How Aging in Place Transforms Home Design

Nationally, baby boomers are retiring at a rate of about 10,000 a day, and they’re living longer, healthier lives. For many homeowners, that means taking a look at home renovations and home additions that are as functional as they are beautiful. From young families welcoming grandparents into their homes to older families planning new uses for older spaces, aging in place is changing the way homeowners think about design.

A family with young children needs bedrooms, but what happens when the kids grow up and find their own homes? Increasingly, families are choosing to convert these rooms into media rooms, dressing rooms, offices or gyms. A Boise remodeling contractor can transform a former bedroom into a home theater or computer room with ease. A more extensive project might mean carving some space out of a room to add square footage to a custom bathroom or walk-in closet. Families who plan to stay in a home for life have endless opportunities to shape their homes around themselves, but keep in mind that eliminating a bedroom altogether can affect the resale value of your home.

Choosing smooth tile flooring and bringing sunken or elevated areas level with the rest of the home’s floors are important steps for aging in place. Older people may have less mobility or limited depth of vision that could make negotiating stairs and platforms a challenge. Your remodeling contractor can level floors and recommend flooring options that suit the needs of everyone in the home. Non-slip surfaces and easy-care flooring are a plus for family members of every age, and the range of choices has never been greater.

For multi-story households, converting a ground-floor space for livability is key. If a ground floor doesn’t already have a bathroom and a kitchen, it will need both. Aging in place means planning for the future, so keep in mind that someone with full mobility now may have limited mobility years from now. A bathroom remodel that includes a walk-in shower, for example, is a smart design choice both because it looks stylish and because it’s easy for everyone to use. Kitchens can be simple enough for heating meals and snacking, or they can be scaled-down versions of full gourmet kitchens. Choose light-colored counters with smooth surfaces to make cleaning easier.

Aging in place isn’t just for senior citizens and families with older relatives. It’s for anyone who’s thinking ahead in their design choices and plans to make a home as functional and fashionable as it can be.

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