The Accessible Life

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Laundry/Dressing/Master Closet

The dressing/laundry/master closet area was design so that a paraplegic in a wheelchair and his able bodied wife could both effectively and efficiently process their laundry. This room has been designed as if it were an idealized diagram relative to my physical abilities and my routines. It’s the embodiment of form following function.

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Master Laundry/ Dressing Room

On Dressing Room Futon, Scout Keeps Me Company

On the Dressing Futon, Scout Keeps Me Company

On Dressing Room Futon, Scout Keeps Me Company

Vertical Grab Bars

Futon in Master Laundry/ Dressing Room

Front-loading Washer + Dryer

Closet with Built-in Dresser

Master Laundry/ Dressing Room

  • Futon centered in dressing room
  • Vertical grab bars for stretching
  • 5′ turning radius either side
  • Windows above allows light while maintaining privacy
  • Six drawers, three on either side for storage
  • Tile flooring
  • Shower chair stored/accessed
  • Shelving for shoes, brooms, ironing boards

On Dressing Room Futon, Scout Keeps Me Company

  • Scout is a Hungarian Vizsla, not a service dog, but my companion all the same

On the Dressing Futon, Scout Keeps Me Company

  • How could you not love that mug?

On Dressing Room Futon, Scout Keeps Me Company

Vertical Grab Bars

  • The vertical grab bars allow me to position myself when stretching on futon

Futon in Master Laundry/ Dressing Room

  • Futon sits atop a wooden base with three drawers of storage on either side beneath
  • Remember to build custom platform to the standard futon width dimension
  • Futon covers change with seasons

Front-loading Washer + Dryer

  • Front loading washer & dryer allows paraplegics to load and unload washing machine
  • Built-in cabinets & shelving keeps room organized and accessible

Closet with Built-in Dresser

  • Four hanging clothes rods accessible at two levels
  • Storage shelving above for seldom used items
  • Eight built in drawers accessible at two levels
  • Natural light from adjacent windows

Overview

Being confined to a wheelchair prohibits using a standard top loading washing machine. Therefore the obvious solution is a front loading washing machine. Positioning the washing machine adjacent to the dryer allows for the immediate transfer of wet clothes into the dryer. Along the north wall, adjacent to the washing machine and dryer are a series of cabinets and shelves for storage of towels, mops, shoes, etc.

Futon

Positioned in the center of the room is a futon set at the same height as my wheelchair. This allows me to transfer easily from my wheelchair onto the futon. The futon provides me a platform on which I can stretch and dress as well as a folding table when laundry come out of the dryer. Beneath the futon are three drawers on either side which provide easily accessible storage. There are two vertically mounted grab bars which provide me the ability to reposition myself once on the futon.

Front Loading Washer/Dryer

There’s tile flooring in the laundry room through the hallway and into the master bathroom. This allows for me to move about in my shower chair as I leave the bathroom dripping from the shower. Also this room is on the second floor so privacy isn’t a concern, but the five windows are five feet above the ground and provide amble natural light in this room.

Built-in Dresser

Along the south wall are a series of built-in dresser drawers and hanging rods at different heights. The two lower rods and four lower drawers are accessible from a wheelchair, the upper four drawers and two upper rods are available to an able bodied adult.

The real beauty of this set up is its functionality. There’s amble room on either side of the futon for a wheelchair to maneuver. On the north side of the futon resides my shower chair. When I wheel into the room in the morning I park my standard wheelchair on the south side of the futon, transfer onto the futon, undress, then transfer onto my shower chair and proceed onto my roll-in shower. After showering I return, grab my clothes, toss them onto the futon, proceed to the north side of the futon, transfer back onto the futon, dress then transfer back to my standard wheelchair and off to start my day.

Click on an image below to tour different parts of McMillan House.

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