Why So Many People Are Talking About Accessible Interiors

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Why So Many People Are Talking About Accessible Interiors

Sometimes game-changing trends come along – electric cars or mobile phones for example – and reach a point in popularity where everyone can see their widespread importance has reached the point where their rising influence is unstoppable.

There are clear, simple ethical and financial reasons why demand for inclusive rooms like bathrooms and kitchens in domestic, commercial and public settings reached this stage long ago.

Let’s take a closer look at accessible interiors from three different viewpoints…

Inclusive Interiors: “Get on Board or Lose Sales”

Firstly, a stark warning has just been issued by accessible design expert Adam Thomas, who specialises in inclusive kitchen design, in a KBB Review article.

His challenge to plumbing retailers applies to countless varieties of business too: “Do you want to lose 20% of your market and see them go to a retailer down the road that does offer a service that makes them feel comfortable and understood?”.

Thomas added that he is moving towards the term ‘mutigenerational design’ and explained the ethos behind the description: “Accessible design caters for specific disabilities, but creating universal creates spaces means anyone can use them. A concept that is especially true in multigenerational households where the one design has to be suitable for all ages and abilities.

“You can design a kitchen that works for a wheelchair user, but no one else can use it. That is not a good universal design. What makes it good is a kitchen that a wheelchair user can use, but that a non-disabled person can use just as easily.

“You cannot have multigenerational design without being universal. If you design something that is accessible, then by its very nature, it is multigenerational,” he said.

Inclusive Interiors: “There’s a Giant Wave Coming”

The debate has also attracted headlines in the USA, and in no less than the Washington Post, where the business world has been preparing itself for a large slice of a market stretching to tens of millions of people.

The newspaper quotes a head-turning insight from Seattle-area interior designer Melinda Sechrist who makes a bold point about accessibility needs of people born in the 40s, 50s, and 60s: “There’s a giant wave coming and when the tip goes over, it’s only the top 5 to 7 percent who can afford a senior living facility.” 

The Washington Post adds that “regardless of cost, many want to age at home”, highlighting that the need for quality and variety in accessible fittings for the domestic market is already, and will continue to be, of huge importance.

Inclusive Interiors: “Everyone Should Feel Like a First-Class Citizen”

Meanwhile Bespoke Hotels President, and hotel sector champion for disabled people, Robin Sheppard points out that it’s vital to keep promoting user-friendly, well-designed accessible inclusive interiors in public and commercial buildings.

Speaking about the Leonard Cheshire Blue Badge Access Awards, Robin explained that “We believe it is absolutely vital that hospitality venues and public buildings across the globe demonstrate a warm welcome to all customers. 

“Able-bodied or not, everyone should feel like a first-class citizen no matter where they are visiting, and no matter what disability, sight or hearing impairment, allergy, or access requirement they may have.”

An opportunity for professionals who work with accessible washrooms for public and commercial use exists in the fact that – as experienced by Robin – some buildings are still treating accessibility as a legislative tickbox with “no provision for emotional or aesthetic intelligence”.

“The results can be seen in over-medicalised bedrooms and bathrooms with gloomy fixtures and fittings. Sadly, the defining trend is a singular lack of wit and panache,” he said.

Inclusive Interiors: How We Can Help 

Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be this way.

At NYMAS we haven’t just responded to rising demand for accessible washrooms but have often set new standards in quality, design and usability along the way.

We’re proud to offer personal, direct help to clients such as trade sellers, estimators and commercial customers who want to make domestic products or Doc M work harder for their business.

To find out more simply contact our expert team for a personalised overview of the ‘more than just a supplier’ support, advice and services we offer for valued clients.


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