American has an aging population, and our home design is changing with it. Accessible design can help sell a home to forward-thinking Boomers who realize that if they want to age in place, the home must be optimized for limited mobility and decreased vision. At IBS, Housing Design Matters distilled the top trends for 55+ friendly kitchen designs, an often overlooked but important room to consider. Bright, airy kitchens are not just trendy: They can help an older homeowner see. And arranging the kitchen to accommodate our shrinking height as we age can reduce accidents and help homeowners enjoy their kitchen for longer. The main point to drive home, however, is that practical, accessible design doesn’t have to look like a hospital room. With some creativity, a 55+ friendly kitchen can look as beautiful as the ones on Instagram.
Prior to the builder show, I was chatting with a fellow designer about my upcoming speech. When I mentioned I was going to dedicate one part of my speech on 55+ kitchens and bath, my friend replied, what exactly do you do differently for that buyer?
I then realized that many folks in our industry have the same question. Some may think that 55+ kitchens and baths have to feel institutional, like something you would find in a nursing home. There are indeed many things that can break down the potential hurdles that these buyers face and what we can do to minimize or even eliminate the issue.
First, when appealing to 55+ buyers, you should know the kitchen is the number one upgrade. Whether fully retired, semi-retired, or newly empty-nesters, this buyer often finds more time to entertain. With cooking more of a hobby than a chore, how do we deliver a rock star kitchen that allows homeowners to age gracefully?