Buying a home is one of the greatest financial investments you will ever make. So why shouldn’t it be an investment that can last a lifetime? After all, a home should do more than provide shelter from the elements, it should be able do so in an aesthetically pleasing way that can accommodate the many phases of life. Ideally, all of this should be accomplished in a manner that is cost-effective over the life of the home and be gentle on the environment and our natural resources. Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? Although it is highly realistic, it is, unfortunately, hard to find homes already built and plans for future homes that share that same vision. Too many times people are sold the idea that if you are young with a family, a two-story home is a great idea and then, when you get older, you should downsize to a ranch-style home to reduce the number of stairs you have to climb. But why, I ask. Why can’t I have a home that fits my needs as a parent with young children and also as an older adult who lives alone? Why can’t I have one house that ages with me, rather than several that I outgrow three or four times during my span of my life? Part of the problem comes from the connotation associated with universal design. Mention it to a builder or designer and, too often, you get sketches of rooms that resemble a room at the hospital. I contend that the principals of universal design and sustainable living can be combined to create living spaces that adapt to one’s changing life, that it is possible to have one home that changes as your life changes. In our throw-away society, that’s quite a concept, but that is exactly what spaces2livein is all about — finding house plans, design ideas, and products that use the principal of universal design and sustainable living to make our homes more functional for the way we live. We may not all be able to build the perfect house of our dreams, but we can all make the space we have perfect for us.
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