Ageless Kitchens and Your Kitchen Remodel

The title of this article has two meanings–both important and relevant to all who use the kitchen.

First, for all homeowners, nothing is more rewarding than living day-to-day in a kitchen that feels “timeless” in style and aesthetic. Imagine a kitchen, maybe the one you have now, that you enjoy today — if it had been designed with this goal in mind. Fast forward 10 to 15 years and imagine that you have that same feeling and appreciation for your kitchen. This would put your kitchen into the category of “ageless”.

The second meaning relates to the actual ages of family members and friends who use the kitchen. “Ageless kitchens” are enjoyable to be in and work in, regardless of one’s age or physical abilities and limitations. Wouldn’t it give you peace of mind to know that, if you wish to stay in your home for years to come, you will be able to work in and enjoy your kitchen without limitation?

Achieving these two objectives is best accomplished by enlisting the expertise of a professional kitchen designer as early as possible in your kitchen design or remodeling venture.

Here is what I advise clients who want to have a classic, ageless kitchen that will withstand the test of time:

  1. Keep it simple—the less elaborate the details, the more likely years from now no one will think the kitchen is “dated”. Less is more.
  2. Stick with a neutral color palette. Yes, some might think that this might be boring — but you can always punch up the color interest by accessorizing using your favorite colors. As an added bonus, the neutral color palette will make accent colors “pop” even more.
  3. Invest in decent appliances and ensure the space allotted for them will support future replacement down the road.
  4. Invest in all plywood construction built cabinetry whose finish is top-notch by industry standards.

Kitchens that can be used by all, regardless of their physical ability or disability, are designed according to established Universal Design principles. Considering that, by the year 2020, over 20% of the world’s population will be over the age of 65, it is wise to pay attention to Universal Design Principles when designing or remodeling kitchens.

Important Universal Design Principles for Kitchens

  1. Work aisles in the kitchen should be 42” (for one cook) to 48” (for two cooks)
  2. With perpendicular walkways, one should be a minimum of 42” wide.
  3. Allow for knee space somewhere in the kitchen at a work center (sink or cooktop)
  4. Incorporate easy-to-access below counter storage for heavily used items.

Additional Resources

For more information on Universal Design in the kitchen and throughout the home, read: What is Universal Design?.

Sandra Brannock, Owner, Expert Kitchen Designs
Sandra Brannock, Owner, Expert Kitchen Designs, Virginia
Sandra Brannock designs beautiful, timeless, functional kitchens that reflect your personal style, within your budget. She helps discerning homeowners throughout Northern and Central Virginia, Maryland and Washington DC get the kitchen of their dreams and select the perfect cabinetry, fixtures, flooring, lighting, and appliances to make their dream kitchen a reality.

Call Sandra today at (703) 801-6402 to schedule a kitchen remodeling consultation. Sandra will help you get the most value out of your kitchen remodeling budget and ensure that all the details of your kitchen renovation proceed smoothly, on time and within budget.