This Is How You Can Get the Accessible Home of Your Dreams

This Is How You Can Get the Accessible Home of Your Dreams

Guest Article by Patrick Young from Ableusa for Angelo on Design

Finding the perfect home when you have specific accessibility requirements may seem like a tall order at first glance. In reality, however, it’s actually not much different from just about any house-hunting endeavor. With a narrower playing field, it may even be arguably easier. But, of course, there will still be no small measure of due diligence required, as well as some possible hits and misses along the way. It’s important, therefore, to have a real game plan as you start your search so you won’t be overwhelmed by the process. Here’s how.

Take Stock of Your Needs

Before anything else, it’s important to recognize that not all accessible homes are the same. After all, people have different abilities, and when it comes to choosing a home, your own capacity should be at the forefront. This is why it’s a very good idea to start by recognizing your own mobility limitations and then assessing the accessibility features you need in your home.

At the most basic level, perhaps you need a wheelchair to get around, which means you will need wider doorways and ramps, as well as sinks and counters that are lower in height. Or, maybe you want to reduce your risk of falls as a senior, so you want to ensure that rooms are free of trip hazards, have non-slip flooring, and are fitted with grab bars and handrails in the bathroom. Not only that, but it may be prudent to think further ahead and ensure there’s room for more modifications in the future to accommodate any changes in your condition.

Determine What You Can Afford

Now, regardless of what kind of home you’re in the market for — accessible or otherwise — it’s always wise to consider your purchasing power before anything else. This is to ensure that you can afford to buy a home at this stage in your life. Doing so entails taking stock of your financials, specifically your income, your debt-to-income ratio, and if you have enough for the down payment. You should also consider external parameters such as the housing market, mortgage options and terms available to you, and many others. For this reason, explains that it’s a good idea to consider getting a mortgage pre-approval, as it gives you a clear picture of your inevitable investment right off the bat. It’s always a good idea to connect with an experienced and knowledgeable realtor when exploring purchasing a home.

Depending on your specific condition, you may actually be qualified for financial assistance that can help facilitate the purchase of an accessible home or even fund accessibility modifications to your current one. It’s definitely smart to know your options and your rights to help you overcome the challenges — financial, especially — of homeownership.

Keep an Open Mind

While being specific about your accessibility needs is a great thing, know that this may leave you with fewer options, making it very important to be very flexible during your search. As tempting as it might be to reject a home because it’s not completely what you had in mind, it’s still more than wise to take a moment to really see the big picture. A closer look might reveal the need for just a few key renovations to make it as safe and accessible as you might like, such as the relatively simple addition of concrete ramps or pathways.

An equally good idea is to research what additional modifications will cost you‚ as well as to factor in the home’s purchase value, in order for you to determine whether or not it’s a viable investment. For example, if you need to install a wheelchair ramp. The cost of a ramp will depend on the quality and any decorative style as well.

If you’re concerned about how these accessibility changes will affect the look and feel of your home, there are websites that can give you some points to make your space look incredible. Angelo on Design has several incredible interior design tips that can help you make the most of your incredible new space!

Suffice it to say, a fully accessible home is definitely a worthy investment. Not only is it a place to call your own and thrive in, but it’s ultimately one where you’re safest and most comfortable. So, don’t leave your search up to chance; Instead, let research and good planning take a step closer to your perfect home.

Photo via Pexels


FINDING CALM…..                     IN YOUR HOME

On a cold evening, I had a lengthy conversation with my wife about how to stay focus during hard times.  We agreed that it’s easy to get overwhelmed by so many external forces that we have no control over.  Like this current pandemic that’s literally halted the world. 

Being confined helps us to better understand the purpose of our homes. We now see that our interiors is not only for living but essentially a space to find calm.

Calm is not like a passion where clarity, drive, and determination are the fundamentals for succeeding.  Calm is finding a space to trust that reflects your personal memories of strength and wellbeing.

Calm is by far holds greater importance during times of despair.  Calm is remembering the peaceful moments that attribute to your happiness and positive outlook. 

My calm moments are the times I spent growing up in Australia. My connection to nature and to family celebrations are the building blocks to my memories associated to specific colors like this aqua sea blue color.

My regular morning walks at Grange Beach – my home in South Australia. My relationship with weathered wood and white trim comes from memories of this jetty.

My theory of Human Sense Connectivity explores the relationship between memories and external influences (see previous blog on Human Sense Connectivity).  Therefore, the initial stage of design should focus on personal experiences and lifestyle.

First steps to find meaning within your interiors is to start isolating your thoughts and start filtering the memories that have had a positive impact.  These flashbacks become the roadmap to your style and design direction.

The Modern Component Construction Flagship Home

I am working on a project for Design Elemental Studio as our Flagship Modern Home in Northern Michigan. My objective is to showcase our new way of design and build using component construction systems. Component Construction is the customization of prefab homes with an emphasis on a meaningful and purposeful interior.

Exterior Concepts that allows natural light and air flow into the inside environment. These linear lines and darker and warmer tones remind me of the Adelaide Hills in South Australia.

If you are fortunate to design your home from the initial programming phase, its important to accumulate enough details that will help you move forward into the next phase. The preliminary design phase begins the filtering process of materials and to start emphasizing on balance of color and contrast of texture.

A New Way of Living

Having room to breath does not mean you need more square footage. You need to prioritize the efficiencies of each room and how your organize objects and furniture. I typically visualize each space before I decide on a design direction. Having floor plans and elevations are a great source to help visualize.

Kitchen rending of Design Elementals Flagship Home in Northern Michigan. Larger windows and bi-fold sliding glass doors are a key feature to the indoor and outdoor living spaces.

Having a courtyard is the new backyard. I grew up in Australia but my family was from Italy. I remember the courtyards in Italy that allowed for neighbors to gather and for the children to play. My concept of this courtyard will be accessed by the kitchen and dining room for entertainment.

The Kitchen

I will be using large slab porcelain tile for the flooring in the entertainment spaces and hardwood flooring in the living spaces. The tile will then flow into the outside courtyards to obtain consistency between spaces. The holistic combination of stone and wood represents nature and a connection to the environment. The horizontal surfaces are reflective and neutral. A wood ceiling provides a balance to the neutral tones.

The Living Areas

These images of the study and entertainment room provides an escape from an open space plan. Cabinetry design is a key factor for luxury living and how customizing millwork elevates Component Construction from your typical prefab homes. Design Elemental Studio has an exclusive line of custom cabinets available to make your home more personal.

The Corridors

First impression is everything, so having a strong looking corridor and a front entrance will then be the catalyst of the remaining spaces.

The Bedrooms

I really like how this king bed frame has a built-in desk behind it, rather than the bed going against a wall. The double bunk beds are perfect if you have younger children who likes sleep overs with friends. The book casing encasing the window frame is a great addition when guest come stay and would like to read or browse.

The Bathrooms

Bathrooms are very personal. Tile plays such an important factor to the design which is why Design Elemental Studio has an exclusive range of porcelain tile available for our homes.

Changing the way we think about our interiors

Designing your space is a process and requires a mentor who can retrieve information from your memories to build a more meaningful and impactful solution to your home. Its not just about the aesthetic appeal but how you find calm amongst a hectic and consuming world. This is a new approach to design and a assertive process to build a sustainable and efficient luxury lifestyle.


My daughter and I spending time with our Aussie family in Florence, Italy 2019.

It Starts Within – Building your home one Component at a time.

It Starts Within – Building your home one Component at a time.

By the Creative Director of Design Elemental – Angelo Adamo

December 5th, 2019 Traverse City, Michigan

I think 2019 has been a remarkable year and perhaps the turning point with my profession.  For me, it has always been meeting the right people at the right time. Meeting my wife Katharine, for example, has not only given me two beautiful children but the courage to never give up. Its imperative to have strong relationships.

Meeting Jonathan Lee and Dave Socks were another important moment. My introduction between JLA and Socks Construction was perfect timing and combining these two brilliant firms are now pioneering the movement of the design build industry.

Jonathan Lee is an exceptional architect with a team that are reinventing the method of prefabricating buildings using a new system called Component Construction, which is considered the next generation of prefab buildings.

His firm, Jonathan Lee Architects, has modernized and improved the construction of a prefab structure and the efficiency of delivery. However, unlike most prefab buildings, they have maintained the authenticity an architect adds when customizing a building.  They focus on the intricate details of classic periods of architecture and design. JLA’s patented designs of components are now the core to our brands strategy.  

La Quinta do Muro is a project by Pierre Louis Faloci, a French architect who built it between 1983 and 1988. He received the prize “ L’Equerre d”Argent” in 1996, the highest French prize for architecture. A possible concept using Component Construction for future projects.

Dave Socks and his family, Charlie and John, have created a reputation as a high-quality builder and well-respected developers in Michigan.  Their ability to solve issues with calm and genuine sincerity is why their brand continues to grow. In the last 15 years, the urban landscape of Traverse City, a beautiful waterfront town that becomes a holiday destination in the summer, has become an attractive and cultural environment because of Socks Constructions investments and leadership.  

In May of 2019, I became Socks Construction Creative Director and partner of their new design-build-live studio called Design Elemental.

Design Elemental is a studio service, offering attainable building practices to unite spaces with personal values.  The partnerships between Jonathan Lee Architects, Socks Construction, and Component Construction Systems identifies quality craftmanship, bespoke architecture, quality-controlled construction, sustainable solutions, and luxury interior products.

Visual Inspiration for the new Design Elemental Studio opening in 2020, Traverse City, MI

With my experiences as a designer and a coach’s mentor, the market no longer wants just a home with more efficiencies, sustainable benefits, and economical values.  The next generation of homeowners are looking for a place to belong to.  Today, we face a symptom called “information overload” because we carry devices in our hands with easy access to almost everything. This is preventing us from what we humans should be doing, which is connecting to our senses for a harmonious bond to the environment. 

In Australia, as a young lad I had a clear vision. Explore the world and discover a more meaningful and purposeful life.  I have spent the last 23 years learning to connect memories by giving a purpose to an object or thing.  This philosophy, called Human Sense Connectivity, is to create a space that can have a profound affect towards decision making, restoring energy, and wellness. 

It’s only taken my 23 years to figure this out but my formula in life is quite simple.  Clarity + Direction = Passion.  What’s more significant is that without passion, you have no formula. Also, I have realized that nothing lasts forever, but something inside of me feels that memories do.

I look forward to share more stories about Design Elemental and Component Construction exciting progress in 2020.


Human Sense Connectivity

Human Sense Connectivity

A new approach to Interior Design

Angelo Adamo, creative director for Design Elemental (a division of Socks Construction) in Traverse City, Michigan, is setting his sights into the future of modern day interiors using a scientific method called Human Sense Connectivity (HSC). The study of HSC is to create an interior that is based on the individual’s memories of color, texture, and scent.

Modern State Micro Units – Design Elementals first component construction building

It all began growing up in Australia and spending time with his Italian grandparents in Naples, Italy. “It was the most influential time of my life when I was able to experience the culture and history of the Italians and how their style of living is based on the values of scent, color, and texture.”

Before entering the design industry Angelo graduated as a sports scientist. His specialty was coaching Australian athletes using visualization techniques and memory consulting. ” Winning should not be the main objective in sport. Its finding clarity that allows for someone to win regardless of the result. This method of clarity builds a road map for passions to move forward with a self-awareness and drive that doesn’t rely on external factors.” This is now Angelo’s method as a creative director.

Living the in USA since 1996 has allowed Angelo to blend his science background into the field of interior design. After graduating at the Harrington College of Design in Chicago, he started his career in NYC with renown firms like Sandra Nunnerley Inc. and Darren Henault Interiors. Moving to North Carolina was another learning process that broaden Angelo’s perspective in commercial, workplace, and institutional designs.

Modern State – 4 months to build using Component Construction

“I had an opportunity in North Carolina to better understand design phases for corporate and commercial interiors. However, it was difficult to allow my theory of human sense connectivity to formulate because architect firms can be a very structured and systematic.”

Angelo is also one of Polywood’s Design Ambassadors. ” I am proud to be an ambassador to Polywood. Its a forward thinking company which focuses on innovation and solutions according to human body and mind. Its not just a premium outdoor furniture product but a brand that has a sense of purpose.”

After 23 years of experiencing the design and build industry in the USA, the universe had finally discovered Angelo when relocating to Traverse City, Michigan. ” My wife created this opportunity as she became the VP of Interlochen Center for the Arts. Traverse City is a location that I felt connected to because of the environment reminded me of Adelaide, my home in Australia.”

Design Elemental was created in March 2019, when Angelo introduced Jonathan Lee Architects (Petoskey) to Socks Construction who are both highly regarded firms committed to building better living communities.

“Jonathan has been patterning custom builds using the method of component construction – a modern version of your original modular build. This method is more economical, a lot more sustainable, and time efficient. Socks Construction is going to change the construction industry in Northern Michigan and targeted areas like Grand Rapids and Detroit.”

Angelo has the platform to refine his practice and identify his unique approach. ” Social media gives us information overload and doesn’t allow us to judge on emotional reactions. Our current values are coming from what the eye evaluates rather from the base of our memories. Typically, we make decisions on what is familiar and how things effect us. Therefore, focusing specifically on the memory of scent, color, and texture, provides clarity and purpose to material and objects.”

Angelo is also developing a scent line called Adamo that will be available at the Design Elemental Studio coming Summer 2020. ” I have always admired aromatherapy and the influences of scent. I am developing home and skin care products that relate to our interior aesthetics, reflecting nature, lush materials , and our perception of modern day living.”