How Can You Be Safer and More Comfortable in Your Home?

How Can You Be Safer and More Comfortable in Your Home?


As a professional Interior Designer in Bergen County, NJ, clients often request that I incorporate more features to keep everyone safer and more comfortable in their home.  The best time to add these kinds of features is when you remodel.  The best space to add safety features to is in the bathroom where most things happen.

No matter your age, with small children, adults or seniors, safety is always an issue. There are features I automatically put in all of my designs when doing bathroom remodeling, such as anti-scald thermostatic controls for water temperature, hand held shower faucets, grab bars, anti-skid flooring, and great ventilation. There are obvious reasons why everyone in the family needs these features.

What should I think about to improve my home?

Today there are more ideas/features that became possible with new products that permitted the idea to be installed. With the larger free-standing tubs comes the issue of getting in and out of the tub safely.  New vertical/horizontal grab bars help to navigate the tub.  The tub filler faucet now comes with a spray hose so you can reach those far off places to clean the tub as well as rinse off.

Curbless showers are the latest, made possible by new drain technology.  You need to know how to install it so you don’t have water all over the place but now you don’t have to worry about getting in and out with a leg in a cast or if you need a wheel chair!  Just walk or wheel right in.  It’s called Universal Design.  Everyone can use it; it’s not only for those with disabilities.

 Walk in shower-no curb, just continuous floors.  by Laurie Caroll

Planning ahead for future needs is a smart way to go. Here’s a thought for you.  Are you getting to the empty nest time in your life?  Are you happy with your location near your family members?  Don’t want to leave?

How about expanding the half bath on the first floor and changing it to a full bath?  That may come in handy if you have difficulty with stairs in the future and want to create a master bedroom on the first floor.

Or perhaps you can visualize a section in the kitchen that has a lower countertop so you can pull up a chair and do your chores instead of standing.

What are 5 things that I can do now?


  1. Make the doorway larger. You will need it if someone is incapacitated and needs a wheel chair.
  2. Add more lighting. As we get older we need more light and task lighting in a specific spot is very useful. Did you know that reading glasses are needed by some people as young as 40? This is because your eyes start to change around that time.
  3. Install easy to read and operate thermostats. Love this one! This is an excellent idea right now!
  4. Replace the low slung toilets of the past with higher seat toilets. What a pleasure!! Talk about more comfort!  (I like this one best!)
  5. Think about a walk in tub replacement for your existing tub.  It is like the Japanese soaking tub concept.  Ahh!    No more awkward angles to step over the rim!

The Remodelers Association recent survey reports that there is a big increase in awareness of simple, relatively inexpensive aging-in-place projects. Making these modifications can help you be safer and more comfortable!


Which of these features would you like in your home to make it safer and more comfortable?  I am interested in what is most requested today!  Let me know what you think.