5 Age-Friendly Design Tips to Future Proof Your Next Home Renovation
There are major considerations that need to be accounted for whenever you do home renovations but perhaps one of the overlooked details is its convenience and safety for people across the age spectrum. Generally speaking, a home should be age-adaptive, mobility-friendly, and future-proof; this makes sure that all needs of each family member are accounted for especially by those who need or will need extra support in the years to come while still looking elegant and high-end. Designing a sanctuary that truly lasts needs to be inclusive for everyone and can adjust for people who would need to live comfortably in their later years. In essence, an inclusive home design is a design that speaks of safety, support, and overall well-being. In this blog post, we outline five age-friendly design tips you should consider in your next home renovation.
1. Be strategic when using contrasting colours to aid safe movement across spaces.
People who experience vision impairment will need extra help in navigating the space. Similar to the experience as we age, our vision and perception of depth also change. Prescription glasses may work for those who may use them but in some cases, setting your home to have contrasting colors in high-movement areas is a must and should also be present in your home furniture! For example, inside the bathroom, you may opt for a color of a tile that contrasts well with your toilet and sink. This helps in distinguishing depth to anyone using the bathroom.
The same idea applies in indicating a drop in height on the stairs through the use of contrasting colored tiles or tile finishes. Be selective when to use contrasting colours. When people have vision impairment, they may think that a flat area with a strip of color is a step. Additionally, floors should not have massive contrasting colour changes because of the variations that come with the perception of depth and can become a trip hazard. Guide lights at staircases and steps can also aid in easier navigation at night.
In terms of furniture, having a contrasting color lining at the edge of the chair may aid in guiding these individuals to be safely seated. Another tip that you can implement as well is to have a contrasting color for your tiles against the color of your chair or any other furniture. This aids in the color perception of individuals and makes it easier for them to settle in nicely on their seats. A special note that comes with age is that some people by that time may face difficulties in identifying colours. Some people lose the ability to see green and red, so designs can avoid these colours in particular as the main colours in a colour palette.
2. Keep rooms naturally well-lit and aided by lamps and ceiling lights as needed.
Future-proofing your home means letting light in and adding light wherever it is needed. Adequate lighting is a must no matter the age but highly recommended especially if you need help in navigating spaces. Let natural light in through your windows during daytime and support corridors and rooms with enough lighting that gives a sense of security in walking across rooms and spaces with night lights at night time. This also makes everything easier to see and identify, preventing handling and consumption accidents from happening.
Knowing where to put artificial lighting fixtures helps people inside the sanctuary find their way and gives them a better understanding of the built environment around them. However, make sure to look over for glare especially from strong sunlight. Make sure there are no pieces of glass or any reflective material that may strongly reflect against people’s eyes as these may negatively affect their eyesight.
Adding lighting fixtures in reading areas and even in workspaces should also be prioritised. Care to adjust lighting during meals that help with ambiance and mood? Have an adjustable light that works well in accordance with the comfort you and your family want during your meals, addressing your needs in making eating more enjoyable and making food more pleasing to eat. An additional tip that is often overlooked is to have lighting as well in your wardrobe. This may be assisted with an automatic function that makes the light turn on as you open your wardrobe. The night light is also very important that may easily ease the walkways without completely disturbing the sleep cycle. On the other hand, keep your entrance doors well-lit—this will save you time in finding the keys for your door.
What lighting does in the whole experience of your built environment is this: light helps the spatial perception of people living in the built environment extend its help more than the basic function of providing light but addressing the needs of the individual based on their lifestyle and behavior inside their space.
3. Have ease of access through lever handles and easy to reach fittings.
In terms of ease of access inside a sanctuary, it is highly suggested to use lever handles over traditional turning door knobs. Lever-type handles are much easier to use and require less effort in opening and closing a door, better assisting everyone in the home. There is an option to go for a closed-end or for a D-shaped lever type handle but either of the two works best for people across ages who would need maximum comfort in their luxury home.
Lever handles come in handy as well aside from benefiting us in entering one room to another through doors but also help us in our bathrooms and kitchens. It’s a lot easier to control and keeps you from accidentally turning the wrong knob in the faucet with its universal design. For people who have their hands full, they can use their elbows to turn the lever handle, instead. Little kids with small hands also find this easier to control. For some who have health conditions like arthritis, it makes it easier to manage the flow of water through these handles with limited dexterity.
Aside from the ease of access through lever-type handles, electric sockets should also be easily accessible through areas that explicitly show where they are while safely distanced from water sources or areas of potential liquid spillage. These ensure that electrical sockets can be used safely and that the surrounding perimeter is not accident-prone. Place cushioned seats close to these areas to aid in comfortably seating people who would want to use their smart devices. It is also recommended to have them at a low height that does not promote tripping due to dangling wires. These small details when addressed properly make a whole lot of difference in accessibility inside your sanctuary.
4. A healthier lifestyle through beautifying stairs and maximizing space for movement and exercise.
Encourage movement whenever possible inside your home through beautifying stairs while promoting safety through handrails and dedicating spaces for exercise. In beautifying your stairs, be wary of colours on your tile work that may affect changes in perception without sacrificing the inviting and encouraging feeling of using the stairs more often. It is also suggested to look into using non-slip applique in the right spaces where there is a high risk of slipping accidents.
Handrails are another detail that deserves to be highlighted. Making use of ergonomic handrails—hand fits nicely around it, helps the hands and fingers grip tight and safe, and are non-sip—make the experience of going up and down all the better. Also, strategically placing towel bars can function dually as grab bars in bathrooms.
Another way to increase movement is maximizing space in your home dedicated solely or can be used as an area for exercise. In promoting a healthy lifestyle, bodyweight exercises can be done in smaller spaces while routines that involve high movement may be done in wider spaces where your arms and legs can extend freely and safely.
5. Breathe nature inside your home while building stronger connections.
The frequency of going out and experiencing nature varies from one individual to another but the best way in experiencing the best of both places is bringing nature indoors in the form of potted plants and mimicking life with nature. These brighten indoor spaces instantly in your sanctuary and helps in making the ambiance more relaxing and attuned with the outdoors.
More than bringing the outdoors in, connect deeper with your loved ones by setting up seating furniture in a way that makes people face each other as they talk and not be in isolation as they speak. This aids in making conversations among families and friends more involved and collected. Imagine enjoying a conversation with your loved ones as they grow in these spaces that can withstand the test of time. On the sidelines, with the amount of natural daylight in each room, witness as your plants thrive through time with love and care by your hands. Make each day a better day to wake up to and look forward to things that make your quality of life all the better.
Making an all-inclusive luxurious home may seem challenging but it shouldn’t be when you take into consideration these design tips and encourage empathy and collaboration with your loved ones.
Involving the family in the conversation and addressing what they need in their sanctuary is a small but impactful gesture that not only speaks of safety, support, and overall well-being—it also speaks of care and love. With Liquid Interiors, we offer whole home renovations and styling for luxury homes that would need help in future-proofing their sanctuary. Let us know how we can channel these important design considerations in your home while staying true to our core of ethical sourcing and sustainability.