Interior Design Trends: AGING IN PLACE

How long do you plan to live in your own home? As do most of us over 45-ers, you probably want to continue living independently for as long as possible. If you’re younger, you most likely have parents or close relatives who feel the same way. “Aging In Place” is a concept for modifying your home to accommodate age related physical and mental challenges that allows you to live safely, comfortably, and happily throughout your senior years.

It’s a subject we don’t like to think about, but aging is inevitable. Today, I attended a workshop at DCOTA (Design Center of the Americas) on aging that provided a catalog of aging-related recommendations. However, I condensed the list to suggestions that you can begin making today that enhance life whatever your age.

Lighting: Replace yellow incandescent lights with LED bulbs that have a white light. As we age, our eye lenses turn yellow making it more difficult to see in light produced by incandescent bulbs. Add under cabinet light strips in the kitchen and bath. There are even battery powered strips with an adhesive that fit inside drawers and shelves. Layer lighting with direct, indirect, and task fixtures that are on dimmers for total light control.

Showers: Update to a barrier-free shower. 
In addition to the drain in the middle of the
shower, place one flush with the tile by the door, eliminating the necessity of stepping over the low threshold. Add a bench and a hand-held showerhead for showering while seated.

Baths: Many bathroom fittings have been designed that are attractive and can double as grab rails: paper holders, towel bars, soap dishes, etc. Make certain they’re affixed to walls that are  reinforced to withstand 250lbs.

Flooring: Consider the slip factor. Pre-finished engineered wood flooring is more slippery that traditionally finished wood floors. Slate is naturally a non-slip surface. Porcelain tiles are less slippery than marble. Use radiant heating in bathrooms; area rugs become very slippery in moist settings.

Kitchens: French door refrigerators reduce bending and reaching. Microwaves should be placed at or under counter top level instead of their customary spot above the stove. Induction cooktops are the safest stoves you can own. The surface cools immediately after lifting a pot, and many turn off automatically when water boils out.
Stove controls should be at the front rather than at the rear. 

Doors should be a minimum of 32” in width.

“Smart” equipment and appliances are energy efficient and makes life more convenient. Many applications can be downloaded to your cell phone to run many features of your home from a distance.

These are just a few design updates that can be incorporated into your home to make life more convenient and enjoyable at any age, add value to your home, and will continue to address comfort and safety as you reach your senior years.

For more inspiration...
      Visit the Robin Lechner Designs website

     Email me at

No comments:

Post a Comment