SOSS Door Hardware

  • Inviting Confidence Into Your Room Design

    10218140_sWhen choosing your living room furniture design, you will come across a mind-boggling number of options, but unfortunately not all of them can be accessible for physically challenged individuals.

    As members of the family go through aging, infirmity or have specific needs, you might consider some small changes that can bring more confidence to them, or even delay assisted living.

    Mobility problems can cause known issues like injuries, but you also want more than to just to prevent accidents, you want your family and guests to feel safe and eliminate any possible fear of falling.


    First you have to consider how people will get in and out of the room. A person who is using a wheelchair or is dependent on a cane or a walker will not be able to gain access to the room without a ramp. Whether or not they are in a wheelchair, make sure they can get from one floor of the house to another. You can make this easier with the insertion of handrails as well.


    When looking for furniture, try finding chairs and sofas that are adjustable. Recliners are simple to use and enable disabled people or the elderly to relax in the most comfortable position for their condition. They also come in many designs and can meet the decorative elements of the rest of your home. Many people think that their home decor might be compromised when they purchase this type of furniture. That is not true because most good manufacturers offer them without sacrificing style.


    A good example of how you can have the best of both worlds is using door knobs like the SOSS UltraLatch. These doorknobs actually have no knobs, allowing you to open doors with only one touch; benefiting anyone with limited hand motion or arthritis. They also are available in many finishes, meeting the style of your door and your room.

    In the end, it all comes down to considering how you can make your room more accessible. You can widen doors for wheelchair access and install things like light switches, door handles, door bells and electric sockets at waist height. These are good examples of small improvements you can make, without giving up design.

    If you are interested in making bigger improvements, you may also consider consulting an occupational therapist. They will assess the patient’s daily living needs and help them achieve the maximum degree of independence by advising on adaptations to your home.

    Download our Senior Living Guide for additional tips, resources and ideas

  • Mistakes to Avoid When Designing Custom Cabinets


    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.


  • 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.


  • Secret Rooms are Wildly Popular

    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.


  • Designing a Rehab Center That Builds Patient Confidence

    8414180_sRehab centers can be the core contributor to recovery for many people facing life’s challenges. After entering the doors of a rehab center, patients know that pain and struggle may lie ahead on their path to wellness. Consequently, any features that can enhance and improve the life of the patients can go a long way to improving their rehab experience.

    Safe Surfaces

    Being able to navigate within the rehab center is a prime consideration. Because many rehab patients are using mobility aids, walkways and other surfaces, need to be adapted to their use. Textured or rubber-covered surfaces can provide more traction for wheelchairs, walkers, and crutches.

    The slant of the walkways should also be considered. A low degree of slant is preferred so wheelchair and walker users can easily negotiate the uphill grade of ramps and sidewalks.

    Outdoor approaches to the facility should be designed so that water doesn’t collect on the level surfaces. Likewise, outdoor approaches in colder climates should be designed and adapted so that snow and ice do not collect in front of the doors and on access paths and ramps.

    Easy Access

    Access to areas, rooms and doors should be easy and instinctive, even to those with the most severe physical challenges. Handrails should be placed so that those who are in wheelchairs can grasp them as easily as those patients who walk.

    Door handles should be easy to operate as well. The SOSS UltraLatch offers an innovative, easy-to-use and ADA compliant door latch for patients with limitations of the hand, wrist or arm. For the sight-challenged, signs with large print and good contrast should be used to help indicate the way through hallways and to reception areas and dining rooms.

    Color and Music

    Warm colors combined with music that both uplifts and soothes can increase the sense of well-being in a rehab center. Patients feel better when the atmosphere is nurturing and welcoming. Cheery colors and seasonal holiday decorations contribute a great deal to making a rehab center a place of possibilities and hope. Because the atmosphere can help the attitude of a patient, providing a positive and warm environment is extremely important.

    Rehab centers have rapidly become a place that more and more people visit, whether they are entering a center as a patient or as a family member or friend who is supporting a patient. To improve on rehab centers of the past, new designs are offering many features that contribute to the healing of their residents and patients.

    The small touches of comfort and convenience may not always be the most evident, but they may contribute the most to the patient's overall sense of wellness.

  • 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.

  • Getting Your Medical Practice Ready for Seniors

    The increased effectiveness of modern health care and the large population of the baby-boomer generation have combined to create new challenges for today’s physicians. Doctors who deal with this rapidly growing patient base are finding that their medical practices need to be adjusted and adapted to provide the best possible service and medical care.

    However, identifying exactly what needs to be changed and improved can be challenging. Here are a few suggestions for getting a medical practice ready for the new generation of senior citizens.

    Caring and Considerate Staff

    The kindness and caring attitude of office workers, nurses, and other medical personnel is extremely important when dealing with people who are aging. It can be difficult to remain patient and considerate while handling the limitations and issues of older people who are ill or may be suffering from dementia. Not only are the patients experiencing the effects of illness, but they are also feeling the effects of aging, which can be very upsetting and disorienting.

    Dealing with these personality issues on a daily basis can be demanding. Make sure your office and support staff have the right type of personality traits and demeanor for your aging patients.

    Enhance Your Environment

    Take a good look at the physical aspects of your office and make sure it can be adapted or remodeled to handle the senior clientele. All approaches will need to be wheelchair-accessible which requires ramps with a low degree of slant as well as textured surfaces to allow for better traction. Elevator panels may need to be lowered for those in wheelchairs, and they may need to be modified with larger print and buttons for patients who have eye problems.

    Doors may need to be adapted, making them easier to open. People with arthritis or patients who have recently undergone hand, arm or wrist surgery may not be able to use a traditional door handle. Installing an ADA compliant door handle, like the SOSS Ultralatch, will allow patients with limited grasping ability or special needs to open any door.

    Changes in Office Routine

    Office routines may also be affected by your aging patients. Depending on your specialty or the fact that the majority of your patients are elderly, existing systems and processes may need to be updated or completely changed.

    Scheduling office visits is one such aspect. Due to difficulties in comprehension and delays in communication, some older patients require longer office visits than younger patients. Because a patient may require more consultation time than the next, scheduling a longer appointment for each patient regardless of their medical condition may be necessary to ensure that waiting room times do not become excessive.

    Adapting your practice for senior citizens is not a monumental task but it is one that demands careful attention to several aspects of aging. Small changes made with great consideration can make a big difference in how your aging patients experience your care.

  • 5 Ways Architects can Deliver Independence to Seniors


    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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