Universal Design Living Laboratory

This post, we will take a small break from the topic of flooring. I would like to share an incredible experience from a few weekends ago. I was fortunate to visit Rosemarie Rosetti, PhD, and Mark Leder’s home in Columbus, OH, where they graciously hosted a CLIPP training.

Their home is the Universal Design Living Laboratory. After a spinal cord injury, Dr. Rosetti found her home to be not truly accessible, despite modifications. After acquiring sponsorships and establishing a team, she and her husband designed and built a home that would suit not only her needs, but the needs of anyone walking through the door. The home has been awarded several Universal Design and Green building certifications.

The house is, simply put, phenomenal. It is a fantastic example of how accessibility does not have to mean unattractive. Many features are subtle, yet powerful.

A few key points/features that stuck out to me:

  • The kitchen counters are higher that what is recommended for people in wheelchairs in order to meet the needs of Mr. Leder while also allowing Dr. Rosetti comfortable access. The kitchen island is actually comprised of counters of 3 heights; one for Mr. Leder, one for Dr. Rosetti at wheelchair level, and another at the counter height of the rest of the kitchen.
  • The design of the front door with the3 sets of clear glass circles is not only attractive but highly functional for safety. The glass circles are peepholes for each person… and a set for the bird watching cat!
  • There is a steamer build into the stove top with its own drainage system. Dr. Rosetti can fill it with water from the nearby pot filler, boil water, etc., and drain the water right from the stovetop. No need to drag heavy and/or hot pots of water across a counter and risk getting hurt!

Their home is open for tours if you contact them to schedule. The website also has a virtual tour (pro tip: the resident cat, Keiko, is present in at least 2 frames), and lists of all the features and items in their home for each room.


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