Accessible Homes by Lowe's

Friendly Wheels, Issue 30
August 2010

Lowe's Universal DesignBarb, an Amigo owner, and her husband, Larry, both use mobility aids. A recent article, "Universal Appeal," in Lowe's Creative Ideas' May/June 2010 issue, their living arrangements in the home of son, Curtis, and his family are featured. Using the principles of Universal Design (UD), Lowe's Creative Ideas team designed an accessible home addition complete with kitchen, bath, bedroom, and living room for a multi-generational household.

Universal Design is the structuring of products and environments to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design. (Courtesy of the Center for Universal Design at North Carolina State University.)

A few of the Universal Design elements used in this accessible makeover include:

Spa Bath

  • Shallow sink offers more leg room and easier access to items at bottom.
  • Customizable shower (with grab bars) can be adjusted if seated or standing.
  • Built-in shower bench for convenience and safety.
  • L-shaped vanity for more storage space within reach from one spot.


  • Sink with drain in back opens more space underneath.
  • Bottom-mount freezer keeps items within easy reach when seated on your Amigo.
  • Adjustable refrigerator shelving  at convenient heights.
  • Cabinets with higher toe-kick give more foot room. 


  • Smart space planning leaves enough room on both sides of the bed.
  • Rocking switches use limited hand motion for lighting.
  • Adjustable closet features: pull-out pant rack and pull-down clothes rod.

Living Area

  • Floor lamps with low-glare bulbs to reduce eyestrain.
  • Casement windows with crank handles open and close easier.
  • Multipurpose room divider serves as mini wall, entertainment center and a bookcase.

View the entire article here. Sign up for a free subscription to Lowe's Creative Ideas.

Read more Friendly Wheels articles here.

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