Beautiful accessible home renovation

Long and thin Victorian townhouse transformed into 
beautiful award-winning accessible home

Location: Oxford

Beautiful accessible home renovation

Long and thin Victorian townhouse transformed into beautiful award-winning accessible home

Location: Oxford

Emily and Ian’s new home has completely transformed their life. They were able to have the modern accessible home they wanted in the central location that they needed it in. Everything from cooking in the kitchen to enjoying the garden on a sunny day can be appreciated by the whole family at their own convenience. Emily, who is a wheelchair user, can now spend time with her daughter when and how she wants by using the lift to check up on her in her room, or can move easily between rooms to enjoy a book with a cup of tea. Emily’s independence, and the family’s quality time together, has been drastically improved by lapd’s design. We guided them through the whole process, from concept design and planning to tendering the project, making sure that they felt in control every step of the way.

Emily and Ian engaged lapd Architects to design a solution that would completely transform how they live in their home. We believe that when faced with a difficult problem it is best to be bold and find a solution that limits compromise, whether in a refurbishment or new build project. That is exactly what we did for Emily and Ian.

In addition, we are extremely proud to have been awarded a Built It Award 2020 for the Best Accessible or Inclusive Home, as recognition of how this project has transformed our client’s lives.

The final scheme incorporated:

  • A complete reconfiguration of the internal layout of the house, making sure to include spaces that accommodated turning circles for Emily’s wheelchair
  • A single storey rear and side extension to create an open plan living/kitchen area, replacing un-used conservatory at the back which had no level access to garden
  • Level thresholds and wide doorways for easy movement between rooms. Pocket doors tuck right back and are stylish as well as unobtrusive for Emily
  • Relocation of Emily and Ian’s bedroom to the ground floor at the same level as the kitchen/ dining room, making Emily’s morning routine much easier
  • A modern and wheelchair friendly en-suite next to master bedroom
  • Relocation of the living room to the first floor so that everyone can enjoy the views over the Oxfordshire countryside – a perfect space for quality family time
  • A redesigned garden that allowed easy access. Hard and soft landscaping was utilised to allow easy manoeuvring for Emily around the long garden

We also worked with Emily and Ian to include high-spec remote controlled (via mobile phones/ tablets) and automatic elements to the build that gave Emily more freedom:

  • A remote controlled awning that extends out from above the bifolds
  • Windows and blinds that can be opened and closed remotely via Emily’s tablet
  • A fully automated Phillips Hue lighting system throughout the house
  • A three storey Stiltz domestic lift that allows Emily to go upstairs and check on her daughter in her room, or enjoy the upstairs living room, whenever she wants
  • A moveable kitchen workspace that means Emily can use the kitchen just as easily as her family. This bespoke kitchen was designed by Adam Thomas Consultancy (head consultant for the Olympic Village accessible kitchens)

Emily’s testimonial

“The accessible design by lapd of our revamped home gives me so much more independence. I have a wonderful, open plan kitchen with rise and fall surfaces, cooker and sink, which allows me to access everything easily. Whilst I can now quite happily live downstairs, the lift means I can easily and safely go upstairs. It makes such a difference being able to visit my daughter’s bedroom with so little effort. The upstairs lounge is a new, tranquil space to escape to. Having an outlook is very important to me as I spend a lot of time in the house, but the lovely view is no longer just for me! Now that the best room in the house isn’t tied up as a bedroom it has become a beautiful space that can be enjoyed by family and friends. The new design allows me to move fluidly and freely around the house, and the smart technology throughout the house enables me to control most things from my phone: from the lights to the blinds, and even the oven! The level threshold at the back of the house enables me to use garden and garden cabin easily and the stone ramp and path ensure that my wheelchair doesn’t bring mud into the living spaces. The side access to a paved drive means I can come and go independently, and at last, I can take my daughter to the park and to playdates without asking for help.

We’d like to thank lapd for a design that is modern and light, making much better use of our setting.  While our home is now fully accessible, it doesn’t have the feel of compromise, and the adaptations we have made for a wheelchair user are almost invisible. It has already improved the quality of my life: I am cooking, keeping the home, and coming and going without needing to ask for help, and the overall improvement to my quality of life is just growing and growing.”

Find out more about lapd and how we can make your dream home a reality.

Find out more about lapd and how we can make your dream home a reality.

Our Offices

Main Office
The studio, Building F5 (north),
Culham Science Centre,
Abingdon, Oxford
OX14 3EB

Henley Office
Chiltern House Business Centre
45 Station Road,
Henley On Thames
T: 01491 845520

Build It Education House
11 Foundation Square
Graven Hill
OX25 2AQ

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Opening Hours

Monday 9.00 - 17.00
Tuesday 9.00 - 17.00
Wednesday 9.00 - 17.00
Thursday 9.00 - 17.00
Friday 9.00 - 17.00

lapd Limited (trading as lapd architects) is a private company registered in England and Wales no. 5324993. VAT Registration no. 879282958. The Directors are Opinder Liddar RIBA and Trevor Avery RIBA.

The company is a Chartered Member of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). Membership No. 3202164P

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01865 407722