Thursday, July 26, 2012

Brainstorm with me . . .

We're working on building our house, but even as the footprint of the house is being created on the ground, we're still developing certain aspects of the design.

One major concern we have for the house design is that we create a home that will be easy on us as Allen and I age. We're both 50 now, and we're starting to see the signs that our bodies are weakening. We can't read the small print on the medicine bottles anymore, and we groan more when pulling items out of the lower kitchen cupboards.

Several things are obvious. The bedrooms are on the same level with the living areas. I've also designed the kitchen to have storage cupboards with shallow shelves from about my knee height to my head height, to avoid lots of stooping and reaching. Actually, there will also be cupboards and shelves in those more remote high and low areas, but I can keep the most often used items in the easy-to-reach places.

I thought I'd mention this here, and see if some of you might have additional thoughts on ways that we could make the house work for us as we age. Since it's another 8 years or so until Ben finishes high school, and since we expect to probably have some Honduran grandchildren from some of our other children by that time, we figure Honduras is where we'll live and work for a good long time - Lord willing!

6 comments:

Jennifer said...

Have you thought about wider interior doors, and the ability to add handrails in the bath?

Anonymous said...

Walk in showers, without a ledge to step over, with a built in bench.

Jane Mc

Missus Wookie said...

no threshholds or internal steps, add handrails and supports now - they are useful and as Jane Mc said insure there is space for a seat in the shower area, make it an area/wet room rather than a stall so someone can help with washing. Can be folding ones rather than a bench.

Wider doors to ensure you can get through with a walker or stick.

easy opening doors/windows.

All age house design is something that is becoming more common.

http://www.thehousedesigners.com/articles/homes-designed-for-all-ages.asp was an interesting link from a simple 'all age house design' search.

Denise said...

I hear ya, about that bending down to root around in low cupboards getting to be a painful chore! A friend of mine has under the counter kitchen cabinets where the shelves slide out like drawers. I LOVE that! So easy to both put away and retrieve the items you want. The premade sliding shelves are kind of expensive, but with the right parts they could be custom made much cheaper.

Pam Llewellyn said...

I saw a really cool idea that maybe Allen could incorporate in your kitchen -- he's handy enough!! In this design I saw, under the kitchen cabinets, instead of having a kick-board, they built pull-out drawers that functioned as step-stools so you could reach up higher. Actually at least one drawer had a spring-loaded (I guess) gadget in the drawer so it could pop up to be two steps high, allowing you to reach into those higher cabinets. I thought it was pretty cool!

Given our family history of back problems, you might want to look into at least one toilet in the house being one of the higher types, or built onto a small platform. Makes the getting up and down part a bit easier!! (TMI, probably!)

Anonymous said...

Hi Trish, this is stef from the HT forum.

For years now I've put my pots in that awkward cabinet over the stove. I love it. It really isn't good for food storage because of the higher temp from the stove. But it works great for medium pots and lids and pie pans.
This might not work for you, but anything to avoid bending down to grab a pot.