Kitchen & Bath Design News

JUN 2018

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

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Design that supports aging is becoming increasingly mainstream, focusing on convenience, accessibility, flexibility and, of course, beauty. BY JANICE COSTA Intelligent Design urrently the largest adult generation, baby boomers transformed the country when they first came of age, redefining everything from cultural norms to trends to technology. By their sheer volume as much as their passionate beliefs, baby boomers changed the face of a nation. So it's no surprise that the aging of this massive gen- eration born between 1946 and 1964 will have significant implications for the entire country. It's already happening in the design world. As the generation that vowed to stay "forever young" strug- gles with the realities of aging, kitchen and bath professionals are challenged to create design solutions flexible enough to support an aging population. And, at the same time, they must find a way to do so while taking into consideration boomers' wholesale rejection of the very concept of age as anything more than an arbitrary number (see related Editorial, Page 7). These seemingly conflicting demands are helping to re- invent design for aging. As a result, what was once a small niche area has been blown into a full-scale movement de- manding intelligent design that doesn't single out seniors, but rather encompasses them – and many others – to create smart spaces that maximize comfort, accessibility and beauty. C Whether it's called universal design, design for aging (or living) in place, accessible design or simply intelligent design, the goal is not just to solve problems in a beautiful way, but to prevent some of the hazards and inconveniences associated with aging through the power of good design. This month, Kitchen & Bath Design News speaks with a quartet of kitchen designers who have specialized expertise in designing for an aging consumer base, having earned Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS) and/or Certified Living in Place Professional (CLIPP) designations (see related Resources sidebar, Page 56). DESIGN THAT WORKS Regardless of the target audience, good design is design that, above all, works well. And that's not age-specific. So says Molly McCabe, AKBD, CGP, CAPS, CLIPP, of the Bainbridge Island, WA-based A Kitchen That Works LLC who notes, "I incorpo- rate universal design into every project I do. I don't care what the age of the client is because it's not about aging. There are 40 year olds who have strokes. There are young people who drink and drive and end up in unfortunate circumstances. And the way housing prices are, and with assisted care facilities Photo: A Kitchen That Works LLC 52 Kitchen & Bath Design News • June 2018

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