|(ARA) - Great design is like great art -- you know it when you see it.
However, an essential element of great design is that the form fits the
function. In other words, even if it's beautiful, an object isn't well designed
unless it accomplishes its intended purpose, and does it
Ever-increasing attention to products for the home is reflected in
a growing trend of incorporating pleasing design into everything from showers to
the kitchen sink. "Consumers are demanding more style in their homes," says Mary
Jo Peterson, a design consultant in Brookfield, Conn. "But they don't want to
sacrifice ease of use, either." She points out that as baby boomers age, more
companies are designing home products that look great while taking into account
accessibility issues ? a concept known as universal design.
customizable shower tower is an example of a universally designed product, where
an everyday product that is functional for everyone to use can also add a touch
of style to the bathroom. For instance, the WaterHaven Shower Tower from Kohler,
with two adjustable showerheads and easy-to-use, intuitive controls, is as
eye-catching as it is practical. "Not only does the shower adjust to the user,
sliding up for a tall person, down for a shorter person, or further down for a
child or a person in a wheel chair, but it can serve as the centerpiece of the
bathroom as well, thanks to its good looks," says Peterson.
building or renovating a house, it pays to install products that add style to
the home and that can also adapt universally to owners' changing needs," says
Peterson. "Not only will it serve the current occupants, but it will add resale
value." For example, if you're redoing your bathroom, project 10 or 15 years
down the road -- will you be able to get in and out of your current bathtub?
Tubs that are designed with plenty of space around the bath for sitting or for
use as a transfer area make getting in and out easier. The Tea-For-Two tub from
Kohler is an excellent option. It offers good depth, it has a flat bottom and is
slip resistant for added safety and easy access.
While you're working in
the bathroom, other long-term design considerations include the height of the
lavatory countertop, as well as space beneath the lavatory that allows legroom
for a user in a wheelchair. Wall-mount lavatories or modern washbasins such as
Kohler Vessels are perfect examples of stylish lavatories that are also
A toilet's height is also a consideration of universal
design; a normal height toilet can make sitting down and standing up difficult
for some people. Comfort Height toilets from Kohler, which are just over 17
inches high similar to an average sitting chair, address this problem. "This
height is actually more comfortable for most people than the standard toilet
height," notes Peterson.
Another room where universal design can pay off
is in the kitchen. Planning for a variety of counter heights to add function is
becoming more common. Many new kitchens feature two or even three heights: one
working area for a shorter person or someone who is seated, one at a "normal"
counter height and maybe a third at "bar height," that would be a good working
level for a taller person.
Appliances are also evolving to address
universal design issues. Dishwashers that can be installed in drawers and
undercounter refrigerators add a contemporary design to the kitchen as well as
make for easy access. Storage pantries with adjustable shelves make it easy to
accommodate different needs. Another way to add universal design to the kitchen
is with great-looking, ergonomic faucets. Faucets with integrated sprayheads can
be pulled out or down to provide a longer reach, allowing users to effortlessly
deliver water where it's needed and making sink cleanup easy. Another option to
avoid having to lift heavy pots is Kohler's Pro CookSink. It's just what the
name implies -- a cooking pot with a dedicated faucet and an integrated drain.
The Pro CookSink allows you to boil, steam, poach and simmer foods with
innovative water-based cooking, while no longer carrying heavy pots of water
from the sink to the stove, and then back to the sink.
The bottom line is
that universal design should not only add flair to your home, but also make your
life easier, ultimately turning your home into a more comfortable place to
For more information on all of Kohler's products, log onto
www.kohler.com or call (800) 4-KOHLER.
Courtesy of ARA Content
Authors Website: http://www.aracontent.com/
Go Back to Category: Home Improvement » Report a problem with this article
Note: This article was submitted by a second party and the contents are subject to our
Join us in building the best directory of home improvement information on the Web by adding your
Informational Article Today! Find tips and how-to information on a variety of projects
and topics concerning the consumer, homeowner and small business owner.