In hopes of raising the bar in the world of adaptive design—which involves making interiors accessible to the disabled community—Maegan Blau launched her studio, Blue Copper Design, in 2018. The newfangled entrepreneur, who has been a wheelchair user for 12 years and was inspired to get into interior designing after her experience of customizing her first home to accommodate her needs.
Blau distinctly recalls her struggle to find stylish and accessible ways to renovate her first home. Not wanting its interiors to resemble that of a dreary hospital, she worked diligently with a contractor to make it as personalized and chic as possible. That gave her the idea to start her own adaptive design studio.
“[Blue Copper] creates adapted spaces in so many ways, big and small,” Blau says. “From rolling in showers to choosing the perfect cabinet knob that has the best grip for the client, we really focus on every detail to make sure the home is set up for everyone who lives there.” She notes that adaptive interior design goes beyond the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) requirements and hones in on customizing a space to fit the needs and tastes of each client.
One of her favorite projects involved renovating all the bathrooms in a client’s home to suit the needs of their aging parents, who visited on occasion. “They also saw the monetary value in creating beautiful and accessible spaces,” Blue says. “We were proud of our client’s forethought and excited about the design risks we took.”
When it comes to her signature style, Blau reveals that she often likes to incorporate shades of blue into her work (a hue she loves, as you might have guessed from her company’s name), whether it be through the paint, cabinetry, upholstery, or tiling. “we love bringing color in unexpected ways,” she notes, adding that she also enjoys playing with contrast, texture and polarity.
When it comes to the overall lack of accessibility in the design world, she believes it stems from a lack of understanding and perception. “Anyone can become disabled at any time, and I don’t say that to be negative—I say that to emphasize that elevating overall accessibility and giving those living with disabilities more comfort and freedom raises our society as a whole,” she expresses. “With that perspective, a lot of accessibility problems would disappear.”
In the coming years, Blau hopes to expand Blue Copper Design into the traveling and hospitality realm. In her words, “We have big plans to shed light on how adaptive design can be not only beautiful, but also classified as good design.”
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