Adapting a Home for Disabled Family Members

When I moved into my home five years ago it already had most of the requirements for a disabled person because it was a newly built house. I had no idea that just two years later I would be so grateful for these. If my house had been older I may have had to make a lot of changes. This post is a guide to what changes may need to be made should a loved one become disabled.

Whether a disability is borne out of a chronic illness or unforeseen trauma, living with one isn’t easy. Many disabilities impair one’s capacity to get around, which is why it’s important for family members and loved ones to create an environment suitable for accommodating their unique needs. And although many new homes are designed to aid persons with disabilities, often, older homes need to be retrofit to do the same.

That said, if you have a loved one or family member with a disability, here are a few things you can do to make your house more comfortable and inviting for them: 

Major Renovations


1. Change your flooring

photograph of a hallway with wooden floors and doors

If you have marble floors or a carpeted hallway, it might be good to replace them with hardwood floors or ceramic tiles. These different types of flooring provide traction for wheelchairs, not to mention being easy to clean.If you don’t have enough money to re-floor your property, The Spruce suggests covering it with linoleum instead. Aside from being resistant to water and stains, it doesn’t hold on to dust and is good for wheelchairs. We have wood effect linoleum in our hallway and people often believe it’s real wood. It’s great for my wheelchair and makes exiting the house easy.

2. Widen hallways and doors

photo of a white dining room with a table and chairs and a sliding doorway

Your home’s doors need to be at least 36 inches wide for standard-size wheelchairs to fit through. A carpenter can usually complete this job within a day, as it is pretty straightforward. 

However, if you want to make the adjustments yourself, you can install doors with swing-away hinges. You can also opt for dividers and sliding doors, which not only make access easier, but they can also make your home look more open and spacious. From the selection of internal doors on Screwfix, it is evident that your choice can impact the overall look of an entire room or home. This is why when choosing new doors, you need to make sure they are functional, as well as beautiful. 

3. Add a downstairs toilet

photograph of a bathroom with shower, toilet and sink unit

If you find installing wheelchair platforms, stair lifts, and wheelchair climbers too expensive, you can renovate your home to make another bedroom and bathroom on the ground floor for your disable relative to sleep. This way, you won’t need to worry about how they will get up and down the stairs regularly.

Minor Renovations


1. Change door and cabinet knobs

photograph of a door handle on a white door

Door knobs can be difficult to use if they have limited mobility in their wrists or hands. It’s better to use door handles that will allow your doors to be unlocked and opened using only one hand. Locks, bolts, chains, and peepholes should be placed between three to four feet from the floor, so they can easily reach it.

2. Add accessible accessories to your bathroom

Photograph of a bathroom with mirrors,

Showering and sitting on the toilet can be challenging, especially if they have restricted in terms of their movement. Installing handy bathroom accessories like shower seats and sturdy handrails will be very helpful—and are easy to blend in with your bathroom’s overall design. If you have more resources, you can follow the designs featured on the Telegraph and overhaul your bathroom to turn it into a wet room. This means that it will have no moving parts or doors that need to be opened or closed. It’ll be turned into one seamless room that can easily be accessed even if your family member is in a wheelchair or walker.

3. Add sufficient lighting

photo of a living area with sofas and lots of lighting on the ceiling.

Whether they are using a walker or a wheelchair, it’s important to make sure every nook and cranny of your home — including the stairs, rooms, and hallways — is well-lit. An electrical technician can help you improve your home’s lighting and make sure you leave no dark corners. Long hallways should have light switches at both ends and the switches should be reachable from a wheelchair.

Don’t forget to pay attention to your driveway and garage, too. Garden paths need to be wide enough for wheelchair access and the paving should be wheelchair- and walker-friendly, Lushome notes that some of the most important considerations you need to look at when it comes to your driveway are safety, access, drainage, and aesthetics. Once you’ve crossed out all these off your list, your home will be ready for any family member with a disability.

Overall, minor and major home improvement projects for the benefit of a disabled person are a welcome change. And while you’re at it, why not take into account your loved one’s style and preferences? For ideas on choosing a theme, have a look at our guide here on Raisie Bay

The Home Office

I used to have a corner of the living room as my home office. I had everything I needed, a desk, chair, pc and complete filing system including my luxury branded ringbinders.

Then I got sick and rarely used my work station so it was passed on to Star. She now has everything in her bedroom and my living room was reclaimed  became a dumping corner for toy boxes.

I’ve decided now that I’d like it back as a home office. It just felt different having a space to work in. I seemed to get so much more done, I was more productive without distractions. 

The Little Man’s bedroom should really be a home office, it has so many plug sockets and it’s just the perfect size. But I’d have to kick him out and he’s only eight so I don’t think I’d get away with that. Maybe in the future there will be a bedroom shuffle, because I’m sure if one of the other bedrooms became free there would be a rush to move around. The Little Man is happy in his little room for the time being though, so I will have to settle for my living room.

My Ideal Office.

I’m lucky enough to have quite a large living room so I can easily spare a corner. I do think my needs have changed since the last time though. For one, I’d need a very comfortable chair to sit in. I would be using my laptop so the desk would not have to house a pc. I’d like lots of storage for all my paperwork. 

But, it’s not just work, there is also play involved. I like to do a bit of papercraft, so it would be nice to have the desk to use for that. And I really love stationary and pretty things, so it would probably be less office like than before. 

And when I’m not working, I’d love to be able to store everything neatly away.

Inspiration

It will be after Christmas before I can set up my new office because that’s when we’ll be re-decorating. But I’ve been looking on Pinterest for some inspiration. I’m a long way from making up my mind though.

a simple white desk and matching chair against a grey painted wall with a wire bookcase
Maybe if we went for grey, but I’d need more storage
a dark wooden bench beneath a large bookshelf full of books and plants
A bit too cluttered, but I do love bookshelves
An old wooden desk with a a floral chair topped with a painting and a lamp and set against a handpainted mural on the wall
I love the wooden desk
two white cabinets with a plank of wood across the top to make a desk
Or maybe I should have something made to suit. This is a plank of wood over two filing cabinets.

Do you have a home office? 

A Guide To Turning Your Summer House Into A Spare Bedroom

 a brick room with wooden ceiling and furnished with two bedsImage by Man Pan on Unsplash

 

If you are thinking of buying a summer house, there are many benefits to be enjoyed, and with some careful planning, the unit can be the ideal overnight accommodation for friends and family that visit. If you already have a unit in place, you are halfway there, and with some additional furniture, this will make the ideal luxury accommodation.

 

If you would like to see some cosy wooden summer houses with a view to buying one that can be used for overnight guests, there is an excellent supplier who has an extensive range of Nordic Pine summer houses, and some of the larger units are specifically designed as independent accommodation, with bathroom and toilet facilities built in.

 

Space is The Issue

 

Obviously, the summer house has limited space, and with folding beds and other furniture, you can achieve a lot more, and a bed that folds into the wall would be the ideal arrangement. If the summer house is big enough to accommodate the double bed and still have ample space to move around, then you have a choice. To be honest, a bed that doubles as a sofa is perfect, as a single item of furniture gives you two essential features, and with some thought about the layout, you can plan the space with two guests in mind.

 

Heating & Ventilation

 

Obviously, you will need to make provisions for climate control, and a portable electric heater would likely be ample. With adequate insulation and double glazed windows, it shouldn’t require too much energy to heat such a small space, and in the summer, you can always leave the windows open, just make sure you have insect screens fitted. LPG heating is not a good idea, as the enclosed space is a health risk, and a small electric convector heater would suffice.

 

Kitchen and Bathroom Facilities

 

The larger units can be accommodated to include these essentials, and if you are not much of a DIY enthusiast, your local handyman would be happy to oblige. These are, of course, optional, and it might be easier for the guests to use the facilities in your home, which wouldn’t be too much of an inconvenience.

 

The Décor

 

With a little creativity, you can do wonders to make the place more homely, with some tasteful wall art and a few rugs to give warmth underfoot, and if you would like some interior design inspirations on how to best decorate a guest bedroom, there is an informative article. Cosiness is a must with a guest room, and soft lighting and colours will go a long way towards turning the interior into something suitable, and make sure you leave fresh towels and bed linen in a drawer, which your guests can use.

 

If you are looking at summer houses with a view to adding a guest room, there are specific summer house designs that make this a simple transformation. Buying a quality unit will ensure that the summer houses lasts for many years, and like any other structure, it will need some maintenance from time to time.

This is a collaborative post.

Simple Ways of Cheering Up a Child’s Bedroom in Winter

It’s a while yet until Spring arrives and bedrooms this time of the year need to feel cosy and warm. However, we don’t really want our rooms to feel dull and boring either, especially not the kids bedrooms. My kid’s room have been the centre of my attention lately. I don’t have much cash to spare, it’s that time of year when Christmas emptied the bank account but I’m now saving desperately for our holiday. So I’ve been thinking of ways to make their bedrooms better without costing too much and now I’d like to share my ideas with you.

Here are some simple ways of cheering up a child’s bedroom.

Tidy Up

Quite obvious really, a clean bedroom is much nicer than a messy one. This is a cheap and easy tip to make your kid’s rooms much nicer. There is an added bonus, you can pick out some stuff they no longer need and may even make a bit of profit off Ebay. Or you could donate them to a charity store, they love receiving old toys and clothes. I honestly believe that a tidy bedroom helps to encourage restful bedtimes too. Just think of the time wasted trying to find that much needed teddy that they just can’t get back to sleep without!

My kids bedrooms were in much need of a tidy up and I’m afraid to admit, it’s an ongoing process, we have already filled one charity bag and I have a heap of clothes that have barely been worn to go on Ebay. There is profit in a good clean out for sure.

Tidying up can involve a simple sort and clean, but you may also wish to buy some new storage. This can in the form of cupboards or shelving, or opt for the cheaper option of a toy basket. This one would look great in my girls room and the ideal place to store all of those cuddly toys which they refuse to part with but barely ever look at. No doubt the basket would remain until they were teenagers, maybe even longer.

soft toy basket in light grey colour with stars

Toy basket from Room to Grow

Change the Bedclothes

Put on some lovely fresh clean bedclothes, what a simple and quick way to cheer up any bedroom. But you could even splash out on some new sets. At Room To Grow They have some fabulous sets at prices that won’t break the bank. I got some for my kid’s beds and they loved them. I let them choose themselves which ones they wanted. With the girls their room is pink and purple so most sets would fit in nicely. Of course, it would look neater if they had the same but with two very different personalities they obviously went for different sets. Star chose flamingos, while Boo went for Unicorns. The prices are great too, just £15.75 for the Unicorn single duvet cover and pillow case, and only £12.50 for the Flamingo set.

a bed dressed with a pink flamingo bed set, a second bed covered with a pink unicorn bed set

Room to Grow Pink Bedsets

The Little Man’s room is magnolia, I’m going to get around to painting it soon, I promise. I wanted something bright and light and this lovely Animal Kingdom set was perfect. The Little Man agreed and when we put it on we spent an age looking at the map on the pillowcase and talking about where all the animals lived. Educational as well as pretty! Also, a bargain at just £15.75

Lovely Animal kingdom bedset and close up of the pillow with a map on

Now my kids have their new bedclothes they can’t wait to get into bed!

And The Little Man doesn’t want to get up in the morning either!!

little man snuggled in his bed

Add a Bit of Colour to the Bedroom

If the room is looking a bit dull you could consider painting the walls, or adding wallpaper. If you don’t have the time or money for that, why not add some colourful new prints or even a wall sticker. There are plenty of wall stickers to choose from, just take a look on Ebay or Amazon. I have a wall sticker on my bedroom wall (which is magnolia because it’s another room we haven’t got around to painting yet) and it really makes a difference. I may get one for The Little Man’s Room , maybe some animal stickers to match his new duvet cover. (I’m not just using this as an excuse to get away with painting his room, honestly!)

animal wall stickers, giraffe, leopard, monkey, koala bear

 

 

Light it Up

What’s the perfect way of brightening up a room? Add lighting of course! In a kids room this can be in the form of a lamp which they can use on the desk, or one for the bedside table.

a selections of colourful desk lamps

Or you may just want to replace the lamp shade, there are some great, colourful kids ones available.

The girl’s have a bedside lamp which is often left on all night! I don’t mind, I just put a low bulb in it. The Little man also has a bedside lamp but his comes on when he touches it, so he’s quite happy to turn it off while sleeping as he knows he can simply reach out and it will come back on if he needs it.

Hopefully once I’m finished the rooms will look much brighter and the kid’s may even spend more time in them. I live in hope.

How do you brighten up your kid’s bedrooms?

 

 

 

 

Disclosure: I was provided with new bed clothes in return for writing this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own

Changing Rooms – Finding a Bargain

I’m currently embarking on redecorating my entire home and have even set up a new blog to record my journey. Yesterday we had our first year house inspection which went really well and pretty soon it will be all systems go.

You can read the full details on my other blog but the house hasn’t shrunk or moved much which is great because there won’t be much work for the builders to complete before we can get on with decorating. I’m really looking forward to it because I’m truly fed up of the magnolia now and can’t wait to get some colour into my life. Of course I’ll be looking for new furniture and accessories for some rooms too, it’s going to be an incredible task. I’m not scared of the work and planning is good fun, the biggest problem is the cost.

So now I’m on the lookout for bargains. I have a huge job on my hands and need all the help I can get as I don’t yet own a money tree in my garden. That’s why I was thrilled to find a site like Voucher Bin. You can find discount codes for almost everything there. You can search for store vouchers alphabetically, or by categories depending on what you are looking for.

I don’t do any shopping online without first checking there is a voucher or discount available. I’ve just found some great blinds for my extra large kitchen window which are a bargain at just over £40, and at Voucher Bin I found a code for an extra 10% off.

It’s always good to find a bargain, even better when you can get yourself a little extra money off the total cost, even if you don’t have a big expensive project on the go like me. Just think of how you can save on your Christmas pressies!

This is a collaborative post, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

A little Note About Positive Reviews on Raisie Bay

A little Note About Positive Reviews on Raisie Bay

Some people only write reviews when things go wrong with products, which is good because it lets people know that there could be potential problems. I’ve also seen negative feedback with say things like, I had to return this item because the colour did not suit me…is this useful?

I write reviews on most items I buy because I like to give genuine feedback. If I have a genuine problem with a product I will write my review in the appropriate place.

I write reviews on my blog too, but they are mostly positive. Why? Because I only write reviews for the things I’ve loved. If I don’t love them I let the person who sent me them know with details why and then let them decided if they would rather me write a negative review or not write one at all. It’s always the latter.

This is my blog, my place and I’ll let you know about the things I love. If you want to find out what other people have hated about the product then you will need to look elsewhere.

My reviews may all be positive, but they are still genuine.