPS), along with FHI founder and design/sales director, Chris Fox. This expertise allows FHI to create forever homes that make life easier — not adding needless technology to make life more complicated.


“Lighting, for example, is a critical component that helps everyone,” says Traxson. “Undercabinet or can LED lights are a smart move for now and in the future, or even motion lights installed in cabinets.”


When considering universal design, it can be easy to make a long list of must-haves for the home’s inside but neglect the outside. Traxson suggests leaving space for or installing a wheelchair ramp, chair lift, extra sidewalk lights or other accessories that may help you or a family member down the line.


“The simplest considerations can make the biggest differences,” she says. “Switching from doorknobs to door levers — easier to grip without twisting your wrist — or a touchless faucet can be a gamechanger.”


To learn more about how FHI implements universal design or to schedule a consultation, contact Fox Home Innovations at 785-340-5630 or visit us online at 

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