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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Anne Michaletz
For Masco Cabinetry
ANN ARBOR, Mich., (June 13, 2012)— There’s no question that Universal Design is an important focus within the building and remodeling industry. Homeowners are opting to stay in their homes longer, multiple generations are living under one roof and disabled individuals are looking for ways to make their homes more accessible. All of these factors, and many more, are bringing deliberate attention to Universal Design¬—a design concept that supports universal living for all exemplified in the newly opened Universal Design Living Laboratory (UDLL) demonstration home located in Columbus, Ohio.
KraftMaid Cabinetry, known for its thoughtfully-engineered cabinetry ideal for universally designed spaces, provided the cabinetry throughout the UDLL home. The home serves as a learning center and resource for builders, designers, architects and homeowners and kicks off tours with an exclusive media preview event on July 26. Tickets for the media preview event will be sold to the public through the Junior League of Columbus to a limited group of 125 people. Net proceeds from funds raised will go to charity with additional details at http://www.udll.com.
“The Universal Design Living Laboratory demonstration home was an inspiring project for KraftMaid,” said Sarah Reep, director of designer relations and education for KraftMaid Cabinetry. “This home truly represents the home of the future. It will allow homeowners to live an entire lifetime within their home regardless of physical capabilities or conditions.”
Design Inspired by Real Life
The 3,500 square foot ranch-style home incorporates unobtrusive universal design principles and will be used to demonstrate how a more comfortable, and accessible, living environment enhances quality of life.
The UDLL home was the creation of project founder, Rosemarie Rossetti, and her husband Mark Leder. Rossetti endured a spinal cord injury 13 years ago that left her paralyzed from the waist down. After returning home from the hospital in a wheelchair, Rossetti realized just how unaccommodating her previous two-story home was for this new reality. Rossetti’s frustrations and challenges maneuvering through her home inspired her and her husband to research and ultimately build the UDLL home to bring the most innovative Universal Design principles to life as an example of how to design a home that is comfortable and accessible for all.
During the planning stages for the demonstration home, the team worked with several partnering brands to determine Universal Design elements to incorporate into the home. A few of these modifications included a step-free entrance (a gradual, level grade; no conspicuous ramps), wider hallways (43“), four heights of kitchen counters, full extension drawers and shelves in kitchen base cabinets, a cooktop set into a counter with open knee space, a large bathroom with decorative grab bars, open knee space under all sinks and flooring that was either hardwood or non-slip tile.
Cabinetry Addresses Common Challenges
As the heart and soul of the home, the kitchen and bath are two areas of the home where we spend the majority of our time and, for many, these rooms can present daily challenges. Incorporating Universal Design principles is critical to enjoying and functioning in these spaces. One way to do this is with cabinetry that helps address common challenges while making everyday activities easier for everyone living in the home.
“KraftMaid was the right cabinetry partner for this project,” said Rossetti. “We wanted to work with brands that understand that universally designed products can be on-trend, yet support an atmosphere that is comfortable for anyone.”
Rossetti and Leder worked with a KraftMaid designer to develop the kitchen, powder room, master bath, which features a unique his and hers solution, and secondary bath design. The cabinetry door style used in the home is Melrose Quartersawn Oak, which is part of KraftMaid’s Passport Series. The Passport Series features cabinet design for individuals of all ages and abilities with features like a raised toe kick that allows Rossetti clearance for her feet on the footrest of her wheelchair. The cabinetry hardware, a sleek bar pull, allows homeowners with limited hand dexterity to open doors and drawers.
To learn more about the project, see project renderings and images of the home, visit www. udll.com. For more information about the KraftMaid products used within the home, visit www.KraftMaid.com.
KraftMaid leads the semi-custom cabinetry industry with innovative product design, a robust collection of more than 150 trend-on door styles and more than 65 furniture-quality finishes. Based in Ann Arbor, Mich., and manufactured by Masco Cabinetry, KraftMaid brand cabinetry is backed by a limited lifetime warranty. For more information, visit www.kraftmaid.com.
Editor’s note: For images or an interview with project designers, please contact Anne Michaletz ([email protected])