While everyone has their own unique style when it comes to interior decorating, special considerations have to be made when it comes to designing an interior spaces for senior citizens that may struggle with tasks once considered easy. Not only should the home be visually appealing, it should be functional and made according to the unique needs of an aging body. Kitchens, in particular, often have to undergo the most alterations to adequately provide senior citizens with a comfortable and safe space. Learn the basics of a solid age in place kitchen design.
Individuals in wheelchairs need lower counters to feel comfortable while in the kitchen. Additionally, cabinets, appliances and everything else on the counters needs to be positioned so that someone in a wheelchair can easily reach everything without overexerting themselves. There are also special cabinet handles that can be installed to help those who have trouble with arthritis.
Just like counters, sinks might need to be lowered for senior citizens. Those in wheelchairs are sure to appreciate sinks with a roll-under design that makes it easier for them to be used while a person is in a wheelchair. Besides roll-under sinks, installing a motorized sink is another good idea. Such sinks allow a person to adjust the height of the sink to one that suits them best.
Appliances included in an age in place kitchen design should have a universal design. They should also be easy to use and understand and include convenient features. For instance, refrigerators with side-by-side doors are commonly easier for senior citizens to use. It’s also best to go with a model with the ice and water dispensers on the outside of the door. Also, it’s a good idea to aim for energy efficient kitchen designs to save money, which is great for everyone involved.
Floor material in kitchens frequently used by seniors should be slip- and skid-resistant. While it’s often easier to simply add a rug or two to the kitchen floors, senior citizens can easily trip over them, which can lead to the very accidents you want to prevent. It’s best to simply opt for slip-resistant flooring.
It’s especially important to have proper lighting in a kitchen design for seniors. High light output LED bulbs are the way to go to keep elderly individuals from squinting and straining their eyes. Accent lights could be added over the sink and under cabinet kitchen lighting is helpful to keep seniors from having to turn on all the lights when it’s not necessary to do so.
A well-thought out age in place kitchen design makes life easier for senior citizens, and it’s great for their sense of independence. Let us know if you need help implementing these ideas.
Deep within all of us is the deep love for that traditional Rockwellian home setting that offers warmth and comfort due to its perpetual association with family. Yet there is a reason why such nostalgia is buried deep. While such a setting is often longed for during holidays and special occasions, it isn’t one that typically jives with the lifestyles and personalities of today’s Gen X’ers.
Take your kitchen, for example. It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking only of the space’s function, and then designing around it accordingly. However, if you truly stop to analyze things for a second, you’ll come to the realization that the kitchen is the epicenter of your home. Almost all activity originates from there. Thus, given the amount of time that you as well as your family and friends will spend in there, should you not then plan on putting a little bit of yourself into the space with your lighting?
Successfully Combining Style and Function
Is this possible without sacrificing function? Believe it or not, style and function are not mutually exclusive. In fact, when it comes to kitchen lighting, one can enhance the other. If you’re like most plugged-in people, then you’ve likely designed your kitchen in a contemporary style. You owe it to the space not to stop that style pattern once you start installing your lights.
How can you apply the level of sophistication assigned to your generation in your kitchen lighting while still seeing to the space’s optimal function? Consider the following tips:
- Mixed recessed lights with stylish fixtures: Many feel as though recessed lights and hanging fixtures don’t mix, yet the truth is quite the opposite. Stylish hanging fixtures are typically used for task lighting, while recessed lights provide ambient lighting. Yet it’s important to know where to place canned lights. Putting them under cabinets or in over sinks ensures that they won’t take away from your hanging fixtures.
- Get creative with your pendants: Hanging pendant lighting over kitchen islands and prep areas offers you a wealth of possibilities when it comes to design. Keep in mind that these fixtures will figure prominently in your design, so don’t be afraid to get a little crazy and creative, like choosing colors contrasting your cabinetry or hanging lights unevenly.
- Incorporate sculpture: If you’re looking to go really bold and risqué with your lighting, any kitchen designer with creativity will tell you to consider a sleek, monorail style fixture that snakes its way over your surfaces from which you can hang fixtures at differing intervals.
Who says that your kitchen lighting ideas have to be boring and bland? Your home is the canvas on which you imprint your personality. Why, then, would that same principle not also apply to your lighting? Find yourself a lighting designer with creativity and fresh new design concepts. Add under counter kitchen lighting to illuminate the floor and lower storage spaces. Go ahead and make a bold, risqué statement to your kitchen with your own personal style.