A couple,Â Helena and Boris wereÂ life loving fun people withÂ very active lifestyle. They travel, they have parties, and they like to laugh. Helena’sÂ style was modern glamour;Â sort of combination of rustic natural materials with sleek glossy surfaces and crystals. She showed me the two natural stone tiles which she could buy at a bargain price.Â Yes, it was a steal and we had to take advantage of the price. Can we be creative with this? Yes, sure.Â So we talk about style and design avoiding the subject of her husband’s disability and the wheelchair.
I was amazed with Helena’s ability to sort of break away from the wheelchair important radius, think about it, and work with it but not let it stop her and her husband from living life to the fullest. The wheelchair might have taken the center stage in a room because of the radius but not in their everyday activities, passions, friendships and family fun.Â I tucked away my ADA requirement check list; lucky for me it was not a commercial space where all the codes had to be there, but just some that were the most important.
I admired Helena’s ability to have fun with the design project, focusing on functionality and mobility issues with me, being really careful about them but savoring the fun part-decorating on a budget!
After the basic lay out with accessibility check list in mind, the fun part began.Â I worked with non slip stone tiles of two sizes,Â 1″X1″ and 4″x4″ for all the surfaces: walls, ceiling and floors, manipulating them creating a variety of patterns.Â Helena was my inspiration and, honestly, I got carried away.Â After four different patterns for each surface, Helena chose the most interesting ones. They included only two other accents: the glass tile for the floor and the small inserts for the walls. We decided to visually lower the ceilings by installing the mirrors on the top and creating the niches around the shower top. The natural stone tile was laid in traditional, classic patterns, but the use of glass, mirrors and crystal accessories had a contemporary glamour effect. The vanities are accessible for a wheelchair but they do not scream at you as being different. The bathroom is spacious, comfortable with plenty of room for turning around. It did turn out glamorous!