all ages & abilities

Universal Design Consult

Our focus on Design for All Ages and Abilities helps people stay in their homes during all stages of life. Shelter’s expertise in Design for All has been inspired by real life experiences and informed by years of designing new homes and renovating existing ones. Throughout our practice, we focus on creating livable environments. In that spirit, we are passionate about creating homes that support our aging population and disabled members of our communities.

Good design can support the way we live. Good design can keep us safe and comfortable in our homes throughout our lives. Many types of disabilities develop as we age, each appearing at a different rate and with a different degree of impairment for each of us. Low vision, diminishing hearing, loss of balance, reduced range of motion, and decreased mobility change the way we live in our homes. Shouldn’t homes be designed to allow us to age in place?

We consider access, safety, ease of movement, and usability when we design spaces for all ages and abilities. We also strive to keep these spaces beautiful and delightful, which are chief characteristics of all Shelter projects. We hope to help our clients feel empowered and autonomous as long as possible in their own homes.

Design for All Consultation

The Design for All consultation is an onsite meeting with an architect or interior designer from Shelter. We will assess challenges to accessibility in your home, brainstorm opportunities to create more livable spaces, and sketch renovation options if needed.

2-hour onsite consultation


For learning about your lifestyle, assessing challenges to and opportunities for accessibility in your home, brainstorming possibilities, project scoping, and ballpark pricing

To schedule your consultation, call or email us to tell us about your project.

Design for all ages and abilities is an emerging field of thought and practice. Everyday we are learning about the products and approaches that enhance the work we do in this area. We have collected some thoughts about the topic, listed below. We are also on the lookout for information from our friends and family about this field. If you know about a great resource or have a personal story to share, reach out!

Designing For All


Seven principles guide the design of products and environments that may be used by people of all ages and abilities
Equitable Use
Flexibility in Use
Simple and Intuitive Use
Perceptible Information
Tolerance for Error
Low Physical Effort Required
Sized & Spaced for Approach & Use


Many considerations play into design for all ages and abilities
Zero Threshold
Wide Doorways
Level Floor Transitions
Open Floor Plans
Ground Level Living
Lever Door Handles
Grab Bars
Raised Toilets
Multiple Height Counters
Roll-Out Shelving
Task Lighting