Your kids are grown up and on their own, and now's the time to get that dream kitchen you've always wanted. Where do you start? And what should you give precedence to? Here are three important things for seniors to consider when planning their kitchen remodeling.
1. Are you going to stay in your home?
Are you planning to move to a smaller place in a few years, maybe in an adult community or assisted living facility? Or are you going to stay in your home?
If you're thinking of moving, then you want to place the most emphasis on what the value of your home will be, and that means using popular styles and colors that will appeal to prospective buyers. Muted earth tones generally add sales appeal.
But if you're planning to stay, then you should consider nothing but your own tastes. Do you like turquoise for a countertop color? Do you want to mix door styles for an eclectic look? Go for it!
2. How are you really going to use your kitchen?
Is the kitchen a place where frozen food is heated and meals are selected for ease of preparation and convenience? Then you want an emphasis on easy clean materials.
Are you a budding Iron Chef, ready to try serious gastronomy? Then you want lots of counter space, with spaces to set a hot pan or pot down. You want specialized cooking areas, with perhaps a commercial look stove. You may want a baking area, with special pot and pan racks built in to the cabinets. You may want a pull out cutting board in one of your drawers.
Are both you and your mate going to cook? Then you will want a kitchen designed so that you both can use the appliances and sink without trampling each other.
Are you going to entertain guests frequently? Then you may want an area with stools and a counter that can be eaten on?
3. Can you use your entire kitchen now?
Are there corners of cabinets that you can't reach now without difficulty? Aging can bring with it a lessening of mobility. You may want to look at more pullouts, swing outs and lazy susans to make the storage more usable and items in your cabinets easier to reach.
Do you have trouble with the knobs on your faucet? Round knobs can be a problem for people with arthritis. Look at getting a bladed handle to turn water on and off.
Do you have trouble bending and stretching? Look at getting a drawer-type dishwasher, or raising the dishwasher off the floor in an oven cabinet.
Do you need more lighting in the kitchen? Consider in-cabinet and under-cabinet work lights to help you see.
Knowing the answers to these questions will help you get ready to meet with a kitchen professional who will help you create the room you want that will make you happy.