While we’re all at at home at the moment in the throes of a certain virus, what we could do with is some inspiration and a lovely home tour. So, in my latest Accessible Home Tour, we’re chatting to Deborah Chapman from PearlGrey7 on Instagram, and chatting to her about how she’s made her semi-detached home in South Wales accessible and fabulous…
All photos in this post are courtesy of Deb.
WCH: Can you share a little more about the disabled person in your home?
Deb: I’m a mother of teenage twins – Jack and Tia aged 15. My daughter Tia has Cerebral Palsy and she can’t walk, so she uses her wheelchair daily to get around.
WCH: How does this disability impact your home?
Deb: We live in a semi detached house, and we have had a few adaptations done. We’ve had the outside doors widened to get Tia’s wheelchair through. We have a wet room fitted, but it’s currently getting redone as we have had a few problems with it.
WCH: How do you incorporate or disguise the adaptations and equipment into your home and lovely Instagram feed?!
Deb: I’ve mostly done my own adaptations. I had a small slope incorporated into our wooden kitchen floor as it moves into the wetroom so you can’t notice it – it blends straight in to other flooring as I matched the floor colour with same vanish colour. It blends in and makes it easier for her to get to the wetroom.
WCH: Do you have any great tips for furniture buying, room design or planning that helps with the disability?
Deb: I have also to make it easier for my daughter’s room, so we have bought furniture with deep storage which makes it easier for her to put things away and we have drop rails in wardrobe which come down so she can reach.
WCH: What’s been the trickiest thing to deal with in the home to make it accessible?
Deb: The surfaces have to be durable and suitable for the person’s disability – such as flooring – they must be durable for the wheelchair and not too slippy.
We need to have doors and access wide enough to get wheelchair through.
Seating is difficult, certain seating like sofas or armchairs – if they are too deep it’s not easy to get out of it if you have a disability as you can get stuck and then it can be painful to sit in them.
Handles & taps must be easy to grasp, and there must be lots of easy and accessible & storage space – the space needs to work for everyone, to incorporate their needs too.
WCH: What’s been your best find for the home?
Deb: I think ottoman in Tia’s bedroom is my best buy! She uses it for easy access storage – it’s easy to get to from her bed if needed and it’s practical it’s big so she it’s safe for her to sit on while doing her makeup. Being a teenager she wanted a room like other teenagers so I made sure everything was easy and practical!
WCH: What would you say to an architect or interior designer to help them in designing an accessible space?
Deb: I think there are so many things you need to think about that you wouldn’t normally an take for granted. Tactile textiles on chairs and sofas for comfort as sitting in wheelchair is uncomfortable after a while, so once out of it I think comfort is important.
So designing for a disabled person I think you need to find out their need before layout as all disabilities have different needs and we need lots of space to get around in.
Thank you Deb! What I love about her home is the glamorous pared back colour scheme, providing cohesion through the house, giving a lovely calm feeling – even in 15 year old Tia’s room, it looks like every other teenager’s room and doesn’t highlight her disability. They have a lovely home and I hope you go and give Deb a follow on Instagram for some decadent inspiration!
I hope you’ve enjoyed the home tour. Don’t forget if you’re home at the moment and have some time to share your story, give me a shout via the contact page here or via a DM into my Instagram!