2018 Master Design Awards: Universal Design

by Kyle Clapham
2018 master design awards universal design


Sebring Design Build
Naperville, Ill.

Project name:
Neustadt Master Bathroom
Project location: Naperville, Ill.
Square footage: 195
Project cost: $47,000


An accident, which required a wheelchair for the homeowner, made the current master bathroom layout an obstacle course that demanded more effort than necessary. The vanity heights, mirrors and even the shampoo niches became too tall and created frustrating challenges every day. To make life easier, a remodel of the entire space prioritized accessibility, function and aesthetics.

Removing a whirlpool tub opened the floor plan for a new, curbless shower so the client could wheel in without transferring to a different chair. A shower valve in the knee wall allows her to turn on the water without getting wet, and a lower shampoo niche suits her specific height. The separate makeup area includes outlets in its drawers to facilitate the use of hair dryers and other tools.


Sink: Kohler
Faucet: Moen
Handheld shower: Moen
Towel bar: Moen
Towel ring: Moen
Robe hook: Moen
Valve: Moen
Diverter: Moen
Cabinetry: Wellborn
Countertop: Caesarstone

Photos: Rachael Ormond


Lewis Builders
Carmel, Calif.

Project name:
Mid-Century Modern Ages Gracefully
Project location: Carmel, Calif.
Square footage: 2,834 (+1,600 outdoor living)
Project cost: $1.2 million


The 1960s house had fallen out of escrow three times. The builder-consultant hired to decipher the inspection reports and advise the sellers on what they needed to do to sell the house decided to buy it and renovate it himself instead.

A redesigned floor plan not only now captures the ocean views visible from the front door and main living spaces, but it also incorporates universal design elements throughout. No-step entry; curbless showers; heated benches and floors; widened hallways, doorways and showers; and abundant LED and natural lighting all enhanced the marketability of this investment project, which sold in 10 days.


Brick/stone/stucco: Calcutta Marble Natural Stone
Countertops: Caesarstone Quartz Light Concrete
Appliances: Viking
Flooring: 10″ wide plank oak flooring
Stacked stone: Travertine Stacked Stone

Photos: Monterey Bay Virtual Tours


Carnemark Design+Build
Bethesda, Md.

Project name:
Adapting With Age
Project location: Washington, D.C.
Square footage: 2,226
Project cost: $331,000


A retired orthopedic surgeon living in a historic high-rise building in Northwest Washington, D.C., was a repeat Carnemark client. He did not want move and, with an eye toward the future, asked for a remodel that would enable him to age-in-place gracefully.

The Carnemark team needed to create a larger kitchen suitable for wider passing areas. The space was gained by removing a wall. All that is left of the wall is a stainless steel pole, which conceals a plumbing stack. The goal was to provide easy movement between kitchen workstations even with a walker or a wheelchair.

Importantly, universal design can be just as aesthetically appealing as a standard design. The project includes a wall of cherry cabinets with roll-out shelves to keep everyday items within useful reach.

Safety was a major concern. Life Floor is a slip-resistant tile that is waterproof, low-maintenance, and resistant to stains, mold and bacteria. The surface is also cushioned and helps break any falls, should they happen.


Cabinetry: DeWils-Horizon-Shaker
Countertop: Silestone
Sink: Blanco
Faucet: Brizo
Cooktop: Bosch
Exhaust hood: Futuro
Oven: Bosch
Refrigerator: Liebherr Biofresh
Freezer: Sub-Zero
Dishwasher: Bosch
Air switch: InSinkErator
Bath cabinetry: Greenfield-Estridge
Toilet: Toto
Shower: Porcelanosa
Shower faucet: Grohe
Bath sink: Duravit
Sink faucet: Hansgrohe

Photos: Anice Hoachlander

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