My clients, let’s call them Helena and Boris, asked me to design a wheelchair user’s bathroom for their new home. They were life-loving fun people with a very active lifestyle. They traveled, they threw parties, and they liked to laugh. Helena’s style was modern and glamorous. She liked a combination of rustic natural materials with sleek glossy surfaces and crystals. She showed me the two natural stone tiles that she got at a bargain price. “Can we be creative with this?” And so we talked about the style and design avoiding the subject of her husband’s physical challenges as much as possible. At the same time, the bathroom had to be wheelchair accessible for him but without looking different from any other stylish bathroom.
Designing a wheelchair bathroom
I admired Helena’s ability to have fun with the design project while focusing on functionality and mobility issues.
After I created the floor plan and the basic layout with the accessibility checklist in mind, the fun part began. I worked with non-slip stone tiles of two sizes 1″ by 1″ and 4″ by 4″ for all the surfaces including walls, ceiling, and floors. I drafted four ACad designs manipulating tiles and creating a variety of patterns. Helena chose one of the layouts since I created many of them. After four different patterns for each surface, Helena chose the most interesting ones. They included additional accents: the glass tile for the floor and the small metal inserts for the walls. After that, we decided to visually lower the ceilings by installing the mirrors on the top and creating the niches around the shower top. The contractors installed the tile in traditional, classic patterns, but the use of glass made it all appear modern.
Because the bathroom was long and very high we decided to install the mirrors on the upper portion of the room so that the ceilings looked a little lower. The niches were reflecting in the mirrors. Obviously, I designed the bathroom vanities for the wheelchair access. The bathroom is spacious, comfortable with plenty of room for both, the wheelchair user and his wife.
As a result, Helena was thrilled. This was the bathroom she was dreaming about!
Read more about bathroom design and tiles: Top Trends for Bathroom Tiles: Bathroom Tiles Ideas
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