The sooner you start planning your retirement dream kitchen, the sooner you’ll be able to start realizing the benefits of your investment. It should be designed for the next 20 years, and encompass your needs today, and 2 decades from now. Most of us can’t realistically imagine ourselves that far from now, so look around at people well into their retirement years and imagine designing a beautiful kitchen that works really well for them too. Oh, and don’t forget the grandchildren, and the neighbors and sons and daughters who will visit for the weekend. The point is that there’s likely to be a wider variety of needs than at any time in your life. Choosing colors, materials and appliances can be a lot of fun, but taking time to consider functional details is more important than it ever was.
One of the many benefits of working with an Aging in Place pro is discovering free tips that can make a big difference to things we all do every day. Planning ahead and placing things in easier reach helps us immediately, and matters most when our reach, mobility, vision and balance starts to decline.
Here are 10 quick tips to help get you started:
- Consider multiple kitchen countertop heights
- 36” is standard, but it has limited effectiveness and shouldn’t be used everywhere.
- 30” countertops can be better for working height and for placing a chair or wheelchair under at some future time.
- 42” is easier for standing.
- Shallow sinks are easier to use, easier to clean and can be left open underneath for wheelchair access.
- Install pull-out shelves in lower cabinets for more accessible lower storage.
- Position upper cabinets 3” lower than standard for more accessible upper storage.
- Allow 42-48” between cabinets for easier mobility
- Rocker light switches located in close reach are easier to operate than toggles.
- Choose light colors to maximize effectiveness of available lighting and avoid shadows
- Choose long cabinet door handles for easier reach.
- Raise dishwasher by 9” for easier loading and unloading, and add a drawer underneath.
- Locate the cooktop within 36” of the sink for safe transfer of hot pots of water.
These are just a few cost saving tips to get you started. When you’re ready to design the kitchen that looks as good as you dreamed, and functions better than you imagined possible, we’ll take you from concept to completion. You’ll love the process, almost as much as your new kitchen!
We can help with the rest of you home too.