Age in Place Kitchen Designs For Your Next Renovation

During your next kitchen remodel, consider an age in place design to ensure you can stay at your home longer.

During your next kitchen remodel, consider an age in place design to ensure you can stay at your home longer.

It is important to consider your kitchen's age in place functionality as we head towards retirement years. 

Your kitchen is the heart of your home. It's where you socialize with friends and spend time with family. As the boomer generation ages, more are opting to remain in their homes as they age. This new trend, known as “aging in place,” is causing us to rethink our living arrangements and kitchen design needs. Manufacturers, contractors, and kitchen designers are ahead of the trend, creating products and designing spaces that help you to stay in your home comfortably and safer for a longer period.

With some simple home modifications, you can continue to spend quality time in your home. Food preparation is a daily living activity and for many of us, a good portion of our day is spent in the kitchen. If you're considering a kitchen remodel, look to the future and consider incorporating some simple additions, and minor adjustments to make your golden years at home more pleasurable, safe, and enjoyable.

Here are some of the hottest new products and design ideas to create the perfect “age in place” kitchen.

Think safety and convenience

Aging in place isn't only about comfort. It's also about safety and practicality. As we age we increase our risks for problems like falls and health issues like creaky joints, loss of dexterity and deteriorating vision. Designing a kitchen to age in place needs to take these factors into account. For example, easier opening cabinets with larger handles, gel comfort mats in front of the stove and sink, and brighter lighting options to make reading labels or recipes easier. 

Details like your choice of flooring materials can make a big difference when it comes to comfort. Tile or stone can be hard to stand on for long periods, especially if you have lower back or hip pain. Using a more forgiving floor covering like cork can help and be easier on the body. Consider other conveniences like for example a seated workspace, so you can sit as you chop vegetables and prepare meals. 

Also as we age, we may need to use a walker or a wheelchair to get around. Leaving extra space around islands and counters can make your kitchen maneuverable for longer. Roll-under Sinks or even motorized adjustable sinks and counters are available that can go from a “normal” height to a higher height making access easier for those in wheelchairs. Finally, brighter lights can help those with diminishing eyesight. Even countertops can have a contrasting colored edge so as your vision begins to wane; you can still see where the countertop ends. It's all about planning during the design stage.

To learn more about age in place design, schedule an appointment with one of our design experts. Click here.

Cabinets, appliances and more

As the aging population grows, manufacturers are designing products to take advantage of the increasing number of people who are aging in place. They're making products specifically to make it easier to live, cook, entertain, and enjoy your home for your entire life. Here are some to consider.

Modified cabinetry – Featuring options like slide out drawers and “lazy susans” and even pull down upper cabinets make access to dishes, and food much easier for older homeowners. Adding D-shaped pulls and handles allow people of all abilities to open and close cabinets and drawers easily.

Touch faucets – Touch control faucets are a great idea for older folks. It makes access to water for cooking and cleaning as simple as touching the fixture. To make it even easier to operate, consider a single-source temperature control.

Easier cooking access – If you use a wheelchair to get around, roll-under cooktops, sinks, and islands can allow for easier access.

Appliances – The right appliances can make all the difference in your ability to use and work in the kitchen safely as you age. Manufacturers are incorporating universal design principals to allow consumers to purchase more functional appliances. Side-by-side doors on refrigerators, illuminated water and ice dispensers, and increased door storage can improve usability. Side opening ovens and range tops with controls on the front instead of the top along with larger knobs can keep you cooking safely throughout your golden years!

We're all getting older. As more and more of us are opting to age in place, it's important to plan ahead. If you're planning on one last kitchen renovation, consider installing appliances and incorporating design features that can keep you living happily and safely in your home for the rest of your life.

About Toulmin Kitchen & Bath Design - We're West Alabama's award-winning, premier kitchen and bath showroom. We're experts who are known for a design-build process that makes the construction process stress-free. Contact us to schedule an appointment for a design consultation.