Ottawa Custom Home – Family Home to Empty Nester Paradise Part 4

This article has been updated. Please see Family Home to Empty Nester Retreat – Renovating for the Empty-Nester Lifestyle.



It’s time for Empty Nester renovations… week #4. Your children have finally left the nest and you are considering your options. You’ve been considering a move to a new home in the Ottawa area that is more suitable for your Empty Nester lifestyle, but you love your neighbourhood. Your neighbours have become good friends and you enjoy the familiarity of local businesses and amenities; so you don’t want to leave and start all over again in a new community. Well, you don’t have to move! Renovate instead!

During the month of May we’ve been exploring several ways that you can turn your family home into a space more suitable for Empty Nesters, a custom-designed home that will make life easier now as you move into a new stage of life and for many years to come as you age gracefully in the place you call HOME.

This week we take a look at kitchens and bathrooms, the most important and functional rooms in any home.

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A kitchen renovation is probably long past due. We know you’ve been eyeing those new cabinets for years. Make a new kitchen your Empty Nester gift to yourselves. This is a great opportunity to take advantage of all of the latest kitchen design innovations of the last decade or two. There are so many new clever roll-out cabinet shelving and drawer organizers that can be customized to your needs. One of those small details that can make a big difference––handles are a better choice than knobs for ease of opening cupboards.

Custom design various counter heights that suit you and your spouse––they don’t all have to be the same anymore! For example, include a section of counter which extends out to allow a chair (or wheelchair) to pull up and slide underneath, providing a comfortable place to sit and work. The counter top materials available today can be completely maintenance-free with the look and feel of natural stone, but none of the disadvantages.

When you’re on your feet preparing a meal or cleaning up, you’ll enjoy a softer floor covering such as wood, vinyl or laminate instead of ceramic tile or stone. Throughout the kitchen choose materials that are easy to clean and suitable for the inevitable spills.

These considerations are just the start. With an experienced architectural designer providing advice and expertise every step of the way, we can help make cooking and cleaning a little easier for everyone!
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You may choose to renovate an existing bathroom or two or you may want to add a new one on the main level. You’ll definitely want to do this if you’ve decided to relocate your master suite to the main level, but even if you are not planning to do that, carefully consider the option of a full bathroom available to you on the main level.

Here are just a few of the many considerations for great bathroom design for Empty Nesters:

1. Include grab bars in a shower or tub or simply plan for them by adding the blocking in the wall framing when you renovate the bathroom. It’s much more cost-effective to include these details now than have to rebuild for them later.
2. Choose a vanity with an open area below the counter to accommodate a chair or wheel chair
3. Design the shower with a bench and add hand-held shower heads that can reach the seating area.
4. Design the layout to allow space to manoeuvre a wheel chair or walker.
5. Non-slip surfaces everywhere!

Especially in the kitchen and bathrooms, it’s critical to get the details right when designing for an efficient, functional and beautiful home renovation. You don’t have to navigate the complexities on your own. Jim Bell has the expertise and 30 + years of architectural design experience to design a spectacular home to serve you now and well into the future. Take a look at what he has created for his clients, and contact him for a no-obligation consultation.


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