A lot of people like the idea of retiring to a place like Naples, Florida. After all, what’s not to like? The weather is great. There are tons of things to do in the area. You can enjoy outdoor activities pretty much year round (as long as you’re smart about beating the summer heat).
Great weather alone, however, doesn’t guarantee comfort in your Naples-area home. If you’re planning to stay in your home for years to come, there are probably some changes you’ll want to make to your existing home to ensure that you’re comfortable, safe, and secure for the long run.
There’s a lot of talk these days about “aging-in-place.” But that whole concept is about a lot more than adding a few grab bars in the bathroom or eliminating stairs. It’s really about preparing your home now with features that will make your home more comfortable and safe as you mature. Some people are uncomfortable talking about the topic because they don’t want to turn their beautiful home into a place that looks like a retirement community. But if you look at the bathroom shown (one that we recently remodeled) what you’ll see instead is plenty of style and elegance.
That’s one good reason to have an experienced professional designer help you create a remodeled home that you’ll love looking at and living in. A good designer doesn’t just think in terms of “add-ons” to make your home more comfortable, convenient, and safe. Design starts with your needs and wishes and then comes up with a plan to make that happen.
With that in mind, let’s look at a number of changes you could make in two important rooms that will allow you to enjoy your home for years to come.
In the Kitchen
- Think about your sink. Installing a shallower sink can make it easier to use. You might also want to consider a hands-free faucet with a pullout sprayer. There are even motorized sinks that can be lowered or raised to improve access.
- Customize Your Cabinets. You can add pull down shelves to your upper cabinets to reduce reaching and make access easier. By installing pull out shelves to your lower cabinets you’ll make it easier to reach items at the back of the cabinets. On top of that, it really helps maximize cabinet space that otherwise could go unused.
- Install Handy Hardware. It may not see like a big deal, but installing “D” shaped handles and pull can make it a lot easier to open the doors to your cabinets. You’ll have plenty of stylish options from which to choose.
In the Bathroom:
- Give Yourself Some Space: It’s possible that you’ll never need to use a wheelchair or a walker, but if you plan enough space for those things you’ll never regret it. Having more space makes the room feel more comfortable. It’s a win-win situation.
- Create a Safe Shower. One of the advantages to a step-in shower like the one pictured above is that it can reduce tripping and falling. The fact is, that can be an issue regardless of age. But as you can see from the photo above, it also adds a look of elegance. Built in seating is a nice touch when combined with hand-held sprayers. You’ll want to include grab bars, but they don’t have to be industrial looking. Ask the members of your interior design team for some suggestions. And talk to them about slip-free flooring options that look great while providing safety.
- Don’t Forget the Door. Doors with lever handles (instead of door knobs) are easier to use—and they look stylish. You might even want to consider pocket doors that slide into the wall. In addition to looking nice, they also keep the door from interfering with your movement as you enter or exist. That can be a real plus if you ever need to use a cane or a wheel chair.