Door Hardware

  • 7 New Products That Are Helping Seniors

    17699363_sThere are many kinds of disabilities, so there are many different kinds of assistance technology that has been created by companies. A number of these companies focus on how they can add value, creating adaptive devices to help improve the lives of their customers.

    We’ve rounded up 7 new products that are truly helping the disabled, from audio books to doorknobs that have no knobs, so let’s take a look at how they can transform your life.

    Audiobooks

    Audio books may not have been created especially for people with disabilities, but their contribution here is huge! If you think about the difference between listening to Audio books and Braille reading tools, you can easily understand why we have to put them on this list.

    Many elderly and visually impaired people have lost the joy that once came with reading books and other materials. Audio books let you experience the stories and information you’ve been missing and that you may not be able to get otherwise.

    Lightweight Transfer Board

    Transfer boards provide a smooth and stable flat surface between level areas. They are very light and small, and can be used by someone who is able to position the board and slide over or can be used by a caregiver to avoid lifting the user.

    Being able to move where we want is something most of us take for granted. That is why this product is invaluable to the individuals that need it.

    Type Aids

    This product enters our list because of the possibilities it gives for people with limited hand skills. From working to using social media, we all know how typing is part of most people’s day-to-day lives, therefore type aids are the perfect tools for helping to accurately press keys and facilitate the user’s job.

    Cane Holder for Walkers/ Wheelchairs

    This is a simple double-clip cane holder. However, do not underestimate its help! It can keep the user’s cane handy whenever they may need it, and they can snap onto the user’s walker or wheelchair.

    Tub Grab Bars

    I know this might not sound like a new product and it isn't. But as technology evolves, you can find different types of grab bars with different attributes, allowing people with disabilities to enjoy daily life without additional assistance.

    Today it is possible to find multi-handle tub bars with compact design, ideal for use at home or while traveling. This aspect is essential because it improves the user’s independence of the caregiver.

    Reaching Aids

    Reaching Aids are just simple tools that help individuals grab things difficult to reach. You can find several models online or in medical supply stores such as reaching aids that hold shavers, razors, sponges, and even help apply ointment to the user’s body.

    UltraLatch Doorknobs

    A doorknob that has no knobs! A perfect way for opening doors without using your hands, twisting your wrist or bending; benefiting anyone with limited hand skills or special needs. The SOSS UltraLatch is an example of a simple but powerful solution, not only in ease of use, but also to help avoid possible accidents.

    To get more great ideas about senior living please download our free senior living design guide.

  • 10 Ways To Put a Secret Room In Your Home

    28968655_sThere are many functions of having a hidden room in your house. From having a place to keep your valuable things to being able to stay focused without any distraction, a secret room is a wonderful solution. Further, secret rooms are becoming popular as safe rooms for protection of your family.

    Secret rooms can only fulfill their purpose if they are well hidden and very discreet. No one can suspect about its existence, or its function will be ruined. The key to obtaining a successfully hidden place is your creativeness. The more you use your imagination and adapt your home, the more options you will have for creating a secret space.

    Below you will find a list of 10 creative ways to design a secret room in your home:

    Wine Cabinets
    A wine cabinet is used for storing and organizing wine bottles, but it can be a very useful way to hide your wine cellar full of your favorite vintages. Install an invisible hinge on your cabinet and you will have your very own secret cellar.

    Bookshelves
    The same thing can be done with a bookshelf inside your home library. You only need to choose one bookshelf to hide a different room with your favorite and rare books. The perfect idea for having a secret room in your home is installing a SOSS Invisible Hinge into your bookshelf and use it as a passageway. Your secret door will be completely inconspicuous with this hinge.

    Towel Cabinets
    Using a Towel Cabinet inside your bathroom is another creative way to hide a room or a sauna for example. If you always dreamed of having a sauna, why not have a private one?

    Stairway Rooms
    If you have kids, a great idea for creating a secret room is to build under a stairway in your home. Building a small, themed playroom for your children is a way to fire their imagination and keep them playing and learning.

    Toy Shelves
    In case you don't have stairs at your house don't worry, you will probably have a toy shelf that you can also use as a passageway to a secret room. Your children will love a small passageway that they can crawl through to a room that's only for them.

    Paintings
    One painting of a reasonable size can also be an original way to hide a secret room. No one will suspect the existence of your private space.

    Mirrors
    Door size mirrors are fairly easy to come by. You can attach the mirror to the wall using SOSS invisible hinges so it can be used as a portal to a secret room that you use to keep your jewelry and valuable objects safe.

    Tall Dressers
    A tall dresser with a false bottom is an unusual and practical way to keep a secret room well hidden for life. Large old-fashioned wardrobes with fake backs or bottoms are also wonderful for this purpose.

    Fireplaces
    A fake fireplace is a great alternative if you want to ensure that no one will ever discover your secret room. Some are built to where the entire mantle moves and other just utilize a fake fireplace insert.

    Rock Walls
    Rock Walls that are well designed can be a successful way to hide a passageway to your secret room. Keep in mind the importance of the Invisible Hinge by SOSS here too. Otherwise, your secret room will be quickly exposed.

    Invisible-Hinge-DG

  • 3 Secret Features for a Fast Selling Home

    6719106_sWhen trying to sell a house, your home is being put under a microscope. It can be very difficult for you to see how people notice the smallest details that you didn't give a lot of importance to during the construction phase or when you bought the house.

    These details now become very important, not only because future buyers might undervalue your home, but by investing a little time and money beforehand, these details can help you add to the perceived and actual value of your home.

    To help you put your best foot forward and sell your home fast, we have put together three hidden secrets that will impress potential buyers and help you during the selling process.

    Invisible Hinges

    As we've said before, the smallest features matter when building or trying to sell a house.
    But how can hinges benefit that much? Invisible hinges help you achieve a clean look that can make your house seem much more elegant and modern.

    The Invisible Hinge by SOSS is a fantastic option that provides not only quality but also a premium appearance, bringing clean lines to doors, furniture, and any specialty applications.
    Many home buyers are looking for homes that are modern with clean lines and SOSS invisible hinges are an easy, affordable way to achieve that look fast.

    Integrated Home Sound System

    Another hidden secret that can help you increase the value of your home is an integrated home sound system. A hidden audio system can enable you to listen to different music in separate rooms or to have your music following you as you move through the house. It could even be a way to add a nice surround sound system to a home theater. Finally, many people keep their music collection on a home computer or even tablet and create customized playlists that can be played for parties or through the house on the sound system.

    Now, imagine the difference that this can make to a potential buyer. No more speakers with wires in your living room. No more carrying your sound speakers when you want to create a different ambient when having visitors. This is the perfect way to add value in a modern style!

    Solar Panel System

    Another hidden secret can also be an investment that will pay off in the future. Installing solar panels on the back part of your roof won't be perceptible for those who look from the streets, and once installed, can increase value by more than the cost of the whole system.

    We all know that electricity prices will continue to rise, and a solar panel system will not only reduce your electricity bill, but will also provide a rare feature that home buyers won’t find many other places. This hidden secret adds a futuristic aura making your house more modern and ecologically sustainable.

    Invisible-Hinge-DG

  • Mistakes to Avoid When Designing Custom Cabinets

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    You may be considering a remodel for your kitchen. Some kitchens are a bit older and may need updating to better suit your needs. Tastes also change and you might want something different.

    Although you would be best off considering a professional to remodel your house, you’ll probably want to give input on everything. Cabinetry is one of the most important elements of a kitchen, so you’ll want to design just the right type of custom cabinets. Here are some common mistakes to avoid when designing custom cabinets.

    Going Overboard

    In the midst of the excitement remodeling brings; knowing when to stop is a challenge. You might want to have a lot of cabinets to fill with all your “stuff”.

    But filling the walls of your kitchen with cabinets, no matter how beautifully custom-made they are, can make the design seem suffocating. There’s a beauty in leaving some open space.

    Good custom cabinet design is all about balancing function, storage, and aesthetics.

    Poor Color Choices

    Cabinets have to mesh well with the overall color of your kitchen – the floor, counters, and any appliances (stainless or otherwise) you might have.

    It’s often a tough call between having what you want versus knowing what color cabinets will match well with everything else. Choose the best color possible but something you’ll be happy with.

    Not Bringing Cabinets Up to the Ceiling

    This is surprisingly a common mistake. Many people don’t bring up their cabinets all the way to the ceiling. It could be because they can’t reach the cabinets that are too high.

    But having cabinets that fall short of the ceiling can collect dust you’ll most certainly forget to wipe off. It’s also tempting to put a bunch of stuff on top of them, contributing to clutter down the line.

    Skimping on Door Hardware

    It’s true that kitchen remodeling can cost tens of thousands of dollars, but that’s no excuse to skimp on quality. Invest in quality cabinets that are good-looking and strong.

    Consider your overall design and pay attention to small details like the cabinet hinges. If you’re going for the more contemporary look, you’ll want to look into invisible hinges. Hidden cabinet hinges creates a clean modern look to your cabinets.

    Remodeling a kitchen, when done right, will generally raise property values and is often one of the remodeling projects that you get your money back when selling the home. It will certainly increase your personal satisfaction since your kitchen is probably where your family spends the most time together.

    Invisible-Hinge-DG

  • 3 Keys to Designing a Luxury Home that Sells Fast

    2669854_sWhen searching for a luxury home, owners aren’t only looking for a good investment, they are looking for a feeling, an experience, and a sensation of indulgence. Affluent homeowners are accustomed to certain features such as pools, game rooms, wine cellars, and hi-tech home systems. What the discerning buyer is looking for these days are designs and items that make the entire home feel amazingly unique.

    Here are three key features to help a luxury home sell fast.

    A Lavish Spa Bathroom

    Affluent buyers always want the best and nowhere is this more evident than in an opulent spa bathroom. Towel warmers, heated floors, deep tubs, fireplaces and huge walk-in showers fitted with multiple shower heads are just a few amenities of a high end bathroom. A spa bathroom is a must-have item on the “I want” list of affluent home buyers.

    Outdoor Living Spaces

    Backyards are now a great place for living as well as a great place to barbecue. Having a beautiful outdoor area that is always available for family and guests is a huge selling point for many luxury home buyers. Outdoor living rooms and kitchens have become the new summer getaways for those that can afford them.

    Televisions and video games have found their way outside as well as fireplaces. These superb outdoor kitchens are fitted with large gas grills, ovens, and stainless steel surfaces for preparing food and stone patio tables for outdoor dining.

    Seamless Clean Lines

    No matter where you are in the home, the view should always be stunning. Using clean and simple lines in the design of each room can guarantee beauty, grace and a flawless sense of style that can’t be erased. Clean door lines are a unique design feature in these rooms, and they certainly add a touch of elegance.

    The clean door lines are created by using invisible hinges, providing a truly seamless look between the door edges and the adjoining walls. Architects that design these luxury homes use SOSS Invisible Hinges to achieve the ultimate modern look. These smooth lines can be designed into every room of the house, including carrying the theme beyond the house to pool houses and other out buildings.

    Sometimes luxury homes may only be made luxurious by the items within them, but because these items can be removed, the home may only be as tasteful as the person occupying it. By including luxury in the design of the home itself, the added sense of affluence not only enhances its ability to sell quickly, but it also provides a constant source of pleasure and beauty in everyday living.

    Check out other high design ideas in our free invisible hinge design guide.

    Invisible-Hinge-DG

  • Secret Rooms are Wildly Popular

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    How to Make a Secret Room

    Secret rooms are becoming more and more popular these days, and could even be considered a trend. Whether a new home is being designed, or an old one is being remodeled, secret rooms are now often included in design plans. The intended uses of these secret places are as varied as their location.

    A True Multi-Purpose Room

    Some secret rooms are not only hidden but reinforced for protection; these serve as panic rooms. Entire families can hide in these rooms if they are threatened by an intruder. Some secret rooms are small areas concealed under a staircase, often made as a child’s hideaway. Other secret rooms serve as getaway for adults.

    No matter what the purpose of a secret room, the main aim is to make sure the secret room remains well, secret. You will need to make sure to carefully disguise the entrance.

    Keeping Your Secret

    The easiest way to do this is to use invisible hinges in a door that is made to look like part of the paneling, or some other type of wall section. Because the hinge is invisible, the faux paneling fits seamlessly into the adjacent wall without betraying the existence of a door. The Invisible Hinge by SOSS is a wonderful option that provides quality and durability.

    Because these invisible hinges are extremely strong, they can be used to support another type of structure to hide the entrance to a secret room—a bookcase. A bookcase hinged along one side with several invisible hinges is an inventive way of disguising an entrance to a secret area. The invisible hinges hide the bookcase/wall seam as well as it hides the seam that is formed between a door and a wall.

    Choices, Choices

    Another option for concealing a secret room is a sliding wall or door. The sliding wall or door is supported by guides that can either go into the adjoining wall on either side or move in front or back of the wall along the same type of guides. This type of installation is much more time-intensive in addition to being much more difficult to install than the previous two choices.

    Also, if the secret room serves as a panic room, a reinforced sliding door is more difficult to conceal, due to the increase in bulk from being reinforced.

    Safe Haven or Man Cave

    The size of the secret room should be dependent upon its intended use. A panic room should be fairly large considering that it may have to provide shelter for more than one person for a possible extended length of time.

    A secret room that serves as a getaway for adults may be large as well, depending on how the person wants to get away. A writer might want to place a desk inside, and a dreamer might want a day couch for napping. Or maybe you need a true man cave, a place of no interruptions.

    Secret rooms and their designs are as unique as the people who want to build them. The one thing they have in common is that their entrance and hopefully their existence will only remain known to a few.

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  • 5 Items Why Seniors Avoid Your Retirement Community

    13293877_sCreating a vital and engaging world within a retirement community is challenging. Baby-boomers entering these communities expect to maintain a high quality of life as they age. Here are five key reasons potential residents won’t join your retirement community.

    No Sense of Connection

    Retirees come in many ages, levels of mobility and ability, but one thing they all need is a sense of community. People want to live in a place where they can connect with others and experience friendship. A lack of communal dining, restrictive visitation hours, and lack of accessibility to the facility can all contribute to a feeling of isolation.

    Every Day Inconveniences

    A lack of attention to detail can look like a lack of concern for a potential resident. Comfort and convenience in every aspect of life should be evident in the design of the resident’s rooms.

    For instance, aging hands sometimes struggle with the simplest tasks, such as opening a door. Installing easy-to-use ADA complaint door handles like the SOSS UltraLatch shows care for those with mobility challenges.

    Lack of Activities

    A good retirement community will feature a large variety of internal activities, such as games and social events. Activities and interacting with others keep people engaged and helps keep them happy. A lack of these is a sign that healthy mental aging is not a priority in a retirement community.

    Not having a gym is another red flag. Because maintaining mobility is such a critical factor in healthy aging, the lack of gym facilities can turn away potential residents.

    Hidden Costs

    Most retirees are living on a fixed budget. With cost being a concern, not revealing all the costs and fees of living in your retirement community can reflect badly on its reputation.

    Do not cover up the daily fees and let the residents discover the additional costs on their monthly bills. Hidden costs only help create mistrust between management and the residents.

    Inadequate Support and Assistance

    Although residents may not require extra support and assistance when they first move into a retirement community, many prefer to have access to these benefits in case they need them as they grow older. Lack of services such as shuttles to doctor appointments or enhanced emergency responses for sicknesses and accidents can make residents question an extended stay in your community.

    Today’s retirees are a new type of senior citizen. Many are smart, savvy, and discerning, wanting the best and the most their money can buy. They want a good life and an enjoyable one. Paying attention to what they need and providing for those needs before they ask is the secret to a successful retirement community.

  • 5 Ways Architects can Deliver Independence to Seniors

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    According to the AARP survey, more than 90% of seniors wish to remain in their own homes rather than live in nursing homes or assisted living facilities. Their homes can be retirement homes or communities where independent living is still allowed.

    People feel empowered and autonomous when they can control their surroundings. At nursing homes, they have to operate on a set schedule and that doesn’t bode well for seniors who’ve been independent for decades.

    At their own homes, seniors can keep their favorite pictures and belongings, have companion animals, and their loved ones can visit without having to follow a strict schedule.

    Nursing homes are often the last resort for seniors who are cognitively impaired. If they suffer from just a slight immobility, they can still stay in their independent retirement homes with a couple adjustments.

    For seniors, in home care services can be helpful. Qualified caregivers drop by as often as needed to help with light housekeeping, personal hygiene, medication re-minders, going to doctor’s appointments, and more.

    Retirement homes themselves are now being designed to accommodate seniors and promote autonomy. While senior homes are built with certain standards already sometimes small details are overlooked.

    Paying attention to interior architecture can keep seniors mobile and safe. Here are some of the ways:

    1. Latch-Style Door

    Arthritis is common among seniors. It makes everyday living painful and difficult. Doorknobs require turning and strength, causing increased pain associated with arthritis. Doors are better replaced with specific types of senior living door latches.

    UltraLatch by SOSS are arthritis friendly door latches. Instead of turning and pulling, the UltraLatch only requires light tapping and pushing and is an intuitive way to open doors. Door latches is one element that most people take for granted, but having an ADA compliant door latch such as the UltraLatch can make a night and day difference for seniors suffering from arthritis or other injuries.

    2. No-Step Entries

    Seniors are often in wheelchairs or use walkers. Steps are difficult to climb and can raise the risk of falling. To circumvent this, entries to the house must be barrier-free or have a ramp installed.

    3. Garage Lift

    Garage often has two or three steps to the inside of the home. Garage lift allows someone in a wheelchair to gain access from the garage or parking structure to inside.

    4. Light Switches

    Rocker-type light switches are easier on the hands than the more common flip switches.

    5. Large Windows

    It’s been proven that natural lighting is helpful for mood disorders and depression. Seniors are more prone to sadness and depression than any other age group. Large windows (10 to 20% larger) that let in a lot of natural light can help with this.

    These are just a few of the design elements that architects can incorporate when building senior homes or retirement communities. The most important thing is try-ing to empathize with seniors and design intelligent architectural solutions about how their lives can be improved by paying attention to small details.

  • Details That Are Not Noticed in Luxury Hotels

    12958291_sThere is no exact definition for luxury hotels other than that people expect them to be expensive. Hotel star ratings from AAA or industry publications are at best arbitrary. Many four and five star hotels bill themselves as luxury hotels even though there are no set standards.

    But one thing is certain. High-end luxury hotels have certain details that the other class of hotels can’t emulate, either because they cost too much or they don’t fit the type of clientele they’re going after. Here are some incredible details that are never noticed in luxury hotels.

    1. Doors

    Most people don’t pay attention to their room doors or cabinet doors when they’re at a hotel. Yet doors represent some of the finest details of what sets luxury hotels from others. Everything from the material to finish to hinges complement the hotel’s style and decor.

    Luxury hotels that have deep history aim for more traditional look. Contemporary luxury hotels tend to go for more minimalist design. Hidden door hinges or invisible hinges can achieve a clean look that doesn’t detract from the design.

    2. Services

    Hotel business is known as hospitality business for a reason. Guests expect friendliness and courtesy. But what tips the scale from just okay to exceptional is how some of the services are performed.

    Luxury hotels understand that people instinctively respond to their name favorably. One’s own name has been known as the most pleasant word that can be uttered. That’s why luxury hotel personnel address everyone by his/her name. They do this in such a discreet and subtle way that you might not even notice it, but the pleasant feeling lingers.

    3. Cleanliness

    You would think a clean hotel room is a given, but you’d be surprised. You’ll often come across shocking truths on how housekeeping is really done in even the most posh hotels. If you can blissfully spare yourself from the gross details, good for you.

    Luxury hotels that get consistently high reviews on aggregate websites (e.g. TripAdvisor) and enjoy a ton of repeat visitors have the cleanliness factor locked down, even if you stay only one night.

    4. Technology

    Key-less entries, automatic check-ins and outs, a mobile app that tells you when your room is ready – these are the technological triumphs that make luxury hotels better than others.

    They can afford to build a proprietary app that handles the mundane details, so they can focus on the part that really matters – having a competent concierge that can meet any demands.

    Although many functions of hotel business are becoming more and more automated, people will always crave personal attention and human interaction from luxury hotels. Amenities that can foresee and meet guests’ needs and impeccable services are all details that make luxury hotels successful.

    Hospitality Design Guide

  • 3 Similarities that Most Senior Living Communities Share

     

    13293864_sIn 2013, persons 65 years or older comprised 14.1% of the U.S. population. It is projected that by 2040, this age group will grow to 21.7% of the population. It is no secret that the U.S. is aging, some states faster than others.

    There’s a higher demand for senior living communities than ever before. Not all such communities are built the same though. Some can represent ultimate luxury while others focus more on the basics.

    Despite the price gap, most senior living communities have similarities that are designed to make the lives of seniors easier. Here are the 3 common similarities these communities have:

    1. Slip-Resistant Floors

    It’s startling that one out of three older people fall every year. Falling once increases the chances of falling again by twofold.

    Falls can be costly. They can cause head injury or broken bones. The CDC estimates that more than 95% of hip fractures are due to falling, usually sideways.

    Falls also have mental and emotional side effects that aren’t discussed often. People who fall once are afraid of falling again. They’ll try to cut down on activities, which can cause them to be weaker and increase the chances of falling again. It’s a vicious cycle.

    Senior living communities are well aware of the statistics related to falling, so many install slip-resistant flooring. A resilient floor surface prevents falling even when wet. Although no flooring is 100% slip-proof, with skid-free floor mats and rugs, the chances of falling can be greatly reduced.

    2. Doors That Are Easy on Hands

    Millions of seniors suffer from arthritis. What used to come easily, like opening bottles or turning doorknobs, becomes arduous and painful. Senior living door latches require a special consideration.

    There are some ADA Compliant arthritis friendly door latches in the market. UltraLatch by SOSS is one of them. With lever-style doorknobs like UltraLatch, no senior with arthritis has to think twice about whether it’s worth the pain to open the door.

    3. Walk-In Showers

    According to the National Institute of Aging, 80% of seniors who fall do so in their bathroom. Due to the slippery nature of the bathroom, this is not very surprising.

    Walk-in showers with low entry can help mitigate this problem. Many senior communities have walk-in showers, also known as step-in showers, instead of traditional tubs.

    They also have grab bars, flexible shower wand, and other features friendly for seniors. Because falls can happen as a result of poor eyesight, bright but indirect lighting in the bathroom can also help.

    While senior living communities differ from one another, most of them are designed to maximize the comfort and safety of their residents. The similarities above are common and rightfully expected in any decent senior home.

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