Small Spaces: Furniture Solutions for Accessible Micro Dwellings (Part I) #AgingInPlace

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Do you remember our post this past week asking one very simple yet oh so complicated question? The team at Corinne Gail Interior Design has been hard at work researching the answers, putting together a virtual source book of solutions proving that, YES, accessibility and small spaces can co-exist.  Starting with today's post - furniture solutions for Work and Storage - through next week we'll be publishing a series of posts highlighting the direct solutions that make Aging-In-Place possible with limited square footage.

And remember, should you have any specific questions, please do not hesitate to reach out and we'll try to answer.

Enjoy!

Caramella from Hirashima, Inc. | Photo courtesy Hirashima, Inc.

Caramella from Hirashima, Inc. | Photo courtesy Hirashima, Inc.

- WORK -

Whether desk time involves running a home based business or simply Skyping with the grand-kids back home, work area furnishings for small space living should be uber functional - providing a space for secondary functions (a single person dining area or a spot for folding laundry), being designed with ample leg room for stretching during long periods of sitting or for those who are wheelchair bound, and offering a modicum of storage for the user's immediate needs.

What We Like: The Studio Desk from BlueLounge www.BlueLounge.com

Small Space Pluses: The Studio Desk provides an ample surface area for multiple functions with little to no effort.  Additionally, the warm woods and light finishes offer a visually minimal appearance avoiding the bulky appearance of traditional desks. Accessibility Pluses: A pull out tray brings the users work closer to them resulting in less bending or reaching.  Also, a series of outlets mounted just inside the desk brings power within ergonomic reach, avoiding the possible strain of stumbling around for an outlet along the floor.

Visually simple with a number of accessible friendly features, The Studio Desk from BlueLounge brings functionality to the Small Space work area | Photo courtesy BlueLounge

Visually simple with a number of accessible friendly features, The Studio Desk from BlueLounge brings functionality to the Small Space work area | Photo courtesy BlueLounge

Outlets just under the surface brings power closer to the user for ease of access | Photo courtesy BlueLounge

Outlets just under the surface brings power closer to the user for ease of access | Photo courtesy BlueLounge

What We Like: The Caramella Collection from Hirashima, Inc. www.k-hirashima.jp

Small Space Pluses: In a similar footprint as a normal bed or couch, Hirashima, Inc. has incorporated additional worksurface/dining functions as well as optional storage making the Caramella Collection a well thought out addition to any small space design. Accessibility Pluses: Whether in bed or sofa format, the Caramella collection incorporates a generous working surface clear of obstructions as well as ample toe kick space (to avoid catching toes in the dark!).  Additional storage options including a mobile file pedestal and under surface bookcase ensure the user doesn't have to go very far for the right tools.

Combining bed and worksurface the Caramella collection combines a multitude of functions into a footprint similar to a standalone bed | Photo courtesy Hirashima, Inc.

Combining bed and worksurface the Caramella collection combines a multitude of functions into a footprint similar to a standalone bed | Photo courtesy Hirashima, Inc.

Also available as a couch or daybed version, the Caramella would be a perfect spot for entertaining guests | Photo courtesy Hirashima, Inc.

Also available as a couch or daybed version, the Caramella would be a perfect spot for entertaining guests | Photo courtesy Hirashima, Inc.

- STORE -

In any small space, storage is certainly a major concern further amplified when the homeowner or occupant has a physical limitation.  Our solution?  The walls.  Wall hung systems not only provide ample space for both daily essentials and long term storage alike but also bring their contents closer to eye level minimizing or eliminating bending down or over stretching.  More so, systems incorporating modular components can change as the user's physical needs change.

What We Like: KerfWall from Kerf Design http://kerf-wall.myshopify.com

Small Space Pluses: KerfWall can cover as little or as much of one's wall as desired and with a multitude of available components - sliders, cubbies, a desk, shelves, paper towel holders, drawers, and hangers - it makes the most of one's vertical plane. Accessibility Pluses: As physical needs change, so does KerfWall.  Components, constructed from solid, chunky plywood can easily be moved, even by those who may not be able to make a tight grasp.  Additionally, storage is easily set at a level that is easily reachable, avoiding the possibility of strain from bending over or reaching up.

The modular KerfWall from Kerf Design can be as simple or as complicated as one's needs but still allows for change when needed | Photo courtesy Kerf Design

The modular KerfWall from Kerf Design can be as simple or as complicated as one's needs but still allows for change when needed | Photo courtesy Kerf Design

Tight grasping is avoided with solid, chunky fittings | Photo courtesy Kerf Design

Tight grasping is avoided with solid, chunky fittings | Photo courtesy Kerf Design

KerfWall works for any family type and can be modified to suit nearly any requirement | Photo by Nathan Hardman, courtesy Kerf Design

KerfWall works for any family type and can be modified to suit nearly any requirement | Photo by Nathan Hardman, courtesy Kerf Design

What We Like: Piano Multi-Purpose Rack from Resource Furniture

Small Space Pluses: This no fuss rack occupies absolutely no floor space whatsoever while a framework of simple wooden "fingers" allow for "on the fly" changes based on current needs be it a coat and mittens one day or rod and reel the next. Accessibility Pluses: With hooks that tuck into the framework when not in use the possibility of accidents is severely limited.  More so, mounted at the user's optimal height, Piano brings day to day storage to their level keeping clutter off of floors and surfaces.

Easily reconfigurable and mounted at the user's preferred height, the Piano Multi-Purpose Rack is uber functional in the small space | Photo courtesy Resource Furniture

Easily reconfigurable and mounted at the user's preferred height, the Piano Multi-Purpose Rack is uber functional in the small space | Photo courtesy Resource Furniture

A close up of Piano's adjustable hooks | Photo courtesy Resource Furniture

A close up of Piano's adjustable hooks | Photo courtesy Resource Furniture

What We Like: Lofty TV Quilt from Think Fabricate http://thinkfabricate.com

Small Space Pluses: The more functions a unit can serve, the better they are for smaller spaces.  Combining TV/Media functions, a drop down desk (or optional bar) and a multitude of storage cubbies, the Lofty TV Quilt consolidates user needs into one single, wall mounted unit.  Lofty TV Quilt is available in a number of sizes to further customize small space capabilities. Accessibility Pluses: As mentioned before, mounted at the user's optimal height, storage is consolidated and brought to the user's level.  Additionally, touch latches and large scale pulls make for easier access to the unit's contents.  And finally, vibrantly colored interiors (also customizable) can aid in organization by using visual cues.

Occupying only wall space, the Lofty TV Quilt combines TV storage, a desk (or optional bar), and plenty of cubbies keeping clutter out of sight and tucked away | Photo courtesy Think Fabricate

Occupying only wall space, the Lofty TV Quilt combines TV storage, a desk (or optional bar), and plenty of cubbies keeping clutter out of sight and tucked away | Photo courtesy Think Fabricate

Vibrant painted interiors can aid in organization | Photo courtesy Think Fabricate

Vibrant painted interiors can aid in organization | Photo courtesy Think Fabricate

Easy lift upper cabinets provide further storage for lesser used objects | Photo courtesy Think Fabricate

Easy lift upper cabinets provide further storage for lesser used objects | Photo courtesy Think Fabricate

Stay tuned for Part II coming Monday!

Featured Image: The multifunctional Carmella Collection from Japanese artists Hirashima, Inc.  Photo courtesy Hirashima, Inc.

Brandon Smith, LEED AP is the interior designer turned Founder and Principal Editor of DCoopMedia, a design & luxury lifestyle digital media development firm. With a focus on redefining how the individual defines luxury, Brandon develops content for the firms’ quarterly journal and blog, theTwentySIX,  and moderates the weekly chat on Twitter #DesignLUX (Thursdays at 1pmPT/4pmET).  A lover of details and addicted to Diet Coke, he can often be found on Twitter @dcoopsd or via the blog D’Scoop.

Corinne Gail Interior Design did not receive compensation for this post. All images copyright Corinne Gail Interior Design unless otherwise noted and may not be used without permission.