Thursday, July 24, 2014

Making the Useful Beautiful in Universal Design: Grab Bars

William Morris is most known for being quoted that you should have nothing in the home that you don't know to be useful or beautiful. It is exciting to see his philosophy applied to utilitarian things such as grab bars. At last they are seen turned into decorative elements or combined with other details to become more functional and beautiful.

Grab bars in bathrooms can be integrated into corner shelves, soap dishes and shower head mounts in showers, or conveniently serve dual purposes with decorative towel bars or toilet paper holders. Like all of these other details, they are found in popular finishes like oil-rubbed bronze or stain nickel, and can even be made of wood. The only difference is that they must be anchored sturdily to hold the weight of the user.

Less often installed, but also useful, are bars that are mounted along the edge of kitchen counter tops. These can be used as handrails to roll a wheelchair user around the kitchen space, and can serve dual purpose for kitchen towels and for hanging kitchen tools in convenient to reach places.

 Grabcessories can be found through many of the large retailers. American Standard has the Invisia Bath line that includes faucets with curved surround bars. On-line retailer Grab Bar Specialists carries many different manufacturers and extensive universal access products. They have almost anything imaginable--a potentially wonderful resource for anyone wishing to put together a accessible bathroom.

“The true secret of happiness lies in taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life.”--William Morris

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