Steven suffered a brain injury at birth in 1994, and lives with dystonic athetoid cerebral palsy, which is characterised by involuntary movements. He is wheelchair dependant and requires full time support from a team of carers and his parents.
Initially, following Steven’s birth, the family lived in a 3-bed semi-detached home in Thorne, before finding a bungalow, ideal for adapting which is set within two acres of land in Goole in 2007.
When Steven and his family first moved into the bungalow, they had the house reconfigured to accommodate his wheelchair and allow access throughout the home. The main large lounge was retained, and a second lounge was adapted to create a living room, specialist bedroom, and playroom.
A carers room was also created, along with a small hydrotherapy pool for Steven’s ongoing therapy and physiotherapy sessions.
As Steven grew, so did his wheelchair, and the family found it difficult to manoeuvre the wheelchair around the home. Certain rooms such as the kitchen were particularly difficult for Steven to access.
Steven’s mum, Sue wanted the hydrotherapy pool covering as it was no longer being used. Steven had outgrown the hydrotherapy pool and it was no longer deep enough for him and accessibility was also impossible.
France + Associates, the builders and Steven’s family agreed that the space could be used to better suit Steven and his needs. The pool was covered and a wall in Steven’s bedroom was removed to allow for ample storage space. An open plan design means Steven can now move from his bedroom, to his bathroom and straight to his own living room/therapy room, which is regularly enjoyed by the whole family.
A new tracking hoist has also been added to Steven’s room, making it easier and more efficient to move Steven from his bed, into his specialist bathroom and then to his living room/therapy room where he does daily stretches with his carers.
Bi-folding doors and level access have been added, so that Steven can go straight from his room onto the covered patio area with resin floor, meaning it is safe for the wheelchair and allows Stevens to enjoy the garden and fresh air. When he goes out, the bus that transports Steven can also drive straight up to the doors, meaning he can be transferred into the house without getting wet when it rains.
A small kitchenette area with sink, hob, fridge, and microwave has also been added to the carers room, so they can eat and make warm drinks for themselves in there.
Doorways throughout the home have also been widened, meaning Steven and his wheelchair can now access every room of the house.
Prior to the new renovations, the family had ‘fallen out of love’ with the home, as it no longer functioned for them as a family and Steven’s needs as an adult living with cerebral palsy. Now, the family are incredibly proud of their beautiful, forever home and the difference it has made to them all. Steven’s parents and his sister Rachael (who was affectionately known as the designer throughout the project!) have all worked collaboratively to create an accessible and safe home that meets all of Steven’s needs.
“The project was completed during COVID, and the building team were absolutely wonderful. We thought it was going to be a nightmare, but they were COVID safe, wearing masks, sealing off areas and making us feel totally safe too. They became our outdoor family, and we miss them now they’ve gone!
France + Associates and the builders guided us throughout the entire project, and from the very beginning asked us what we wanted to see and what we needed for Steven. They were all so thoughtful and listened to everything we had to say. We as his parent’s and Rachael as his sister were fully involved.
They had a vision to turn a house that no longer suited Steven’s needs, into a fully accessible family home, with Steven at the heart of it. We were all a team and agreed on the design ideas - we fully trusted them all.
Since the adaptations, the home feels big, (despite being the same size!) and there is a better use of space, I feel so calm here now.”
You can view the project in full here.
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