Plan on living in your home for the rest of your life? Want a kitchen remodel that will last you throughout your retirement? Designing a kitchen for ‘age in place’ homes requires a little more thought than standard kitchen remodeling. You not only have to plan for your current needs, but you have to predict future mobility issues and unforeseen aging limitations. This guide will help you design the perfect kitchen for your forever home.
Create an Open Flow with Wide Openings
Flow is crucial for age in place kitchens. You want to have plenty of room to move around in the kitchen, even if you have a cane, walker, or other mobility assistant. If your current layout includes narrow openings or walkways, reconfigure the layout to better suit your future. You may want to do this throughout the house so that it’s ready when the time comes.
Add Lighting throughout the Kitchens
Most people gradually lose part of their eyesight as they age. This doesn’t mean you’ll go completely blind, but you may struggle to see in dimmer lighting. Install can lights around the perimeter of the kitchen, and consider adding under cabinet lighting as well. The goal is to illuminate surfaces throughout your kitchen so you can see well into the future.
Minimize Floor Transitions and Grout Lines
You may not even notice your floor transitions right now, but they could become major obstacles in the future. A small strip going across the floor could be a big issue if you’re struggling to get around. Try to keep transitions and grout lines to a minimum. This means avoiding small tiles and opting for larger tile sizes. The fewer grooves and divots, the better.
Equip Lower Cabinets with Pull-out Drawers
Bending over to get into your lower cabinets may be a struggle now. Think of how hard it will be in 20 years! Plan your age-in-place kitchen with pull out drawers in the lower cabinets. This will allow you to reach every inch of the cabinet, even if something is way in the back. Simply pull out the drawer like you would a standard drawer, and you can get to everything on that “shelf.”
Reduce Countertop Clutter
Countertop clutter means more to clean and move around when you’re in the kitchen. Try to keep the surfaces clear so you have plenty of room to work, grab onto the counters, and handle day-to-day tasks. Keep this mindset throughout the home. A minimalistic approach will ultimately lead to better peace of mind as you age.
Get a Neutral Kitchen Design That Will Stand the Test of Time
Age in place kitchen design isn’t exactly trendy. Focus less on the current trends and more on timeless colors and finishes. There are plenty of kitchen designs that look beautiful for decades. It’s simply a matter of choosing neutral materials that transition through the years.
The talented designers here at O’Hanlon Kitchens would love to help you plan your age in place kitchen. We specialize in creating timeless designs that perfectly suit each homeowner’s needs. Contact us at 443-285-0558 to schedule your kitchen design consultation. We look forward to working with you!