I feel so much gratitude for this site — for the ways Design*Sponge has helped shape other pockets of the internet and for the ways writing others’ stories has shaped me. I can look through the archives and remember working with each person and what their home/lives taught me. As I wrap up my last few posts, I’m reminded yet again, that design needs every voice, perspective and story to make the world more beautiful.
Maegan and Chris Blau’s kitchen stopped me in my tracks. The light wood, modern feel and gorgeous details made this space an instant favorite. I wasn’t surprised it belonged to an interior designer, but the design impressed me even more when I learned that the stunning space in Queen Creek, AZ is also accessible for Maegan, who uses a wheelchair. Instead of looking for pre-fab ADA-approved designs and products, Maegan took her requirements and personal style to create a home that works functionally and aesthetically for her and her family. Doing the same in her first home sparked a business designing for others and their unique needs. “I started my career when I needed to renovate my first home to accommodate my wheelchair. I have a spinal cord injury and have been a quadriplegic for 10 years now,” Maegan says. “As you can imagine, using a wheelchair in a home requires some different needs design-wise.”
Maegan and her husband, Chris, purchased their current home in 2016 sight-unseen after traveling the country in a fifth-wheel trailer for 10 months. When their realtor found an option with the size, location and layout that they wanted, a video tour was all they needed to move forward with the home. “My design goals were first, make this home work for you and your wheelchair. This means lowered beds, roll-in showers, accessible kitchens, etc. This does not mean that my home has to fit ADA guidelines,” Maegan shares. “After the functions were addressed, I wanted to keep my home neutral, bright, but with an homage to Southwest design. I have yet to come up with a style name for my home but I know one day it will come to me.” The Blaus’ home is a stunning space with thoughtful, beautiful design throughout. It doesn’t meet all the nation’s accessibility standards — it was designed to fit Maegan and Chris’ life. This home and design are inspiring in more than one way. —Lauren
Photography by Nicole Bishop
Image Above: The Blau Family’s kitchen incorporates earthy, natural Southwestern elements in a modern and neutral way. The materials, patterns and finishes used make the space visually stunning. Kitchenwares stored in cabinets with drawers instead of doors, wide pathways and accessible appliances make it a functional and cool space for Chris and Maegan to prepare meals.