Basement Furniture

Basement Furniture
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Basement Furniture

Basement furniture, like the rest of the furniture in your home, can be as practical or elaborate as you wish. Your basement can be devoted to entertainment, media, exercise, study, games---or your visiting mother-in-law. You may want to install a bar or an aquarium or an art studio---or an extra bedroom and bath. Basements offer much more than space for storage, although furniture that provides storage space for assistive equipment should not be overlookedIn choosing basement furniture, plan from the floor up. Basement flooring should be durable, stain resistant, smooth, without texture, and made of material that will offer protection in case of falls. If no one in your family uses assistive equipment, plan ahead when you select your flooring. Wheelchairs and walkers must be easily and safely used on durable surfaces. Some choices include laminate wood, commercial carpet with low pile, ceramic with matte finish, inlaid sheet vinyl and composition tile and planks.

In designing your basement, make certain that furniture is placed to leave clear pathways throughout the area. Lighting is a critical factor in preventing accidents, particularly for people with low vision. Bright, direct task lamps and ceiling lights should be supplemented by indirect light from standing lamps and table lamps. Lamps should be securely placed on the basement's flooring and made of materials that will not shatter.

Safety and accessibility are fundamental principles when choosing furniture. The chance of injury, particularly in the event of a fall, is reduced by securely anchored furniture that has rounded edges and no hard, protruding metal handles. The height and depth of shelves should be appropriate for the reach of family members and guests who use wheelchairs. Furniture can be custom designed to enhance accessibility or, with no additional expense, frequently used objects can be placed on "Lazy Susan" surfaces that rotate. Consultation with an orthopedic surgeon or physiatrist may offer helpful guidance in the selection of couches and chairs for people with physical disabilities.

Private homes are not required to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG),but its technical specifications are invaluable. And remember to measure doorways and access areas so that the furniture you buy can be delivered!

 

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