Staying in your home as you age can be a great way to stay in a familiar place you love. However, it is often necessary to make some home design adjustments to make your home more accessible and safe, as your mobility is affected by age. The kitchen, in particular, can pose a risk if you do not take steps to install accessibility features today. If you are ready to design a kitchen made for aging in place, work with your T&G Builders team today to find the best solutions for your home.
Install Accessible Lighting
A kitchen made for aging in place will have plenty of easy-to-use lighting that ensures you never need to fumble in the dark kitchen. There are several ways to light your kitchen:
- LED Lights: LED lights are brighter, last longer, and are more energy-efficient than incandescent bulbs. These lights require less maintenance and fewer bulb replacements.
- Natural Lighting: Designing a space with large windows when possible will give you more natural light and a more enjoyable kitchen experience. Plus, you can save money by keeping the lights off during those bright days.
- Under Cabinet Lights: Lights placed on the underside of cabinets make it easier to see what you’re doing on your countertops.
- Motion-Activated Lights: These remove the need to flip switches, especially at night, which can make your kitchen experience safe.
Select High Contrast Design Elements
Using the same color for everything in your kitchen can make it more difficult to see and use counters and cabinets. Designing elements with high-contrast features will make it easier to differentiate kitchen features. For example, installing a white countertop next to a dark gray backsplash and dark brown lower cabinets create distinctions between each part of your kitchen design. This makes messes easier to spot, and choosing high-contrast handles for your cabinets makes them easier to find.
Switch Out Standard-Depth Appliances for Countertop-Depth Ones
A kitchen design with counter-depth appliances is made for aging in place more so than designs with standard-depth appliances. What’s the difference between the two? Standard-depth appliances stick out a few inches, while counter-depth appliances line up with the front of your cabinets. These installations reduce the risk of tripping, bumping your knees, or stubbing your toe on appliances that stick out.
Design Wider Clearances for Your Kitchen
Instead of creating a confined kitchen space, it is best to open it up to make it more accessible with wider clearances. Creating wider clearances includes opening up the entrances to your kitchen to more easily accommodate a walker or wheelchair in the future. Your doorways should also be at least 36 inches wide. If you have a galley kitchen, a width of 42 inches will allow you to maneuver a wheelchair or walker more easily in that space.
Replace Your Drawers with Doors
Replacing lower cabinets with drawers instead of doors can make access easier. A kitchen made for aging in place will have easy-to-open drawers that help you reach items in the back more easily. This way, you don’t have to bend down and reach inside the door-covered cabinet.
Make Your Dream Home a Reality with T&G Builders
T&G Builders, located in Berlin, MD, has been a premier waterfront custom home builder and home improvement contractor serving Worcester and Sussex Counties for over 25 years. We are a locally owned and operated business known for our uncompromising commitment to quality, our passion for using innovative technology and premium materials to complete projects, and our exceptional attention to detail. In addition to building custom homes, we also specialize in remodeling your current house into your dream home! Our skilled team can assess your needs, determine the right design for your addition or improvement, and complete the entire construction process.