Get Smart About Design

One day those sweeping staircases, highly polished tile floors and sunken tubs in your dream castle may not be so easy to navigate. Interior-design experts urge homeowners who intend to stay put for the long run to consider adding what's known as universal-design features--home modifications that improve access and use for people of all ages and physical abilities.

It's best to start thinking about those features when you first sit down to draw up plans for your new dream home. You'll save yourself plenty of cash if you widen the hallway in the blueprint phase rather than after the house has been...

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