Universal Design in a New Normal

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Universal Design in a New Normal

“Part of my role is educating customers,” says Alison Stanley, senior sales executive at Kohler, “and the 7 Tide Learn and Lounge series is a fantastic way to engage them.” Stanley was one of four Continuing Education Unit (CEU) presenters at an all-day event for architects, designers and remodelers last week here at 7 Tide. Her topic, Universal Design in a New Normal, appealed to her because it explores a holistic approach that embraces design for everyone—no matter their age.

“Universal Design incorporates some of the Americans with Disabilities Act set of standards,” explains Stanley, “but we are looking at a design approach that, rather than simply using stringent codes, allows people to age in place. An example might be adding a beautiful seat to a shower for couple in their 30s. It’s non-institutional looking but can be used forever.”

Eric Madsen, showroom manager for the Kohler Signature Store by Supply New England at 7 Tide, which sponsored this CEU presentation, agrees that universal design is timely. “We are seeing a huge demand in the marketplace from people who are downsizing or planning retirement,” he says. “They may not need to worry about accessibility immediately, but it makes sense to put that focus and thought into our designs now, especially in kitchens and baths.”

Madsen says that Supply New England is proud to be part of the collective marketing plan at 7 Tide, including the Learn and Lounge events. “It is valuable for clients to keep up with changes and trends in the industry. They are able to come to one inspiring location and get the chance to explore the space, tour our showroom and ask questions.”

Stanley is also thrilled for Kohler to partner with 7 Tide on CEU events. “Whether clients need the credits to keep up with certifications or they just want to learn and interact, it is a phenomenal opportunity.”

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In this Supply New England project, which was featured in New England Living, a home was redesigned to accommodate three generations under one roof: “A Family Affair.”