150 ADA-compliant items from wheelchair-accessible desks, power-lift recliners and pivot mirrors are designed for older adults and people living with disabilities.
Pottery Barn launched a furniture collection designed to be accessible to older adults and those living with disabilities. In consultation with experts, the company’s designers adapted 150 best-selling styles—from dining tables to office desks—to accommodate a range of disabilities.
Marta Benson, Pottery Barn’s president, told Fast Company that she felt strongly that the brand should launch an accessible home collection after she visited one of its stores, only to find that the bathroom didn’t contain Pottery Barn furniture. When she asked a store designer why, he pointed out that none of Pottery Barn’s bathroom consoles complied with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which requires public bathrooms to have wheelchair-accessible sinks."
Benson tasked Pottery Barn’s designers with creating modified versions of some of the brand’s most popular products to make them safer and easier for people with disabilities, bringing in experts from the Disability Education and Advocacy Network, which is led by people with disabilities, as well as designers who specialize in designing for disability.
Lisa Cini, founder and CEO of Mosaic Design Studio, lent her expertise working with older adults and people living with disabilities. Her project Werner House, a 10,000-square-foot mansion in Columbus, Ohio, explores what it takes to create an inclusive, multigenerational house. The Pottery Barn team used the Werner House to help create the Accessible Home line.
“The Werner House an Infinite Living Collaboration transforms a 1914 mansion into an Aging in Place living tech lab designed as a community space for all generations. Visitors, including short-term AirBnB guests, community events, meetings, and classes within what Cini calls ‘soul space,’ where everyone can now experience the home of the future and how it will impact where we live as we age,” Cini posted on LinkedIn.
The team also tapped into its internal employee network, Disability Education and Advocacy Network (DEAN), which is led by people with disabilities who are experts in the fields of inclusive disability education and advocacy.
Pottery Barn’s most popular armchairs were adapted to include a power lift to make it easier to get out of the chair. The chairs are also able to move in every direction, which relieves pressure and stress on the body. In addition to seating, the 150 products include modified bath furniture and products like mirrors that pivot, lighting, tabletops, and rugs.