An idyllic accessible get-away. The Calf Shed, Wiltshire
The Calf Shed is a luxury single story barn conversion, set in the grounds of a family run organic farm in Wiltshire. The property has been renovated to offer modern highly specified self-catering accommodation with universal appeal to all.
The contemporary one bedroom property comprises of a spacious open plan living area and kitchen, a large accessible designer wetroom, stunning double bedroom with electric profiling bed and underfloor heating throughout.
Owners Gillie and Richard, were inspired to provide accessible accommodation after their nephew sustained a spinal injury whilst playing rugby. The family spent time helping to care for him in a specialist Salisbury spinal unit. During their visits at both Salisbury hospital and Horatio’s Garden (an accessible garden within the spinal injury centre), the couple spent time researching accessibility with the help of the staff, patients, their friends and families.
The Business Challenge
Through their research, the couple uncovered that there was a huge gap in the market for luxury accessible holiday accommodation.
Key Research Findings:
-Accessible accommodation was often under specified, leaving frustrated guests expecting full accessibility, but key elements often overlooked. (Raised shower trays being a top frustration.)
-Disabled guests don’t want clinical, hospital style environments. They want a luxury and stylish environment to stay in.
-Accessible accommodation is perceived to be difficult to sell as a it’s a niche product not desirable to a mass audience.
A Beautiful Solution:
Their resulting business objective was: to create fully accessible, luxury self-catering accommodation where guests could relax, recover and feel independent. It showcases inclusive design principles but not at the expense of beautiful design, thereby appealing to a much broader target audience.
Accessible design specialist Motionspot were approached to design the large wet-room which would feature all the aids and supports required to make it fully accessible, at the same time as appealing to any guest who didn’t need the additional support.
Wetroom Design Principles
-Large level access shower area allowing plenty of space for a wheelchair
-Shower riser rail with in-built support, avoiding the need for additional grab bars within the shower area.
-Split level, bi-folding shower screens allowing for carer washing.
-Removable shower seat and hinged chrome grab rails that can be covered with chrome plates when not need.
-Wall hung basin, set at a level suitable for wheelchairs users.
-Large, beautiful slip resistant tiles.
-Long projection toilet with palm operated flush plate.
Kitchen and Living Area Design Principles
The following design principles were also adopted by the owners:
-Porcelain wood effect tiles with underfloor heating avoids harsh cold sensations underfoot and an easy surface for wheelchairs.
-Low level built in wardrobes
-Low level kitchen cupboards
-Access space below the kitchen prep area and kitchen sink.
Results and Business Impact
Since its launch, Calf Shed has seen a split percentage of both disabled and able-bodied guests staying.
Owners Gillie and Richard have seen a positive impact on accessible bookings by highlighting the accessible facilities and have had no detrimental comments, feedback or impact on future business as result.
In fact they are looking to extend the accessibility of Calf Shed further by resurfacing the farm track to provide wheelchair access to the heart of the farm.
‘Feedback has been incredible, with many guests staying at the cottage without any need for accessibility, but leave us wanting to add accessible elements to their home!
The shower seat has been a complete hit, so many of our guests love the option of sitting in the shower if they want to, so much so that we leave it in there all the time now!’ Gillie