Safety First: Look Ahead Design Strategies For A Future-Proof Bathroom

Owen Barnes, principal designer for Bubbles Bathrooms, shared his wisdom on bathroom design for this story. He is well-qualified to advise on this subject – his father was an amputee and Barnes has been aware from an early age of the issues inherent in a life with very reduced mobility – and the solutions that can be applied. Many of Barnes’ tips apply to all bathrooms, but some may explode common misconceptions about bathroom safety.

Go to a professional In Australia, slips and falls are the leading cause of accidental death in over 65s, and bathrooms have two of the main factors involved in accidents: water and hard surfaces. There’s no substitute for expert advice, and the designer’s job, says Barnes, is to create a user-friendly environment that prevents accidents in the first place.

A poor – and unfortunately common – design feature that irks Barnes is the location of the shower area directly opposite the bathroom entrance. “Water from showering and drying off gets walked over the floor and makes a hazard for other users.”

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