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How Storage Space Can Improve Your Lifestyle Quality

Decluttering and organizing our storage space helps more than just our mental health. It also makes the home safer by decreasing the chance of injuries and falls. The older you become, the more critical it turns. 

When you have a clean home and organized kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom, you stimulate your brain in a healthier, more free manner. Your eyes roam undisrupted, which helps you to focus. Consequently, you enjoy your life more.

Getting rid of the excess things can be stressful, but having them all around is worse. A middle solution? Upgrade your storage space and introduce some smart storage solutions. It will reward you with an opportunity for a fresh start.

We All Need More Storage Space As Time Goes By

There’s a vast number of reasons why we have clutter. Impulse shopping, emotional emptiness, collected memories… “I might need it,” “Soon the things will change,” “I will lose weight and wear it again” – we all know the same all song.  

Since the pandemic started and staying at home became the part of “new normal,” the chances are that your living space:

  1. Became more cluttered than ever
  2. Turned to a constant source of stress over things that you might not have been noticing before 

Now the times are changing, and life is gradually going back to “old normal.” Perhaps it’s the best moment to deal with everything that has been standing in your way for months and months? Making a fresh start is beneficial, and not to mention that it feels so good. 

coquitlam architecture
Coquitlam architecture

Psychological Effects of Clutter

Stress and More Stress

The most common psychological effect of clutter is stress—no need to say how it affects our health. The constant hassle of dealing with the mess and lack of organization can rocket your cortisol levels sky-high. Consequently, it provokes structural changes in our brain, inducing long-term sensitivity to stress.

Low Self-Esteem 

An organized home is a sign of an organized mind. Conversely, cluttered environments send a message of inadequacy, incapability to keep things under control – there’s a reason why cluttered homes are commonly linked to depression. And then there is another price: a messy house can cost you social life in more than one way. 

We get a lot of energy from our environment and the impulses it creates in our brains. It’s impossible to properly relax in a chaotic atmosphere. Even if you feel like it happens, your brain knows the difference. In the same way the sterile room can feel uneasy and awake the sensation of emptiness, a messy place will make you feel tired sooner than later. Finally, you will not have enough motivation to do the things you want, in return feeling lazy and less worthy. 

If you want to produce something new or move yourself to the next level in some area of your life, dealing with organization and storage is the ideal base. As the first step, ensure that no excess clutter will stand in the way of a change that you want to experience.

Focus and Productivity Issues

Clutter is tremendously distracting. Instead of focusing on one thing, it keeps your brain in a constant multitasking mode. Now, why is that bad? First, it’s very tiring. Secondly, it prevents you from finishing one big thing by scattering your mind and body over a dozen of tiny ones. And finally, you will give up easier due to feeling overwhelmed. 

Storage space in organized bathroom
Surrey interior designer

How Remodeling Your House to Add Storage Space Helps Keeping the Clutter Away

Smart Storage In Unused Spaces

Adding storage in dead-ends, empty corners, and under the stairs is a great idea. Hidden cabinets, built-in shelving, and pull-out drawers hide the world of new possibilities. Built-in shelves can work well both functionally and aesthetically in many places. Think about having them around doors, a TV area, or at the sides of a fireplace. If you want to create a room divider but are not ready to commit (let’s say you need it for a temporary home office), shelves are a brilliant idea. Make it a bookcase, or fill them up with decorative boxes to get even more storage options. 

Another great, multifunctional solution is a bespoke bench. These handy items can fit into any corner or under a window, providing hidden storage AND an extra sitting place. Consider a custom-sized bench at your foyer, and have a comfortable space to put your shoes on and store them after use. 

Utility Rooms

A laundry room can become a hobby room and a mudroom. Cover the walls with ceiling-high cabinets and shelves for storing various supplies, as well as shoes, coats, umbrellas, bags, and much more. A corner for showering your pet after a walk would also fit there perfectly. 

Some creative ideas might be of use if you don’t want to invest in a full remodeling. Are there any cabinets and closets that you don’t really like or use much? Repurpose them in a mudroom. You won’t have to look at them all day, and they will save you the cost of buying new stuff. An old ladder is perfect for doubling as a shelf. Even better, hang them high, horizontally oriented, and you will get a new, chic place for drying washed clothes. 

Kitchen Storage Space

Storage space in the kitchen

If you’re thinking about kitchen renovation, consider new floor-to-ceiling cabinets with a variety of storage options. Pull-out drawers of different depths, sliding baskets, dedicated, convenient spots for cookware, and more – every thoughtful detail will enhance your cooking experience and out more pleasure in the process. The best part? You can use tall, narrow spaces to install high cabinets with shelving for small items that often drag all around, such as spice jars, cans, and backup supplies. 

Removing walls and opting for an open space living area (including kitchen) will also help you declutter and become better organized. First, it will improve your habits. Second, in place of a wall, you will have a kitchen island with abundant storage options, customized to fit your needs. You can even sneak in a wine bar or something similar.

If your floor space is limited, consider a corner dining place with built-in benches that can, again, double as hidden storage for kitchen towels, table cloths, and many more. Alternatively, you can free up some counter space by using that corner for a small floor-to-ceiling pantry with drywall and shelving, instead of a dining area. 

Bathroom Decluttering 

A few lucky ones enjoy unlimited floor space in a bathroom. For the rest, it takes a bit of creativity and a great designer to perform magic. Start by thinking vertical instead of horizontal – floor space might be scarce, but there is so much more of it all over your walls. Instead of freestanding cabinets, opt for recessed ones. Wall-mounted shelves and cupboards offer a plethora of bathroom storage possibilities. Hung within reach, they allow effortless access to all kinds of items, from hairbrushes to towels and bulky bottles. 

Replacing the standard bathtub with a walk-in shower is one of the best moves you can make when remodeling your bathroom. It saves floor space, but there is much more. Transparent glass dividers make the room look and feel more spacious. The effect is even stronger if you use the same floor and wall tiles all over. Also, accessibility is essential in some cases, like when you’re remodeling to adapt the house for aging-in-place. A walk-in shower is a breeze to use. 

Bedroom Storage Solutions

Master Bedroom
North Vancouver home design

Even if you are not the type who leaves clothes everywhere – in a bedroom, there is always something that could be tucked away. Moreover, out of all rooms in the house, the bedroom is where you really shouldn’t have any visible excess if you aim for a healthier life. Even when you sleep, a part of your brain works. That means a part of you is always aware of the surrounding scene at all times. Furthermore, that also means anything can affect it enough to disturb your sleeping sequence. 

If you have enough floor space to use, think about hidden storage behind the bed, all over the wall. Better said, create a new, “fake” wall in front of the existing one. It will help to keep the room looking clear and free, while holding a ton of hidden compartments at the same time. Alternatively, think of a gallery bed. Lift it up to create more visual dynamics in the interior, and use the space below to slide in some large drawers. 

Doors and Traffic Areas

Being limited in floor space means using all you can to make storage. That also means you may be wasting some precious areas on conventional solutions. A standard door might be limiting your possibilities with the way it moves. Have you thought about switching them for a sliding model? Yes, it requires some wall, but that doesn’t mean you can’t place a cabinet in front.  

Organized Storage Space, Organized Mind

Once you have a place for everything and everything in its place, you will probably notice several things at the same time. Dopamine will replace cortisol. You will feel accomplished and ready for more. Moreover, your focus will noticeably improve, as well as the productivity. One thing will boost another and, before you know it, you will be leading a healthier and happier life. 

If you are ready for the next step but need more professional guidance in order to make the most of what you got, contact us and schedule a consultation. We will offer customized solutions, tailored personally for you, your home, and your lifestyle.

Healthy Lifestyle Starts In a Healthy Living Space

A better and healthy lifestyle shouldn’t start with visiting the doctor’s office every now and then. A healthy lifestyle starts from within and in your mindset, and that includes a healthy environment in all aspects, starting from a healthy living space. 

Most of us think that, in order to live a better life, we should make sure our doctor’s visits frequent and on time while keeping our medicine cabinets full of pills. The truth is, the western lifestyle and its approach to medication can also cause more harm than good. Why most people nowadays tend to live a simpler life, eat healthy food, and spend more time in nature? The answer is simple – to have a longer life and fewer issues. This is the path of happy people!

How can you live happily and stay healthy? By keeping ourselves motivated, sharp-minded and focused on the goodness of life rather than negativity. Listening to music that keeps us happy is always a better choice than depressing news that won’t have any effect on our lives. Media are thirsty for your attention, while your mind is thirsty for positive vibes.

Nurture yourself with positive energy and help your body to cure itself.

I am an author and an architectural designer. I combine holistic/self-improvement philosophy with architecture. My wish is to open a dialogue about how to improve our living space to make it age-friendly so that we can live in our homes happier, healthier, and safer!

Your Home Is What You Are

There is no such thing as a magic pill for a better living, yet it doesn’t mean that you can’t live a better life, starting today. Collect your hopes and desires, new aspirations, and change your lifestyle to make the silver time of your life a truly golden one. And what is the one place in the world that overflows with all those? Well, you’re probably sitting there right now.

Coquitlam interior designer, healthy living space
Coquitlam interior designer

Your home is where you created all your memories, the first times, the happy times and the sad times, celebrations and goodbyes. The community around you makes (and reflects) your identity, the person you have become, and the respect you have within. It’s not easy to leave everything behind and start over elsewhere as a stranger. But you don’t have to.

We all have to make sure the environment around us is as safe and pleasant as possible. Even if you are in your golden years, it’s still possible to age in place and achieve peace of mind by proper preparation and some adaptations. Your stamina can be enhanced by the environment designed around your lifestyle, as the indoor atmosphere is one of the prime influences on mental health.

Healthy Living Space = Healthy Residents

Have you ever thought about your house layout and if it really works for you? If you live there long, you’re probably used to it, and adapted your way of life to the way our spaces are arranged. However, never forget that your home can be improved and changed at any time. As your lifestyle and goals change with age, so do your needs, and the environment should follow. 

So what can you do to improve your home? How can changing the layout of particular areas improve or complement your healthier lifestyle? Well, the truth is it can do wonders. Not only can it improve efficiency and productiveness, but it also boosts your mood and even help to achieve some of your goals. Even small changes count. 

Perhaps you need more space in the kitchen? Finding a neglected corner to upgrade it into a workspace may lower the stress that comes with working from home. Some improvements to a bathroom layout can do wonders for relationships. And don’t even make me start on how beneficial remodelling can be for ageing in place. 

Kitchen Is an Essential Part of a Healthy Living Space

Cooking at home is great for both your physical and mental health. The process requires focus, enhances creativity, improves social life and communication. At the same time, using fresh or minimally processed ingredients help you maintain the proper diet and boost your energy levels. 

Coquitlam architect healthy living space
Coquitlam architect

Sharing the experience with your friends and family boosts a sense of community and improves relationships. However, that also requires sufficient space. That’s why replacing a standard kitchen with an open-space plan is an excellent move, that can bring several new dimensions to your life. 

Healthy Living Space Should Encourage Movement

A sedentary lifestyle is the destiny of many, and going to the gym is not always an option. A spare room or a basement can be transformed into a designated space for exercise and workouts. Whether it’s a small gym or a yoga sanctuary, this adaptation can seriously enhance your workout routine, leading to improved mental and physical balance.  

What you need to do is to create a space that makes you feel good and, at the same time, makes you want to spend time in it. That way, procrastination will not be an option. The right ambiance, smart choice of colours, and tactical lighting can enhance motivation for any kind of exercise. If your choice is yoga, a peaceful palette of beige, green, or blue will promote relaxation and harmony. On the contrary, if you go for weightlifting or cardio, vivid colours and lively patterns will launch you to the right mood. 

burnaby interior designer
Burnaby interior designer

Healthy Living Space Is Free of Clutter

Excess can be stressful, especially if your things lie all around. Clutter and disorganization can raise your cortisol hormone levels, becoming a source of chronic stress over time. Smart storage can help to keep that under control. 

A cluttered work environment affects your brain and the way it processes information. Having continual mess in the living zone affects all activities, including the time for relaxation. But the worst place to have cluttered is your bedroom. 

Sleep problems are a common issue that keeps many adults up at night. Apart from insomnia and conditions like anxiety and depression, hoarding and overall clutter are the main culprits. Investing in remodelling that will improve storage and promote healthy organizational habits means investing in future life.

Keeping your bedroom a safe, technology-free zone is another great way to improve sleep and mental wellbeing. And if you can’t stand to leave your gadgets far, furniture with hidden compartments, even charging stations, will solve the problem. That will keep your circadian rhythm more balanced and the habit of scrolling before sleep at bay.  

Healthy Living Space Promotes Social Life

Community and connection are inseparable from well-being. Make sure that your home is an enhancer rather than a barrier to your social life. An open space built to promote communication will raise your hosting standards and help you invite people over more often.

What Else Can You Do

Proper ventilation is very important. A heat recovery ventilator (HRV) or an energy recovery ventilator (ERV) will not only filter the air but also balance out the temperature of the incoming air to level it with the existing home micro-climate. A dedicated system that runs a stream of fresh air in and out of the house all the time is an excellent solution to ensure great indoor air quality, and create a more healthy living space. 

It’s also important to know where the air is coming from. Air can travel all around the house, from the attic to the crawlspace, passing through the living environment. Broken-down insulation and rodents can decrease the quality of air that’s pulled into the house. Crawlspaces can contain moisture, mould, gases, while attics may host bugs and critters. Together with cracks in insulation, it’s not the kind of air that you would like to breathe. 

Without seals and proper vapour barriers, you will probably end up will the amount of moisture too high for a healthy living space. Moreover, older homes have more issues and a higher potential to be toxic than newer homes. Remodelling will eliminate all these issues, including lead paint, leaks and cracks, to deliver a strong shell in which you will build a new, improved life.

If you need advice or professional input to make sure your home is a healthy living space, schedule a consultation and find out how to improve today. Investing in the quality of your future life is one of the best investments you can make. 

Age-Friendly Home: More Renovation Tips

In the previous article, we have covered the topic of age-friendly home remodeling, and the ways proper adaptations can enable safe and comfortable aging-in-place. Here we will highlight some details that require special attention.

Age-Friendly Home Bathroom: Walk-in Bathtub or Walk-in Shower?

A walk-in bathtub is a favorite among some seniors who experience fatigue often and prefer to sit and bath over standing in the shower. Both solutions have their pros and cons, though. While a walk-in bathtub might be a more comfortable and more affordable investment at the start, it also costs more to use long-term.

west Vancouver bathroom project
Age-friendly home: west Vancouver bathroom project

A walk-in shower with an energy-efficient showerhead will not just ease your life. It will also save you some money on your water bill, up to 30%. Furthermore, it will make your property more competitive in the market, if you ever decide to sell. A renovated, modernized bathroom adds value to your home. 

For seniors with demanding physical conditions, there are also hands-free shower chairs that fit into a walk-in shower.

Grab Bar for Shower/ Tub

Installing grab bars in the right places all around the bathroom is obligatory for an age-friendly home. Equally important is to make sure they are installed correctly and sturdy enough to support sudden shocks and substantial weight. 

Safety bars can help people move around the bathroom more securely. It supports the body in case of sudden fatigue and protects you from injuries if you slip on the wet floor. Properly installed and conveniently positioned safety bars can help prevent bathroom accidents or even death.

Permanently installed safety bars must be anchored to the wall and made of durable materials like stainless steel. Don’t confuse them with suction cup bars, as those are intended only to provide limited assistance with balance.

Age-friendly home, grab bars
Image source: Flicker

Ideally, there should be a vertical entrance bar on a wall opposite the faucet wall, and another one on the faucet wall. For additional safety, one or two horizontal safety bars should be on a side wall, too. That way, you’ll have a bar available in any situation or position. 

Grab Bar for Toilet

Grab bars for the toilet, ideally, come as a pair that surrounds both sides and hosts both arms for proper support. Those are fixed to the wall behind, at one point each. Adequate installation is obligatory to ensure full safety. 

If your bathroom is small and you also worry about aesthetics, opt for multifunctional bars, like 2-in-1. These can also serve other practical purposes, such as holding hand-towels or toilet paper. Other options are wavy bars or long corner grab bars. The latter is a continuous rail that can stretch from the toilet to the door and makes an ideal solution if you need both vertical and horizontal support. 

Age-friendly home, toilet grab bars
Image source: Flicker

Finally, there are moveable grab bars. Those can be hinged to the wall and swiveled or folded out of the way when not in use. These types of bars are ideal for larger toilet areas and people who don’t require bar support all the time. 

Raised Toilet Seats

One of the significant challenges that come with age is bending down safely. An age-friendly home should feature modifications that bring things closer to a senior resident, eliminating most of the bending need. By raising the toilet seat up higher than a traditional toilet, we reduce the chance of an injury and minimize the pains.

Apart from helping seniors who suffer bending or standing difficulties, a raised seat also provides extra support while rehabbing from a surgery or an injury. The hinged toilet seat risers can add over three inches of height to a toilet and support up to several hundred pounds. Those are easy to install and present an excellent solution when buying a whole new toilet isn’t an option.

Age-friendly home, luxury bathroom design
Luxury bathroom design

An age-friendly home should feature bathroom faucets that require no tight grasping, pinching, or twisting of the wrist. Ideally, those should be easy to operate with one hand and require very little to none force to activate.

Touchless faucet technology is one of the best innovations for age-friendly homes. Even if your existing manual faucet lever meets all the safety criteria, you can still see plenty of benefits after replacing it with a sensor-controlled alternative. Start from eliminating the need to turn a lever every time, especially with sore, arthritic hands.

Hand-Held Shower Head

Hand-held showerheads are recommended bathroom features for age-friendly homes to help safeguard bathing activities. Those bear the additional advantage of being affordable: a hand-held showerhead costs only a fraction of the price compared to a complete valve hand shower system. 

Furthermore, if you opt for a tub instead of a walk-in shower, a hand-held showerhead will allow you to wash in any position you prefer, including seating.

Age-friendly bathroom
Image source: Flicker

In the tub area, safety and body control can heavily depend on the position of the showerhead. If it stands too high, it may present a challenge to reach. If it’s too low, it may require bending and uncomfortable body positioning. Both options can have an advert effect on balance, leading to scalding or slips and falls. That is another example of why it’s best to skip DIY for an age-friendly home and hire professionals to do the work.

Age-Friendly Home Requires Improved Lighting

Some studies found that a 60-year-old senior needs a double amount of lighting compared to adolescents. While adding more light is the solution, it still needs to be followed by proper customizations. Distribution is important, as well as sources and locations. An ambient LED lighting setting will secure uniform distribution without increasing power consumption. It is also an excellent way to equalize lighting transitions between rooms and eliminate sudden flashes and contrasts. 

master bathroom
Richmond master bathroom

Shielding is good, as it prevents issues that can come with glare, so don’t avoid them in an attempt to secure more light. Keep in mind that quality is crucial, which sometimes also means that less is more.

Enclosed environments like showers can easily trap moisture and become prone to mould and mildew. Bathroom exhaust fans use electricity and aren’t always practical. A better way to increase air circulation is by raising the ceiling level, where possible. If you can follow that by replacing the windows, you could also secure a maximal amount of available daylight.

Slip-Resistance Flooring

One of the essential things to pay attention to if you make an age-friendly home is a floor. That particularly applies to bathrooms and walk-in showers. Opt for small, textured shower tiles rather than large, glazed ones. The abundance of grouting, together with the texture, will keep your feet from slipping and help you to move safely once the floor gets soapy and wet. Look for tiles that are easy to clean and resistant to mold, humidity, and stains.

Reduce Hot Water Tank Temperature

Adding a simple thermostatic valve to the fixture that keeps the water is a wise move. It allows maintaining a safe, consistent temperature within a few degrees and prevents shower water fluctuations from warm to cold or hot without warning.

While steady water temperature is something we can all appreciate, in an age-friendly home, it’s a must. Aging brings mobility challenges, and that means a senior’s muscles move and react progressively slower. Sudden temperature changes come as a shock, without any warning to get out of the way. That triggers impulsive reactions, putting a senior in several potentially dangerous situations that could result in an injury.

Avoid Sharp Edge Countertops

Laminate or quartz countertops are a common remodeling solution for bathrooms and kitchens. In an age-friendly home, those need to stand at the optimal height to provide additional safety. Installing one lower countertop or several countertops with varying levels allows for the diversity of use.

Regardless of countertop materials, it would be best if you make sure to avoid sharp edges. Those typical 90-degree angles can prove seriously problematic for seniors since a single false move can result in a painful injury. Avoid the risk by rounding off all countertop edges, either as a simple curve, bullnose, or a double-bevel.

Aging in place requires a properly adapted age-friendly home. To avoid the risk that comes with mistakes and lack of the right information, schedule a free professional consultation, and see what we can do for you.

Age Friendly House: Ten Essential Renovations to Make Sooner Rather than Later

In the old days, when the existing home would become too challenging for a senior, the options were narrow, and commonly included moving out. Aging in place, in an appropriate age-friendly house, was not a thing, and if the family members were too busy to take proper care of the older relative, a nursing home was the common solution. While, in some instances, moving out proved to be necessary, the truth is that most seniors would rather have stayed in their own home, on familiar ground, in their own privacy. 

Seniors are adults who spent most of their lives in responsibility for raising the family, developing a career, taking care of everything. That self-image is hard to change, but golden years are also the time to decrease stress levels and enjoy the fruits of one’s efforts. Over time, we all have to let go of the ultimately-in-charge image and settle with the idea that the moment for relaxation has come. Slowly, we learn to enjoy it. 

Age-friendly house

My House, My Rules

When you’re a senior, you know how it feels. It’s not unlikely that you might have already lost a spouse or a partner in the process. You lost the feeling of being irreplaceable as a patron. The last thing you want to relinquish is control over your own life, regressing to the phase of a helpless child.

This bears significant importance if you have spent most of your life in the same house—or, at least, a long time. Such a place is crawling with warmth and memories, provides the meaning to existence. There’s also a sense of safety and security that no other place can beat. Moving out is like leaving your life behind, giving it up. From this perspective, it’s easy to understand why seniors should be provided with an alternative. After all, they deserve it. 

What it Means, an Age-Friendly House?

Age-related changes will have halved your young adult strength by the time you reach 80. The velocity of contraction and movement significantly reduces, together with muscle power. In turn, fatigability increases. The declines in motor function appear to accelerate markedly in this age. The central nervous system also suffers degradation, compromising activation of the motor unit during contractions. 

Still, there is a large variability between individuals in many aspects of motor performance. Some healthy individuals can lead an almost fully-independent life until their last days.

Other common age-related issues with a major impact on mobility are cardiovascular diseases, arthritis. Then there is Alzheimer’s disease as a whole set of problems of its own.

Mobility issues greatly affect seniors’ ability to perform daily functional tasks. There are, however, many preparations that you can make in advance to turn your home age-friendly and suitable for comfortable, peaceful aging in place.

luxury house designer
Calm and bright living space

The desire to live safely and undisturbed in our own homes is universal, as is the desire to be a part of the community. Making it happen is not easy, but it is possible. Transition to an age-friendly house requires some essential renovations that can help you live longer and feel independent. Those will enhance the level of physical safety and support you in staying mentally sharp, on top of your game. A good mental stage sustains other functions so the body can remain healthy as well. 

Making an age-friendly house is not a “one-size-fits-all” approach, but some things are universal. I will state the ten crucial changes and explain how those affect the inhabitants.

How to Transition Towards Age-Friendly House

Floor Plan

If possible, the entire living area will share the same floor, eliminating the need to use stairs entirely. You need to be able to move with minimal obstruction on the way. An open plan is the best solution, but some people enjoy small, defined rooms with more coziness and privacy.

Ideally, there shouldn’t be any steps between rooms or zones. Also, each traffic flow should be spacious enough to comfortably accommodate walking assistance, a helping person, or a wheelchair. Flooring is one of the crucial aspects of safety, so it must feature smooth, glare-free, slip-resistant surfaces or carpets. Every finish should be as low-maintenance as possible. 

Sunshine coast interior
Age in place home with comfort

Color/texture contrast is an excellent solution to indicate a change in surface levels. If the stairs are unavoidable, a contrast between vertical and horizontal will increase visibility. Together with excellent lighting and sturdy rails, it will significantly affect the safety and convenience of use. 

A smart-home system will help a lot to keep everything under control without excessive physical efforts. 

Doors and Windows

  • If possible, entrances should grant easy access and egress with no obstacles like steps. In a case when steps can’t be avoided, it’s necessary to have a sturdy rail for support. Doors should be changed to at least 4 inches wider than a typical home to grant undisrupted assisted passability. Ideally, a senior should be able to open all internal doors hands-free. That means either sensors, swivel doors, or ideally no doors at all, where available. Additionally, consider sink handles or levers rather than knobs.
  • Plenty of lower to the floor, easy-open windows, allowing an abundance of natural light, are a better solution than common ones. If there is a need for any shutters, heavy shades, or awnings, try to install the electrical, button-operated systems. 

Hallways

  • Those should be minimally three feet wide, preferably wider. Ideally, there will be space for a bench at the front door, and a surface area to place parcels and heavy bags. No-slip flooring is a must, with the matte finish. Some grab bars along the corridors are not a bad idea, either.
  • Hallways and corridors should be exceptionally well lit, ideally activated by sensors. Between bedroom and bathroom, automatic nighttime illumination would be a valuable asset.
master bathroom
Accessible Bathroom

Bathrooms

Over 30% of al bathroom injuries happen to seniors, of which over 80% are from slips and falls, half of those due to the inadequate features or missing propper support. A minor investment into several improvements can minimize such risk or eliminate it entirely.

  • Installing a curbless, roll-in shower with an adjustable handle is the best idea, but some seniors prefer to sit in a tub. If possible, install both. A reliable, quality fold-down seat in the shower and a lowered bathtub will secure a more convenient use.
  • Easily accessible grab-bars should exist inside and outside shower, as well as around a tub. Also, make all cabinetry easy to reach, with edges in contracting colors, easy to spot. The toilet should be height adjustable. All materials must be selected with convenience in mind, such as antibacterial, with anti-slip properties.
luxury kitchen designer
Age-friendly luxury kitchen design

Kitchen

The kitchen must have enough maneuvring space with easily accessible features. An open-plan kitchen is an excellent solution, both space- and safety-wise. It eliminates the need for doors, and in case you need any kind of assistance, there are no sound or visual barriers. 

  • Glass-front cabinet doors and pull-down or open shelving are convenient, providing easy access to all frequently used items. All appliances should feature accessible doors and easy to read controls. The more voice or sensor control, the better. 
  • There should be at least one working area available with a sitting position; the ideal solution is under-counter seated work areas.
contemporary design
Bedroom with a view

Bedroom

A well-designed bedroom can bring you comfort and calm, much needed to rest for the next day properly. Sometimes bedrooms are the most cluttered rooms in the home. In an age-friendly house, this room should be clutter-free and secured against tripping and falling. On the other hand, all storage must be designed as convenient and accessible. An architect with extensive knowledge of interior psychology, familiar with Feng-Shui’s philosophical approaches, can make the bedroom a true oasis for body, mind, and soul. 

  • The bedroom should have enough open space to allow undisturbed movement of a wheelchair, walking assistance device, or a person. 
  • Drawers and all storage need to be simple and easy to access drawers. A comfortable and accessible bed is an essential feature. Ensure it’s not too high or too low, obstacle-free, allowing for convenient getting in and getting up.
Living room
Bright and open living room

Age-Friendly House Renovation Is Not a Luxury, But a Necessity

Our senior population deserves a radical rethink in the way we design and build our homes. Acting with the future in mind, meeting our needs according to our lifestyle choices is a matter of wisdom. With some exceptions, aging in place is a highly functional concept that works, allowing a person to remain safe and well without the need for constant surveillance. An age-friendly house offers a high-quality life through golden years, a chance to keep everything under control and remain socially active for decades to come.

Read this article in Epochtimes