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Baby Boomers Address Aging Needs in Kitchen Remodels

Which areas of your home do you think about when you consider aging? For many people, a home’s entrance, stairs and bathrooms may come to mind. And, in fact, nearly 3 out of 5 (56 percent) baby boomers address aging-related needs as part of master bathroom remodels, according to Houzz data. 

Now, new Houzz research shows that nearly 2 in 5 (37 percent) baby boomers are addressing aging-related needs in the heart of the home — as part of their kitchen renovations. Read on to find out what changes they’re making.

More baby boomers who report addressing aging-related needs open their kitchens to adjacent rooms compared with those who report not addressing aging-related needs.

The 2019 U.S. Houzz Kitchen Trends Study gathered information from more than 1,300 Houzz users who had completed a kitchen remodel or addition project in the past 12 months, were working on one or were planning to start one in the next three months.

Renovating for Future Aging Needs

Baby boomers (defined as people ages 55 and up) represent more than half (52 percent) of renovating homeowners, Houzz data show, and a majority of them (69 percent) plan to stay in their homes 10 years or more. Twenty-eight percent of baby boomers addressing aging-related needs are tackling current needs. Ten percent are addressing future aging-related needs. 

Overall, a greater share of baby boomers who are addressing aging-related needs are making major kitchen changes compared with those who are not. And 44 percent of those making aging-related changes hire an architect or kitchen designer.

Some younger homeowners are also addressing aging as part of their kitchen remodels. Twenty-one percent of homeowners ages 25 to 54 are doing so.

More baby boomers who are addressing aging-related needs include robust lighting systems, such as in-cabinet lighting, in their kitchen remodels compared with those who are not addressing aging.

What Addressing Aging-Related Needs in the Kitchen Might Look Like

Compared with baby boomers not addressing aging needs, baby boomers who report addressing aging-related needs are more likely to:

  • Choose an open floor plan. An open floor plan can be easier to navigate than one with closed-off rooms, particularly for people who use wheelchairs or walkers.
  • Include robust lighting systems such as in-cabinet lighting. As people age they need more light to see well compared with when they were younger.
  • Upgrade wall ovens and cooktops. Choosing a wall oven can eliminate the need to bend over to reach into the oven, an activity that can lead to or aggravate back pain.
  • Choose touch-only or touch-free faucets. Turning a faucet knobwith hands that have arthritis can be challenging, and touch-only or touch-free faucets can eliminate this challenge.

The 2019 U.S. Houzz Kitchen Trends Study gathered information from 1,337 Houzz users who had completed a kitchen remodel or addition project in the past 12 months, were currently working on one or were planning to start one in the next three months. The study was fielded between Sept. 18 and Oct. 19, 2018.