In the summer of 1998, Rosemarie Rossetti’s life was changed in an instant when she was crushed by a falling tree while out on a bike ride with her husband. Paralyzed from the waist down, Rosmarie was fiercely determined to regain her independence, but once released from the hospital, she realized that the features in her home increased her disability. The carpet made it difficult to roll her wheelchair, she couldn’t bathe independently, and even after installing a lift, there were many areas of her home that were inaccessible to her.
Rosemarie and her husband, Mark Leder, immediately began research and planning for a new home, one that would be comfortable and useable for both of them. In an effort to educate the public on the need for this type of design, they decided to make their home a national demonstration home and call it the Universal Design Living Laboratory (UDLL). Enlisting the help of industry experts and corporate sponsors, they embarked on the project in 2005, finally moving into their home in May of 2012.
The Universal Design Living Laboratory includes an abundance of livable features, including multiple counter top heights and appliances with front-mounted controls in the kitchen, illuminated, rocker or push-button light switches throughout the home, a large amount of storage provided at a low height, lever style door hardware and plumbing fixtures, and even an elevator! One of our favorite features is the spacious wardrobe which combines well-organized storage with laundry facilities all in one convenient spot.
All Images Courtesy of UDLL
We are thrilled to honor the Universal Design Living Laboratory with the first Livable Design Platinum Seal of Approval! Thank you Rosemarie and Mark for all the work you’ve done to educate others about the need for universal design. Your home is functional, beautiful and inspiring to all of us!
Have you visited the Universal Design Living Laboratory?