Designing Comfort and Happiness
Designs Anew Houston (DAH) is invested in your Health and Well-being, especially in these Covid times. Keeping abreast of the newest trends and products, we apply several approaches to designing the best solutions for your individual needs – Wellness Design and Easier Living (Universal Design) or if desired, Accessible Design and design for safe and independent Aging in Place.
By allowing you to ascertain the benefits of incorporating healthful and accessible features and products, you are able to make a more informed decision about how your remodeling will impact your future health.
Indoor Air Quality
We spend over 90% of our time indoors where the air is often 2-5 times more polluted than outside air (EPA). Good ventilation in the kitchen clears out not only smoke and odors, but also deadly carbon monoxide and combustion particles emitted from gas appliances. Poor ventilation in bathrooms can result in the build-up of mold, mildew, and bacteria.
With the tighter homes of today, less clean air exchange may lead to colds, sore throat, and sinusitis. Airborne contaminants, such as mold spores and VOC’s, (Volatile Organic Compounds) can become dangerous for those more susceptible, including the elderly, those with weakened immune systems, asthma, or those who have had chemotherapy.
Off-gassing of formaldehyde and VOC’s found in many household materials, including wood furnishings and paint, may cause respiratory and neurological issues as well as cancer and liver/kidney damage. DAH encourages the utilization of good quality venting to achieve a healthy environment for you and your family.
Bringing in natural Daylight and affording views of the outdoors has been proven to be of great biological, emotional and physiological benefit leading to lower instances of tension, anxiety, anger, fatigue, and confusion. DAH strives to provide these opportunities for mental restoration by incorporating Wellness Design.
These features may include additional or operable larger windows allowing cross ventilation; natural elements or materials, such as wood and stone; and circadian lighting that mimics our natural ”biological rhythms” improving sleep and mood.
Health and Well-being
There are many stratagems for achieving a healthy home. You may want to consider incorporating some of these features in your remodeling projects: skylights or sun tunnels; water filtration, especially at the kitchen sink; added insulation before the drywall goes back up for acoustical control; appliances for herb-growing and convection/steam ovens that focus on healthy nourishment; touchless faucets; shade control technology; voice activation devices; and no-VOC paints in colors fitting the function of the space.
Easier Living (Universal Design)
Houses have traditionally been built for the ”average” fit buyer and therefore have excluded barrier-free use by almost 20% of the population. In the last 25 years, there has been a demand for houses suited for all people, now possible through Universal Design. This approach to easy, convenient design creates rooms that are usable by everyone, including persons with disabilities. These rooms may have multiple users who may be: short or tall, elderly, injured, pregnant, frail, had strokes, have debilitating diseases, mobility aid users, have low vision, or recovering from surgery or just leaving rehab.
It involves placement of products and features allowing easy reach for seated or standing users, convenient access, low effort to use, and low maintenance. Universal Design (UD) provides adequate space to maneuver around, minimizes potential hazards, and offers simple and intuitive use. Our homes must be adaptable and flexible. As our needs change, our kitchens, baths, and other spaces should be usable through the many stages of life.
There are hundreds of ways to incorporate these into your living spaces! Easy visibility, wide open spaces, storage within reach and wide entryways enable ease of use. Motion sensor faucets and voice activation for plumbing and lighting are just a few of the numerous assistive technological opportunities available. DAH is uniquely suited to guide you along your pathway to easier living.
Functionality and Safety are always the hallmark of good design, along with aesthetics. These three qualities are an integral part of UD. Universal Design is beautiful; it blends into and complements all room designs and never looks clinical.
Please check out the many projects in the Gallery that have Universal Design – they just are pleasurable rooms in which to live and work.
Accessible Design and Aging in Place
These two design styles are actually specializations within Universal Design. They also have all the attributes of UD with added features focusing on the needs of the individual client.
Accessible Design. Those with traumatic injuries, serious illnesses, and disabilities benefit most with Accessible Design. Your particular circumstances are carefully evaluated to provide the maximum navigability and utility of your kitchen, bath and flex rooms.
Aging in Place
Everyone grows older; those who like to plan ahead for their later years will find designing for Aging in Place prepares the home with the features and products to lead a safe, independent, and comfortable life.
At some point, the house that you or your loved ones have lived in for years may become a challenge and not the safe haven it always has been. Maintaining dignity and control of your life is possible by modifying your home with Universal Design.
If your parents/loved ones fear losing their independence or are having difficulty accepting your help, it might be they feel the loss of the inherently human “caregiver role” taken on years ago as a parent – the best way to encourage them to accept your advice and assistance is to aid them in understanding that these difficult decisions to adapt their homes for Aging in Place really are a benefit for you and your peace of mind.
Barb is CAPS (Certified Aging in Place Specialist) and is highly qualified to implement creative, achievable solutions. Call us at 281-546-1089 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Before embarking on a kitchen renovation, a homeowner needs to assess several things: what is my budget, and what is my goal? Then ask the 3 important questions that are hardest to narrow down: what do I really need; what do I just want in the space: and what would I love to have? Designs Anew Houston understands these issues and has over twenty years of experience collaborating with clients to reach the perfect, balanced solution.
There is a multitude of choices from which to pick! Transitional kitchens feature textural elements, typically organic, and simplified cabinetry, whereas traditional kitchens comprise details, especially adornment with corbels, applied molding, and millwork. Open kitchens encompass easy visibility to dining and living areas, obtainable through moving or removing walls. Kitchens that close off dirty dishes with walls blocking unwanted noise are now becoming more desired.
Easier Living products and features make a huge difference in ease of use and maintenance for all kitchens: rollout carts; pull-out shelves to stow small appliances; tall pantry cabinets in lieu of space-wasting pantry rooms; spice racks on the range or cooktop sides; vent hoods vented to the outside; drawers instead of cabinet doors; dedicated charging stations, outlets integrated into drawers for phones and tablets; smart appliances and technology such as motion or voice activation; and layered lighting with dimmable switches.
Kitchen zones for baking, cooking, prepping, and cleanup is taking precedence over the old “kitchen triangle” idea. DAH is experienced in defining these areas for better functionality and traffic flow through the placement of appliances and islands, wide aisles for multiple chefs, landing areas for appliances, and storage within reach at each zone.
Bathrooms also present the same dilemmas for the homeowner who wants a change; Designs Anew Houston performs client programming (questions) to determine your requirements. From there the choices are easily narrowed.
New technology offers many options to examine, such as digital showers that allow control of water temperature, water pressure, and massage settings. Hi-tech toilets with digital bidet seats with remote control for hands-free operation, self-sterilizing, stainless steel nozzles that spray gentle aerated streams of water, adjustable for temperature, pressure, and spray width are available. Bidets can be also equipped with an air dryer and a deodorizer. Medicine cabinets, now with tv’s and outlets, and LED circadian lighted mirrors are other technologies to start your day off great!
Eliminating tripping or slipping hazards to help prevent falls at any age is a vital component of designing a bathroom. Eighty percent of falls in the home are in the Bathroom and more than 60 percent of injuries occur at the tub and shower – risks that dramatically increase for those over the age of 65.
Adding a curbless “spa” shower, cabinetry with drawers in lieu of doors, and layered lighting with ambient and task lighting all make the bathroom a safe and convenient space in which to perform daily tasks.
Designs Anew Houston provides functional configuration of bathrooms for maximum ease of use; close, convenient-to-reach storage; transferability to shower seat, tub, and toilet; and space for maneuverability and accessibility.
At the end of the day, you can count on your bathroom to be a great space to help relieve the stress of the day.
Does your fireplace need a facelift? Does your closet need organization? Designs Anew Houston has years of experience in the design of adjacent areas. Often when a kitchen is remodeled, the Pantry, Mudroom, or the adjoining room’s Fireplace, is included and therefore coordinates with the project.
The same applies to bedrooms, closets, and storage built-ins during a bathroom renovation. If tile, flooring, or cabinetry is involved, it is best to do all adjacent areas at the same time so that the finishes coordinate with each other and colorways are the same.
Drawings of Floor Plans, Electrical, Lighting, Elevations, and 3-D Perspectives from CAD program Chief Architect are available services.
Special Features Elevations and Floor Plans
If you are just interested in CAD drawings of Floor Plans or Elevations, we are glad to supply Chief Architect drawings. If your contractor or architect is not as versed in kitchen or bath design as you would like; we draw plans utilizing Universal Design (easy maneuverability; storage solutions within convenient reach; and safe, low effort, and functional design) and Wellness Design (bringing in Natural Daylighting, workable windows, maximum venting, water and air quality, and acoustic and thermal comfort).