Like many homeowners, you may have decided that you would like to stay in your own home for as long as possible. Why? Because the cost and complexity of moving are more than you want to endure, plus you love the proximity to amenities offered by your current location. Thinking long-term to how your needs may change in the future will be critical to planning any remodeling you consider today.
Photo courtesy Wellborn Cabinet
An important part of being able to stay put is to have an accessible home, which mostly means keeping what you need for daily living within easy reach, without having to bend or stretch or climb stairs to get something or accomplish a task. The term “aging-in-place” is the rather unpleasant name you’ll find if you do any research into how to remodel so your home can stay suited to your needs now and well into the future. But the features of an accessible home can be not only practically invisible, but also gorgeous ─ and definitely don’t have to look sparse or clinical.
Beauty is as important as function
Photo courtesy Jenn-Air
Your forever home can ─ and should ─ be so stylish that no one will notice it’s accessible, only that it is an especially beautiful, comfortable, and convenient place to live. The popularity of open floor plans enables wider doorways and many accessibility features to be added very unobtrusively while creating gorgeous living spaces. The rooms shown here all have accessibility features yet are also wonderfully elegant.
A “Reachable” Kitchen
One of the most popular rooms homeowners choose to remodel is the kitchen, and it’s the perfect place to begin. The easiest way to think of your forever kitchen is that it should be roomy and reachable, without too much bending or stretching.
Photos courtesy Wellborn Cabinet
Install appliance and storage features as close to waist high as possible by adding pullout shelves for pantry items and drawers for pots and pans. A wall-mounted oven, an undercounter beverage fridge and a microwave installed in the island provide easy access. The kitchen also benefits from having a food prep area that can be used while seated.
Photo courtesy Jenn-Air
Step Up to a No-Step Home
Eliminating steps as much as possible is one of the best ways to make sure you can stay in your home longer. Plan to have at least one no-step entry into your home. This no-threshold doorway (below) to the patio and backyard is accessible, elegant, and great for opening the space for entertaining. If you’ve thought about updating your master bedroom and bath, consider a first-floor master suite.
Photo courtesy Pella Windows and Doors
A popular master bathroom element is the curbless, barrier-free shower. It’s a practical solution that is also spa-like in appearance. A nearly invisible linear drain can be installed flush along the wall rather than in the center of the shower stall. With the floor sloping gently toward the drain, there is no need for a curb (or even a door) between the shower and the rest of the bathroom. A detachable hand-held showerhead and a bench are luxurious touches that are also practical.
Photos courtesy QuickDrain USA
Re-think Rather Than Down-size
Maybe you’ve thought about down-sizing, but do you really want to move into an apartment or condo? Re-thinking and remodeling your home can be a great alternative, allowing you to keep your house up to date with your needs while you stay in the home you love.
We can incorporate flexibility and ease of use into your home without sacrificing any style or elegance. The only thing your family and guests may notice is just how fabulous your remodeled home is. If you have questions or would like to know more about how to have a forever home, please contact us. We can help you decide which features might be appropriate for you now and into the future.