Kitchen & Bath Design News

MAY 2019

Kitchen & Bath Design News is the industry's leading business, design and product resource for the kitchen and bath trade.

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"People want to feel secure in their homes," states the kitchen/bath designer at Reico Kitchen & Bath, with locations in Virginia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland. "I am also finding that they want to stay in their homes longer. Even if they are downsizing, they want to live in a single-family home…and they are willing to invest to accom- plish that." Design and product selections that promote safety, as well as maneuverability, were brought to the forefront in one recent kitchen where the homeowner had knee surgery part way through the renovation. "She ended up with mobility issues, so we had to change a few things from the original plan to accommodate her," she notes. For one, they had to ensure she could freely move through the space. "If someone is in a wheelchair or needs a walker, we need to make sure they have enough room to maneuver," she explains. "Clearances in thoroughfares, such as between cabinets and islands and between cabinets and walls, should be at least 42"." The designer also added a microwave drawer beneath her wall oven. "More often, we are moving the microwave from above a range," she says, noting a preference for drawers. "It's dangerous, for anyone, to be pulling down hot food in exactly what she wanted…and it was her old bathroom," she says. "She loved it so much that she replicated it. Through a lifetime of experiences, she knew what she wanted." While there may be some predictability, Mitchell indicates that clients in this age group still take her by surprise. "We have a widowed client who is building a new home that's go- ing to be an all-girls' house," she says. "She picked the frilliest backsplash she could possibly find. And if it's hot pink, she's including it. She's doing what she has always wanted to do and she's having a lot of fun. "It's hard to pigeon-hole any age group," Mitchell contin- ues. "There are people who are retired and in their 60s and almost 70s who love super clean, super contemporary design, which might not be your first thought. Maybe they've always had a traditional home and made due with it, but when they have a chance to do their dream kitchen, they're going full- bore with contemporary." THE 70s-PLUS Safety in the home is a major influence for mature clients, says Nancy Knickerbocker, CAPS, who has recently finished several kitchen and bath projects for older clients, including those in their 70s, and even 80s. Part way through the design of this kitchen, Nancy Knickerbocker's client had knee surgery that left her with some mobility issues. To ensure maneuverability and promote safety for this 70-something client, the designer made sure there was plenty of space between the island and perimeter cabinets. Knickerbocker also added a microwave drawer beneath the wall oven, which she says is safer than the more traditional location above a range. Pullouts and drawers also provide easy access to cabinet contents. Photos: Reico Kitchen & Bath/Felicia Evans Photography 46 Kitchen & Bath Design News • May 2019 GENERATIONAL DESIGN

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