Multi-Functional Bathroom in Wheaton

This project was completed for clients who wanted a comfortable, accessible first floor bathroom for their grown daughter to use during visits to their home as well as a nicely-appointed space for any guest. Their daughter has some accessibility challenges so the bathroom was also designed with that in mind.

The original space worked fairly well in some ways (see below), but we were able to tweak a few features to make the space even easier to maneuver through.


We started by making the entry to the shower flush so that there is no curb to step over. In addition, although there was an existing over-sized seat in the shower, it was way too deep and not comfortable to sit on and just wasted space. We made the shower a little smaller and then provided a fold down teak seat that is slip resistant, warm and comfortable to sit on and can flip down only when needed. Thus we were able to create some additional storage by way of open shelving to the left of the shower area. The open shelving matches the wood vanity and allows a spot for the homeowners to display heirlooms as well as practical storage for things like towels and other bath necessities.

Aging in Place bathroom

Guest bath handicap accessible

We carefully measured all the existing heights and locations of countertops, toilet seat, and grab bars to make sure that we did not undo the things that were already working well. We added some additional hidden grab bars or “grabcessories” at the toilet paper holder and shower shelf for an extra layer of assurance. Large format, slip-resistant floor tile was added eliminating as many grout lines as possible making the surface less prone to tripping.

seating in shower

We used a wood look tile as an accent on the walls, and open storage in the vanity allowing for easy access for clean towels. Bronze fixtures and frameless glass shower doors add an elegant yet homey feel that was important for the homeowner. A pivot mirror allows adjustability for different users.

Bronze shower fixtures

handicap accessible bathroom

If you are interested in designing a bathroom featuring “Living In Place” or accessibility features, give us a call to find out more. Susan Klimala, CKBD, is a Certified Aging In Place Specialist (CAPS) and particularly enjoys helping her clients with unique needs in the context of beautifully designed spaces.