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Screen Shot 2015-11-11 at 21.32.13My mum’s in her 80s I’m in my 50’s and my son’s in his 20’s. In 2015 I built my mum a house.

I started out planning on a nice modern, simple house. The plot is at the end of a 1970s terrace and I wanted it to fit in to the neighbours’ houses on the outside and be a gem inside. I had fallen in love with blogs and magazines full of beautiful and inspirational interiors. My Pinterest was filling up fast.

Then I found out it wasn’t about what I wanted but about what my mum needed. My mum isn’t wheelchair bound and doesn’t fit in the category of disabled living. She doesn’t need a lot of specialist equipment. But she does find she has restricted movement: she finds stairs impossible some days and when her arthritis flares up, even flushing the loo with a push button is painful.  Together we visited showrooms that had a daunting array of mobility living aids, so many of them ugly and clinical. Every time, we came out of there depressed and despondent. This just didn’t match the image of elegant, independent living that my mum and I had planned for her.

After many sleepless nights I began to think that there might be a middle way, where thoughtful planning of room layouts, considered selection of building materials, well designed fixtures and fittings – along with a healthy dose of imaginative thinking – would allow her to remain comfortably independent in a house she could be proud of.

Why do ‘old people’s homes’ have to look institutional ? Mobility impairment at any age shouldn’t mean that your home suddenly becomes a place where good design or even homeliness is thrown out of the window. I’m passionate that beautiful and clever design in our homes should be used to answer reduced mobility needs at any age.

I hope my blog can be of help not only to family, carers and elderly as well as parents looking for inspiration when they find that they need to make their home more suitable to their needs. Whether you are downsizing, building a granny flat or about to embark on a major home improvement, future proofing can help you when choosing a new bathroom tap or which oven to buy. The world is catching on to this, there are so many clever design ideas and new products out there and I’m making it my mission to bring them to you in my blog.

Join me on a search for beautiful, thoughtful interior design that addresses reduced mobility issues, spans ages and is stylish, to build a home that you love and that’s fit for you and your family.

22 Comments

  • Reply MaryMary January 17, 2016 at 12:33 pm

    I agree with you – product designers and interior designers should consider designing products so that anyone at any age can use it

  • Reply Build Mum a House January 20, 2016 at 5:45 pm

    Thanks, MaryMary I don’t see why we should compromise on design just because we’re getting older

  • Reply Bernadette August 3, 2016 at 2:08 pm

    Wow, this is great. You should share this at the Senior Salon today

  • Reply linda August 4, 2016 at 9:57 pm

    I know this made your mom happy.

    • Reply Build Mum a House August 4, 2016 at 10:15 pm

      and it’s now so easy to pop round to see her just for the little things… before they become big things

  • Reply spearfruit August 6, 2016 at 11:38 pm

    Very happy to read this post – a wonderful blog you have here. 🙂

  • Reply Joe Perrone Jr August 12, 2016 at 12:27 pm

    Can you list some specific things we can do in altering an existing home to accommodate us “seniors?”
    The only things I am aware of are to install grab bars in showers and higher toilets. While I’m not “there” yet, I will be an oldster before too long, and any suggestions you can offer would be greatly appreciated.

  • Reply yarnspinnerr August 15, 2016 at 5:38 am

    Some times back I read about robotic limbs that help arthritics and paraplegics move. I need them for my mother.

    You have highlighted some great ideas here.

    • Reply Build Mum a House August 15, 2016 at 6:42 am

      I had a look at a robotic ‘skeleton’ recently, have a look at my Instagram Buildmumahouse. Your question is a great idea for a post… I will do some research and write up my impression of them and find out what is available. At the demo that I witnessed I watched a young policewoman stand up and walk. A woman who had been paralysed from the waist down in an accident while on duty. I was so emotionally overwhelmed that the movie I had tried to film on my phone just didn’t get recorded!

  • Reply Gail Kaufman August 16, 2016 at 10:03 am

    What a wonderful website you have. So glad I found you!

    • Reply Build Mum a House August 16, 2016 at 10:26 am

      So happy that you have found me and you enjoy my blog. I think its so important this information gets out to people so that we can make our homes fit our needs and look good too.

  • Reply Rachel McAlpine August 17, 2016 at 2:25 am

    This is such a good resource, and such a good story. Inspiration and vision as well as highly practical tips. I’ll be referring to it in future, for sure.

    • Reply Build Mum a House August 17, 2016 at 10:46 am

      So glad you have found it interesting, do keep in touch and let me know if you have any tips, suggestions or thoughts to share 🙂

  • Reply Eric August 17, 2016 at 6:10 am

    That´s nice!!!

  • Reply Eugenia August 17, 2016 at 1:38 pm

    I love your post.

  • Reply Anne August 17, 2016 at 3:25 pm

    I look forward to reading more of your posts. Your themes are close to my heart!

  • Reply Patsy Porco August 17, 2016 at 5:40 pm

    Thanks for following my blog! It enabled me to discover yours. I’m your age with a mother who is your mother’s age. I think we were destined to meet, even virtually!

  • Reply Patsy Porco August 17, 2016 at 5:41 pm

    Thanks for the follow! We’re the same age with mother’s the same age. I admire your mission to make your mother’s house beautiful and practical.

  • Reply Catherine Urbanski August 28, 2016 at 11:29 pm

    Why do ‘old people’s homes’ have to look institutional ? Mobility impairment at any age shouldn’t mean that your home suddenly becomes a place where good design or even homeliness is thrown out of the window.

    Truer words could not be found anywhere. I’m old. And though I’m not impaired–yet, I love my home and it’s quirkiness and the fact that it is my comfort zone. It doesn’t LOOK like an old lady’s home. It’s just nice. Thank you for addressing this. I’m gonna LOVE your blog!

    • Reply Build Mum a House August 29, 2016 at 10:29 pm

      Welcome on board! I love your blog and your attitude to life so glad that you have enjoyed reading this!

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