Creating an accessible space
From designing a home office for your telecommute to welcoming a new child, every renovation project has a story. For this couple, it was about reclaiming independence. At the start of 2021, Mr. Niosi’s health was deteriorating. Daily tasks were becoming increasingly more difficult to perform and at times made him rely on others for aid. His occupational therapist wanted to help him reclaim some independence and autonomy, so he made a suggestion: an accessible bathroom.
A barrier-free bathroom that doesn’t break the bank
Building a barrier-free bathroom can be expensive, especially when you have to purchase specialized products designed for accessibility. Thankfully, there are a number of grants available to help mitigate costs!
This couple applied for the Home Adaptation Program and received a subsidy from the City of Montreal. It helped them not only purchase items like support bars and ceramic tiles but also cover installation costs. Furthermore, their Advisor found them the perfect Verified Contractor to create a safe and modern space. It was time to make daily life easier.
Before bringing in their team, the Verified Contractor came in to inspect the worksite. The building was over 100 years old and, as expected, the bathroom did not meet current Code requirements. The homeowners appreciated this – they knew there was a lot of work to be done.
First, the contractors removed the old fixtures cluttering the room. This increased the clear floor space and made it possible to manoeuvre a wheelchair. Now, the completed space showcases the attention to detail and originality that went into this accessible bathroom. It’s a marvel to behold!
Supporting independence with accessible design
The couple worked with an interior designer to create a stylish barrier-free bathroom. From the height of the sink to the curbless shower entrance, each design feature aligned perfectly with Mr. Niosi’s needs. After all, his wife wanted him to experience the same pleasures in life as before. What’s more, it all paired perfectly with the desired aesthetic.
When you walk into the room, you’ll notice the large tilt mirror above the wall-mounted sink. The fixed angle allows Mr. Niosi to see his reflection from the comfort of his wheelchair. Another great element is the slate tile flooring. Not only balances the colour palette but also creates the illusion of spaciousness. It gives a subtle modern touch to the decor.
Form meets function
The shower is one of the homeowners’ favourite features! “The greyish ceramic tiles designed in Spain reflect the character of the century-old building we live in,” says Mrs. Vara. The white grout further streamlines the decor: it creates the illusion of all-over white on the walls.
The accessibility features also match the aesthetic of this barrier-free bathroom. There’s a shower niche, which allows Mr. Niosi to reach his toiletries with ease. A half-height shower curtain gives him all the privacy he needs when bathing. And of course, grab bars are mounted to the two walls. To make day-to-day use even easier for folks with limited mobility, the contractors installed a handheld rain showerhead.
The other side of this accessible bathroom boasts lovely wood accents. They soften the sharp lines of the tile and bring warmth to the room. In addition, there’s a grab bar next to the toilet to help Mr. Noisi move from his wheelchair to the seat.
This inspiring project showcases the kind of space that can be made to accommodate folks with reduced mobility and coordination. This family can now enjoy a modern, functional, and safe bathroom.
Before starting this type of project, check out the Ontario Renovates Program for renovatinos and accessibity modifcations.