Kitchen Cabinet Design Tips For The Future: Remodelling For SeniorsH&H Cabinets
Are you ready to settle down and grow old in your home? Or are your senior parents going to move in with you in the future? When remodelling a kitchen with specific needs in mind, it’s important to make it safer and easier to use. Doing so can help create a kitchen for the future. Here are kitchen cabinet design tips to remodel a kitchen for seniors.
Why It’s Important to Remodel A Kitchen Now
It’s long been established that there is a link between design and quality of life, where one impacts the other. According to an HTC survey, over 29% of people agree that beautiful and functional designed objects lead to positive emotions. These include feeling content and calm.
Comfort within a space impacts happiness. So it’s now essential for designers to create comfortable living environments. Spaces should be functional and stylish, while also improving the quality of life. With people spending the most time in the kitchen, it’s an area that should be focused on the most.
There are now 3.7 million Australians over 65 years old. It is expected to increase to 9.6 million people by 2064 according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics).
Making updates to a kitchen now can help seniors to keep their independence. As well as continue to do everyday tasks unassisted. After all, it’s usually the centre of most homes. Yet everything becomes a challenge when it’s not easy to do things that were once taken for granted.
Luckily, there are a lot of things you can do to help seniors to customise their kitchen, and keep it accessible. Making even minor adjustments can end up making huge differences to allow independent living safe and easy.
Let’s take a look at the most important kitchen cabinet design tips for seniors.
The Importance of Ergonomics
Australians are more likely than ever to now choose to continue to live at home or move in with family. This lets them keep independence and live in a relaxed, comfortable and familiar environment.
According to a 2017 ABC report, up to 80% of Australians will one day need aged care, and 75% prefer to do so at home. With an ageing population, your home must be ready for the future and the requirements of seniors.
New houses are already starting to be designed with adaptable housing in mind. It allows for accessibility and aged care requirements. They are now able to accommodate able-bodied, disabled and aged homeowners.
But, for existing homes, unfortunately, this couldn’t be further from the case. Luckily, it’s possible to renovate a home now. As well as improve comfort and independence along with safety for the future.
One thing which generally declines with age is grip strength. This is needed for handles which need to be gripped and pulled or turned. In the kitchen, most conventional cupboard doors use these handles. This means that they are likely to become increasingly difficult to use over time. They are also one of the first things that seniors struggle with.
An alternative is to use sliding doors, which can work with a slight push or pull operating motion. They do not need much strength or grip force to open and close. There is also a large variety of handle options to select from.
Homeowners in wheelchairs, or who cannot reach large distances aren’t forgotten. A long and easy to reach bar handle can be attached to the sliding doors.
Another option is handleless folding door systems and draws. They can be fitted with magnetic mechanisms to provide the best access for users with accessibility problems. These types of drawers have a push-to-open mechanism which requires very little force.
Changing cupboard doors to senior-friendly options help reduce any chance of injury occurring. Most common injuries in the kitchen are from walking into regular handles on accident.
Functional Kitchen Design
While the population in Australia continues to grow and house prices continue to rise, new homes are shrinking. In 2019 the average size of a home is 186.3 square metres, which is the smallest size since 1996 according to CommSec.
Kitchens are getting smaller and more difficult to manoeuvre around. So it’s critical to utilise and save space as much as possible. Sliding doors are the perfect solution. They assist in creating a space which is functional, efficient and ergonomic.
There is no clearance area required for the door to swing. They also don’t take away your already limited floor space, when they are open or in use.
But maybe the biggest benefit is that when they are open, there is no safety risk for seniors or young children. They can’t walk into them or bump into them, which could cause a serious injury for someone vulnerable.
What about kitchen areas which have more space? Folding doors are another functional and contemporary option. They make a better solution than hinged doors. Folding doors give quick, easy and full access, and are quiet and simple to operate.
Design-wise, the concealed and integrated components provide a pleasing streamlined and clean aesthetic. The design also protects mechanisms from wear and damage over time. This leads to long-lasting doors, which provide excellent value for money.
Aesthetically Pleasing Design
It’s no secret that aesthetics also play an important part in the design. Which is why they are included in kitchen cabinet design tips. Not only should your kitchen be functional and safe while you age. You should also love the design and enjoy spending time there.
The future of kitchen cabinets is a contemporary and clean look. It also features minimal decoration and fittings. Kitchen design now relies on a minimal aesthetic which is elegant and subtle.
Sliding doors and handle-free drawers or cupboards have all these features. Their large front surface space provides a blank canvas for unlimited creativity. Folding and sliding doors are available in an almost unlimited range of finishes and materials. They include smooth, subtle surfaces to a matte laminate finish. There’s even the possibility of having mirrored doors.
Sliding doors can be customised to suit any kitchen space. They can also suit the specific accessibility requirements of the homeowner, now and in the future. With such a large range available, it means it is possible to design a cabinet to suit every aesthetic.
Here is a video from Hettich showcasing some of the options available for kitchens, helping to make life easier particularly when we are older.
H&H Cabinets creates a functional, aesthetically pleasing, and seniors approved kitchen of the future. We create an innovative design using modern equipment, and state of the art technology. For a free quote, get in touch today. Call (03) 9808 4200 or contact us online.