You love your house, your neighborhood, your location but your home may not meet the needs of your future lifestyle. You could buy or build a new house. But what if you choose to stay and make changes that will suit your future needs?

family serving dinner at a Galley workstation

An increasing number of homeowners are choosing to build their dream, while staying in the location that holds their family’s memories. Many are making renovation decisions now, while keeping possible future limitations in mind. Ageless design is not just for seniors; it is thoughtful and wise to consider the future for yourself, and, if desired, for resale.

Kitchens and baths are the most common areas to be remodeled, so let us examine some simple design ideas to consider that could impact your ability to stay.

In the bathroom, switch to a kitchen-height vanity cabinet and a comfort-height toilet. Create a barrier- free or low profile shower threshold; add strategically placed grab bars and a shower seat.

In the kitchen, choose drawers instead of doors and instead of pullout shelves. The full access and single motion nature of drawers is the most popular current option. A balance of different features is still preferred for flexibility in storage.

The design idea of a kitchen work triangle should be disrupted. Linear prep and cooking is more efficient. A large sink (like the The Galley Workstation) keeps the work contained and accomplishes prep, cooking, and serving in a single location. Designing the cooking surface nearby and linear to the sink, adds to this efficiency and keeps the turning and moving to a minimum. Also, fewer slips and spills should be expected.

Minimize bending and overhead reaching by keeping the microwave at or just below counter height. Microwave drawers are a good option for this very reason. Also consider a pantry cabinet with rollout shelves and perhaps drawers at the bottom. Choose appliances that have easy-to-read controls, soften counter corners to minimize bumps and bruises, and be sure your flooring choice will not be too slick when wet.

Standard kitchen clearances are generally 42 inches. If you have the space, widen your clearances. True universal design requires much more than that, but anything extra, even an inch or two, is an improvement.

If you want to keep your home, your memories, and your lifestyle, while preparing for the next stages of life, remodel using simple ageless kitchen and bath design to meet your goals.