With right design planning, you could very well retire in your starter home (or any other subsequent places that you move to).
As your family grows or your lifestyle needs change, you might see your place in a different light: It’s no longer your “forever home”. And so, you move. You look into a place that you can revamp to suit your new requirements.
But, what you need isn’t a flat with an ever-expanding square footage. Or to start from scratch, really. Rather, it’s the design that counts. It should be versatile enough to cater to your household needs across a long time.
First home or not, there are a multitude of ways you can tweak your space to improve its adaptability. Here are some tips to help you age in place.
1. Remove raised edging to prevent mishaps
You’ll always want to keep a level floor. Without curbs and additional steps, there’s less chances of you tripping and taking a tumble. An open-concept space like this works well. Not only does it keep the walkways well-lit, it’s more convenient for you too! If you need to demarcate the spaces, you can always change up the tiles.
2. Use less slippery tiles in wet areas
Wet areas like your bathrooms and kitchen are hazardous zones for the young and old. We’d recommend replacing the flooring with less slippery or anti-slip alternatives to prevent accidents from happening. Matte or outdoor tiles like the one below are great options! You can take it a step further by building in a shower area or separating your kitchen into two distinct zones (wet and dry).
3. Keep carpentry work to a minimum
It’s nice to have a lot of storage space. But built-ins are bulky and might be harder to navigate around in the later years of your life. Include them only when necessary, and use loose furnishings where possible. It’s much easier to shift them out of the way, and much less back-breaking on you.
4. Stick to a white palette for easy updates in future
Here’s the case for white walls: They’re easy to dress up. It might look simple, but they make for great canvases. You can either personalise them with photos or coat them with another colour when you’re tired of the look. Plus, it really helps to brighten up the interiors – an added bonus if your vision isn’t 20/20 at that point of time.
5. Opt for a bedframe
While beds without frames may be trendy, it’s not great for people with mobile disability issues and bad backs. In terms of practicality, a bedframe with some height to it works best because you can climb in and out without hurting yourself.
6. Maximise your spaces with the right finishes
With the right kind of finishes, you’d also be able to get more out of your space. After all, convenience matters. Take cues from this kitchen. The island has been clad with laminates that’s scratch-, warp-, heat- and fingerprint-resistant to make clean-up easier. Plus, it’s been outfitted with sockets, and a modem – effectively doubling as a work area.
Need child-friendly options? There are colourable/washable alternatives too.
7. Smart home fittings to make your home more efficient
But the best way to make your home more efficient? Smart home fittings. And this Alkaff Crescent abode is tricked out with them. The curtains and lighting themselves can be controlled and adjusted remotely. Because of this automation, it’s much less labour-intensive – a great set-up to have when you move in, and in preparation of the later years of your life.
8. Have ample natural light
As you age, you’ll need more light in order to get a clear view of your surroundings. That means that natural lighting is always a nice-to-have. Play it up by keeping to a (largely) neutral palette with warm wood tones and whites. You can even include pops of colour in pastel or cheery yellow to keep things visually interesting.
Looking to future-proof your own abode?
Simply tell us your renovation requirements and we can get you personalised renovation quotes from five local interior design firms for free!
Also, when you engage an interior firm through our free recommendation service, you’ll enjoy attractive perks, such as the Qanvast Guarantee – a free initiative that safeguards up to $50,000 of your renovation deposits.