The new Southern Living concept home proves that adaptive design can be stylish

Mr. EvansEditor in Chief Southern Living Magazine, is no stranger to the concept of homes. On the other hand, getting a presentation to a reader from a reader was a new experience. I received an email from Scott Riderwho suffers from Parkinson’s disease, about a project he’s already started: building a specially designed hut for people like him, who have mobility issues,” says Evans, who oversees the annual magazine. Southern Living Idea House, the ground building fair that is built in a new location every year.

“It made a lot of sense that Scott and his team were involved in the project for a number of reasons—[adaptive design] It’s just a smarter way to build a home,” says Evans. “Whether it works for you or not, many people will have friends or family members who have mobility challenges. If you’re going to be a good host, especially from a southern point of view, where we all talk about hospitality, you want anyone to feel welcome there, and you want people to be able to come in and stick around the house. It’s a good idea to try to make the homes more inviting and accommodating, and to show these ideas to our readers.”

Part of making the home easy was creating spaces with smooth, even transitions from room to room.Laurie W. Glenn

By the time the magazine appeared on board, Ryder had already hired professionals in his community in Habersham, South Carolina, who were willing to donate time and resources—a team that includes architects. Eric Moser And the Lauren Kelly Moser Design Collection; Designer Catherine Lott; Developer: Habersham Land Company; builder Allen Patterson. The resulting project first appears in the August issue of the magazine. The property was sold earlier this year, with net proceeds supporting the Parkinson’s Foundation; The home plan is now available for purchase as well, and a percentage of those sales will go to the Parkinson’s Foundation as well.

the left: Selecting cabinet knobs instead of knobs was a simple choice that made opening cabinets throughout the house easier. Laurie W. Glenn | the correct: Pull-out drawers in the closet were the key to making it easier to access storage. Laurie W. Glenn

From the outside, the house looks like any other Lowcountry cottage. Inside, it features thoughtful details such as extra-wide doorways, pocket doors, counter-height niches, and even pot fillers placed in the middle of a wall meant to fill pet bowls. The house plan also includes an option for an elegantly designed ramp on the exterior of the house. “While the project was developing, I was walking around in space with Scott, showing me how even the little things make a difference,” Lott says. “He was saying, ‘You need to look at hooks at a lower level for people who use wheelchairs,’ or ‘We need to think about pull-out cabinet knobs,’ which was fun and interesting.”

The theme of aging in place, despite the logic of this, remains uncommon in the design community, conjuring images of stainless steel grab bars and other vintage details in ADA-accessible public spaces. “When you talk about accessibility at home, people’s minds go to what they saw in hotel bathrooms,” Moser says. “You wouldn’t be able to tell that this house was so adaptable, and in fact, the people who bought it had absolutely no mobility issues – they just loved the house.”

The new Southern Living concept home proves that adaptive design can be stylish

In the living room, Lotte created seating options at multiple heights.Laurie W. Glenn

Lotte hopes to expose it Southern LivingThe home audience – over 13 million people – will help highlight simple ways designers can extend the life, usability and inclusion of a home. “I’m 35, my parents are in their 60s, and I know eventually I’m going to take care of them,” she says. “To know that my home can fully meet these needs through a few small changes is amazing.”

Learn more about Southern Living Adaptive Cottage, visit the magazine’s website or grab a copy of our August issue, on stands now.

Home page picture: the outside of Southern Livingadaptive hut | Photo by Laurie W. Glenn

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