When you’re a senior, home decor can be as stylish as it is practical. Here are some ways to strike that important balance in a new home, or in your current one.
Are you a recently retired homeowner or preparing to have an older parent move in with you? Luckily, we live in an age when making your home safer and friendlier for senior citizens is easier, and with more option than ever before. You can make things a lot easier still for yourself or for your parents while adding new style elements and updating others.
Exchange doorknobs with levers
Levers are much easier to operate for everyone. So why not replace your doorknobs? While you might not initially think levers look good inside a house, consider that you can take this opportunity to make sure all your door handles match and get rid of any old ones which stick or have been painted over. You don’t have to play it safe with traditional designs, either. Go for something with more flair to it, like Victorian-style door fixtures.
Add lots of lighting
To help with seeing things around the house, add more lighting to existing spaces. This is especially helpful in the kitchen and bathroom which can already be more hazardous for tripping or bumping into things. Adding more lighting is a fun way to spruce up home decor because many options exist. You may want to install new fixtures with more individual lights, or add funky lamps to dark corners.
Fix up your floors
Making the floors friendlier for seniors is a twofold process. First, you want to be sure that no cords or rugs exist that might present tripping hazards. Get rid of area rugs and keep all cords hidden. Hardwood and tile are also harder on aging hips and knees so it’s a good idea to add carpeting in rooms that don’t have it. Wool carpeting is more flame retardant and feels more luxurious than many other types of carpet, and comes in a wide variety of textures and colors to fit your existing interior design.
Other options that is rising in popularity are cork floors, which have natural cushioning due to their cellular structure, and resilent rubber floors which are now offered in a variety of patterns that include those that look like wood and with tile. Both of these will help to manage the effects of high impact surfaces on the aged.
Update your paint
If you have any extreme patterns or dark colors on your walls, consider removing them for something a little more soothing. Painting walls lighter colors will improve overall visibility in the room, and soft blues and greens are a tranquil option. However, when accessorizing, don’t match your furniture to the paint because color contrast helps older eyes differentiate between objects.
Make storage more accessible
You can have a lot of fun adding cute baskets, hooks, and other organizational containers as you make commonly used items in the house more accessible. Whether it be moving things down from a high shelf in the kitchen or adding a new dresser in the bedroom, use this opportunity to update and stylize your home’s organization.
These are just a few examples of how you can change your home to accommodate seniors. Also consider the best kinds of furniture to buy, how to deal with stairs, and shower and bathtub safety. Be prepared to adapt and redesign as your needs become more apparent, and never forget that these are chances for you to alter or replace aspects of your home that you aren’t fond of.