Finding the Accessible in the Inaccessible – Showers of Instagram!

It’s been a while since we’ve looked at some homes for inspiration, so today I want to look at some of my favourite showers, shower rooms, bathrooms and wet rooms of instagram.

I’m always looking for interiors inspiration wherever I go, and I can always seem to see something that can work for someone with a mobility issue or other disability. Confession – I spend a fair bit of time on Instagram looking at other people’s lovely homes and there’s so much brilliant stuff out that you might be able to adapt for yourself. We don’t need to settle for hospital chic – let’s look around us and get some great ideas that we can inspire us to create accessible, adapted and Inclusive Chic homes.

Before we start – I know that these homes are not adapated or accessible in the way that you and I might need, but I want to share these homes because they are beautiful, inspirational and we can make them work for us with a little tweaking. If you look at the layouts, the colours, the textures, the design and then use that as a base to work on.

So let’s take a look!

Philippa McFarlane – Sandrock House

First up is the beautiful home of Sandrock House – Philippa has such a wonderful eye for design (no wonder she’s won Best Eye for Design a couple of years on the trot from the UK Interiors Awards!) – the gorgeous dark and moody designs in the rooms, the amazing painted gold staircase and landing and the overall feel is one of such homeliness and cosiness that I would happily take inspiration from it! While you’re looking at her Instagram also check out the beautiful bedrooms and that wine cellar is ah-maz-ing!

The extra large shower is an absolute beauty. I love the classic monochrome design that is completely timeless. After all, bathrooms are expensive and not something that you’ll change every couple of years, so in many cases people play it safe with neutral tiles – but this is something that I wouldn’t want to change to be honest!

The shower area is huge, and would easily accommodate a shower wheelchair or a folding seat from the wall. The water runs away easily to the side by the wall and the little nook for shampoo and shower gel is at a good height. If you’re seated you might want to make the nook a little lower, this is something that’s easily built and customised to your requirements as you can see from the last photo when it was mid-build.

There are large handles to switch the shower heads on and off, this is a Victorian style design but having large handles are really helpful for those with visual issues or those with hand dexterity issues, it’s not a small fiddly switch, but something you can really grab hold of.

There’s a beautiful rain head shower and also a hand held shower which is always helpful for those people who have carers to support their bathing, or prefer a hand held vs the overhead.

I also love the copper piping towel radiator with lots of inclusive towel storage at different heights, great for those in a wheelchair.

If this were in my home, I’d add a folding seat in black on the back wall with some black or chrome grab rails and bingo. Perfectly accessible shower space.

Sophie Robinson Interiors

Next up is the bijou wetroom belonging to Interiors Queen, Sophie Robinson. I’ve long been a fan of Sophie’s since her days on the Great Interior Design Challenge and I love her bright, colourful home (also see my recent blog post about her podcast where accessible homes are discussed).

What I love about Sophie’s home in the country is the pure joy it gives her, and me, when I see the colours and patterns. It’s a real drop of sunshine on any day of the year.

Sophie recently got the smallest room in the house renovated into a small wetroom. It’s a small space, 1m x 2m, give or take, but the amount of style packed into the space is brilliant. Now, the colour combo might not work for you personally, but I wanted to share this because of what gorgeous design she’s packed into such a small space.

Firstly, there’s a wetroom area at the end of the room, with no barriers or shower screens to block the way. This gives a sense of space in a small room and will also allow for a folding wall seat or shower wheelchair to fit into the space. The Victorian style design of the shower controls are easy to operate for those with dexterity issues and there’s the handheld and overhead shower for ease of use.

I also love the wall mounted shower gel/shampoo, which is helpful if you find handling bottles in the shower tricky. Also maintains that feeling of openness as it encourages you to have minimum number of bottles lying around. I’d need to add an unobtrusive grab rail and a seat in here but it would work pretty well for someone with certain disabilities.

The small, wallmounted sink would allow you to wheel underneath it for easy access and taps keep in with the Victorian style but are very easy to grip and turn.

The colour of suite is a brave choice and not something I could get past Mr Wheel Chic Home(!) but what I like about the colour is that picking something other than white can give you that visual contrast that is helpful for those with dementia or visual issues, to help guide you to the right spot in the room. Coloured suites are back on the rise in popularity, recently I’ve seen blue, pink, and even black suites (see Man With a Hammer’s brilliant pink and black bathroom!) that look amazing. I’m not sure I’m quite brave enough but they look fantastic!

If you want to learn more about colours, colour psychology and how to have a bright home, head over to Sophie’s website for details on her deisgn courses and all her hints and tips.

Jenny Kakoudakis – Seasons in Colour

Jenny from Seasons in Colour was one of the first blogs I read and Instagram accounts that I followed for interiors inspiration. Her home is full of beautiful pieces and some lovely design choices, and Bella the dog of course!

Jenny recently renovated her bathroom and it’s a fabulous WOW space now from the dull, fully tiled room that it was before. The design choices are lovely and it’s a calm, warm room with textures and bold choices.

From an accessbility point of view the first thing to note is that there’s lots of space which is enhanced by the wall hung toilet and sink. If you can see the floor it gives the illusion of more floor space. It also means you can mount it at the height you’d need to help you – as we know most disabled loos are a little higher than a standard loo.

The textures in the room come from the white marble and the wooden walls, with bold crittall style shower screens that can help guide you to the shower if you have visual concerns. The black bathroom fittings help with that visual clue to guide you to the shower controls, taps or the hand held shower attachment.

The shower itself has a small lip to get in, but you could easily take this design and make it your own by doing it wetroom style, so there’s no step to get into the shower. Now, whilst the shower screens aren’t moveable in Jenny’s design (and therefore it’s not wheelchair accessible) what you could do would be hinge the screen on the left to allow wider entry into the shower and then add a grab rail and wall hung folding chair and you have an accessible wetroom space.

Another great feature in here is the use of the lighting – everything is connected to an app controlled by your phone, so you can set up the lights before you go in and change them to help you do what you need to do – saves tripping over things in the dark! If you want to look at another home with excellent technology to help with his mobility – check out Lee’s home in my interview with him.

There’s lots more details on the bathroom renovation over on Jenny’s award winning blog – I also recommend you follow her for some lovely design ideas and inspiration on Instagram if you don’t follow her already.

This bathroom is in the home of Deborah Vos – see my blog post on her home here

So that’s my little round up of insta bathrooms – which is your favourite?

Inspiration is literally everywhere, follow lots of Instagram folk and spend time on Pinterest. I find that not looking for ‘accessible’ inspiration gives me a wider range. Just look for inspiration and see how you can amend it to fit your needs. If something really speaks to you, then you can use elements of it. Why not!

Here’s some of my other posts on how to find Accessible Inspiration in the Inaccessible:

Deborah Vos’s home

Kitchen Inspiration

What inspiration have you found for your home? Let me know in the comments below!

2 thoughts on “Finding the Accessible in the Inaccessible – Showers of Instagram!

  1. Well what a complete honour for our bathroom to be featured in your beautifully written blog!! That’s made my day and it’s only just started! Thank you so much for your compliments and kind words…. and yes I do agree….the addition of a seat and a grab rail would make the bathroom a completely accessible shower space. Where style meets practical needs is always a complete winner. Thank you again and so happy it’s an inspiration to you xx

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