Jan with love flowers from Glen

Part 2/4: Age in Place – Kitchen Cabinets

Part 2 /4: Age in Place – KITCHEN Cabinets 

By Jan Addams (Designer, Author, Trainer) 

Have you wondered why a Kitchen Renovation costs so much?  Do you get confused when trying to select Kitchen Cabinets with all the styles, colours and quality?

If you have been following me, you know that my husband and I have ‘right-sized‘ our home and are attempting to make it an ‘Age in Place‘ home but with a ‘Resort Style‘ feel.  After purchasing our ‘New to Us’ home and fixing several items that needed to be brought up to our needs, our attention turned to the room we both originally wanted to change – our KITCHEN.

 

It was time to put on my ‘design hat’ and begin the ‘compromise’ process once again. I often tell my clients that I am really just a marriage counsellor with a design sense!  So began my own self-applied marriage/design counselling.  My hubby and I had some very different views on what our new kitchen should look like. I should have brought in an outside mediator – oh wait – wasn’t that what all our friends and family were trying to be?  It was amazing how many ‘great ideas’ were thrown around 😉 

 

Wait a second... who’s the ‘expert’ here?  I felt like a little girl with her hand up and being totally ignored.  Nobody asked for my opinion.  It was like I didn’t have a clue what I was doing; that 100’s of clients never paid me for my ideas, floor plans, colour and design options and that I had never done a renovation before!  My ideas were being usurped at every turn.  What was going on?  I was beginning to feel inept!   I reverted back to where I know my strength is – Visual Concept Design.

My hubby liked a Transitional looking, medium to dark stained wood kitchen with an open concept design where the kitchen, dining and living areas were wide open. He wanted a sink in his breakfast bar island with enough work and sitting space to hold court (he is the chief cook of the family). 

This was fine but, this meant a full-on renovation that included removing the wall separating the dining room from the kitchen.  No problem, except… we had a lot of plumbing, heating and electrical in that wall; in-floor radiant heating and to top it off the previous owners put all the existing cabinets in place including the island and then tiled the floor!! An absolute no, no!

We live in a ‘reverse’ plan, meaning that the living area is upstairs not on the main floor. I thought out, created, designed and printed off dozens of floorplans.   I showed my concepts to hubby and friends both on my computer and in print form of the different options instead of trying to describe what I meant.    Apparently, I speak in ‘pictures’ and people have a hard time understanding what I am talking about.  The problem is that I always see the whole space in my mind up in full colour with all options chosen including its functionality or potential challenges. I don’t know where to start to describe what I see so it is like ‘the blind man and the elephant’ story, everyone was correct in their description of the part of the elephant they were touching they just couldn’t see the ‘whole elephant’ like I could.   

So… the type of kitchen I prefer is a more contained space (like the photo below) which is what we currently had. 

This is where I can close the door, feed my furry family and sit down to enjoy a cup of java on a delightful, cushioned nook bench that overlooked our outdoor living space and the beautiful morning sky beyond.  Early morning is my quiet time to greet the day with gratitude, reflect and plan out tasks ahead.  I always pictured sitting in a bright, distressed off-white French Country style kitchen with black accents, granite counters and brick backsplash that gave me a feeling of cosy, homey comfort.  As you can see this was very different my husband’s idea of a perfect kitchen.

Here’s what I learned about kitchen design and cabinetry over the last 35 years:

DETAILS YOU NEED TO KNOW about KITCHEN CABINETS:

  • Floor space width, length and height
  • Windows & door sizes and their locations
  • Appliances /plumbing fixtures must be found and purchased first for sizing and electrical requirements.
  • Granite or Composite counters decided next for style and colour direction
  • Flooring material, style and colour is next
  • Lighting – both room and cabinet lighting – needs to be determined
  • Cabinet material (wood, melamine, MDF); style and colour

COMMON SIZES:

  • Kitchen base cabinets are 24”deep x 36” high with counter
  • Distance between counter and uppers is 18 – 20”
  • Standard Upper cabinets are either 15,21 or 24”H (above fridge) and should be at least 24” D
  • Standard Upper cabinet widths start at 9” up to 39” wide in 3” increments and are 12”- 15” D
  • Standard Base cabinets start at 9”, 12, 15, 18, 21, 24, 30, 36” to maximum of 48” wide 
  • Standard  Drawer cabinets start at 12, 15, 18, 21, 24, 30, 36”
  • Toe Kicks are 4” – 4 ½  high and 3” deep
  • Table height is 30”high with 18”high chairs, stools or benches
  • Counter height bars are 36”high and need 24” high stools
  • Bar height counters are 42”high and need 30” high stools

COUNTERTOPS:

  • Granite or composite counters are 2cm =¾” built to 1 ½” with plywood and 3cm = 1 1/4” thick
  • Laminate counters = ¾” thick and come with the nosing built up to 1 ½” thick with plywood
  • Countertop overhangs should never be less than ¾” and more typically is 1 – 1 ½”
  • Islands that use granite should be built to the size of the granite and a portion raised or lowered if it is larger so that you don’t see the seam.
  • The backsplash type, style and colour is used to tie in all other elements 

ELECTRICAL:

  • Electrical outlets are usually placed at 42” high (6 inches above counter on the wall, in base a base cabinet, or in a drawer – technology plugs)
  • Light valances are attached only if there is a clearance of 18” between cabinet and counter to meet electrical code
  • Ground fault outlets should be used everywhere in the kitchen

The KEYS I  use to pick COLOURS:

  1. Wall and trim paint are the last elements chosen.
    • If your cabinets are white or off-white, colour match your trim to them
    • If cabinets are a paint grade colour, colour match your trim to your outlets/switches or if plumbing fixtures if white or off-white
    • If trim is stained wood, the colour should coordinate with the cabinets and flooring
    • Wall and accent paint should tie in the counter, backsplash and cabinets to create a harmonious space.

I thought that was a fair amount to know.  Here’s what I learned – ‘the Devil’ is in ‘the Details’ when it comes to Kitchen Cabinets:

  • All appliance specifications along with any adjusted electrical requirements.  IE a counter depth fridge is 25”deep only if the outlet is recessed. 
  • Appliances need to be on separate circuits ie Fridge, Dishwasher, Microwave, Range and ovens.
  • If a cabinet has glass doors the interior must be finished in the same material as the doors or a custom interior colour and the cost can double.
  • Glass ready doors cost the same as regular doors unless they have wood or metal details.
  • Finished sides are laminate, painted or stained wood and they are required wherever an edge is exposed ie: dishwasher panels, the base side of the sink cabinet next to dishwasher; sides of base cabinets next to a slide in range; wall panels next to refrigerators etc.
  • The bottoms of uppers, if they are seen from an eating bar and don’t have a light valance, should be finished the same as the cabinet.
  • The edges of fillers are also important depending if they protrude past cabinets ie: extended base sink front or upper microwave extended cabinet and over the fridge cabinets
  • Upgrading to plywood cabinets can cost 15 -20% more than melamine.
  • There are different grades of melamine and the commercial grade is much stronger and more stable than plywood which can warp over time.
  • Toe kicks can be recessed or a furniture style kick is topically applied (extra cost)

Type of wood used in the cabinets increase the cost:

  • Oak & Pine are typically standard
  • Hickory, Rustic Alder and Maple 5 – 9% upcharge
  • Cherry and Rustic Cherry 14% – 20% upcharge
  • Red Birch 20%
  • Black Walnut, Caramelized Bamboo, custom wood 60, 65 to 75% upcharge
  • Style of door adds to the cost: 
    • Flat Panel – lowest cost
    • Shaker style – standard
    • Raised panel – medium (mitred corners are higher in cost but are less strong than mortise and tenon corners)
    • Raised panel with applied moulding and/or beaded inset – highest}
  • Specialty paint and finishes cost anywhere from 15 – 50% or more
    • Chalked cabinets and glazed are the same – a brown, grey or black is placed in the edges to highlight
    • Antiqued is a glaze that changes the colour add character
    • Distressed cabinets have been glazed that can combine hand rubs on the corners, worn edges with added knife splits and dents.
  • Style of cabinet
    • Frameless
    • Face frame ½” to 1 ¼” Overlay (traditional cabinetry that is the strongest built cabinets)
    • Face frame Beaded
    • Flush Inset with bead or applied mouldings (often seen in heritage homes and is the highest in cost)
  • Appliance garages have many opening styles > hardware is a key factor
    • Tambour door
    • Two door
    • Lift up hinges so door opens upwards
    • Hideaway doors
  • Lighting – room, task and ambient
    • Recessed lighting, pendants, puck, linear, or strip lighting that is dimmable and can be used under upper cabinets but need designated circuits and/or electrical outlets to house the transformers

  • Hardware – costly but worth it!
    • Full extension brackets under mounted on drawers don’t encroach on interior space
    • Soft close on drawers is a hardware piece attached
    • Soft close on doors is a piece added to the hinge (note: you can’t have soft close doors with touch latch as they won’t close properly)
  • Decorative details really finish a kitchen design:
    • Furniture baseboard and custom kicks
    • Corbels
    • Brackets to hold up counters
    • Crown and light valance mouldings
    • Cabinet edge trim work
    • Island door panels or beadboard
    • Hardware – knobs and handles

Hopefully, you found all this information useful.
If you are curious about how it all turned out click on the PHOTO

Kitchen before & completed. Designed by Jan Addams

 

If you have any questions or comments – please comment below or on my Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/ImageToInteriorJanAddams/

 

Simply Me by Design, 
Jan Addams 
(Designer, Author, Trainer)

Jan with love flowers from Glen

Part 1-4 of Age in Place KITCHEN Appliances

Hi Fellow Baby Boomers!
In the last blog post, I talked about Aging in Place – Resort Style ENTRANCES where I discussed
The ‘8’ AGE in PLACE – RESORT STYLE Features:

  1. High curb appeal exterior design
  2. Easy care driveway (non-slip stamped concrete, exposed aggregate, brick) with turn around
  3. Remote door opener in garage with no post divider
  4. Low maintenance Exterior including stucco, brick, stone or smart board siding (no paint)
  5. Easy sight line into home for security
  6. Security System or ‘motion lights’ – crooks don’t like bright lights or dogs 🙂
  7. Low maintenance yard with underground sprinkler system
  8. No threshold entrance with built in gentle slope that acts as a ramp

 

 

 

 

This week we are going ‘inside’ to the ‘Heart of the Home’ the KITCHEN.

Let’s start with the ‘Work Triangle’:

  • No leg of the triangle should be less than 4 feet (1.2 m) or more than 9 feet (2.7 m).
  • The sum of all three sides of the triangle should be between 13 feet (4.0 m) and 26 feet (7.9 m).
  • Cabinets or other obstacles should not intersect any leg of the triangle by more than 12 inches (30 cm).
  • If possible, there should be no major traffic flow through the triangle.
  • A full-height obstacle, such as a tall cabinet, should not come between any two points of the triangle.

Besides the work triangle itself, there are several rules of thumb to consider when planning a kitchen:

  • As measured between countertops and cabinets or appliances, work aisles should be no less than 42 inches (110 cm) for one cook, or 48 inches (120 cm) for multiple cooks.
  • A sink should have a clear counter area of at least 24 inches (61 cm) on one side, and at least 18 inches (46 cm) on the other side.
  • At least 36 inches (91 cm) of food preparation area should be located next to the sink.
  • A refrigerator should have a clear counter area of at least 15 inches (38 cm) on the handle side, or the same on either side of a side-by-side refrigerator; or the same area on a counter no more than 48 inches (120 cm) across from the refrigerator.
  • A stove or cooktop should have a clear 15 inches (38 cm) area on one side, and at least 12 inches (30 cm) on the other side.
  • In a seating area where no traffic passes behind the diner, allow 32 inches (81 cm) from the wall to the edge of the table or counter; if traffic passes behind the diner, allow 44 inches (110 cm).

CLICK HERE to get Jan’s 8 BEST TIPS for selecting Appliances and Plumbing Fixtures

Part 1 of 4: APPLIANCES & PLUMBING:

With all my clients looking to renovate or build new I have them choose their appliances and plumbing first. This is the types of appliances both major > fridge, freezer, range, ovens, dishwasher; to the smaller but still costly ones such as microwaves, espresso machines etc.  that you want, need and can afford in your Kitchen.  This is your biggest cost and can make or break your budget.

Appliances:

  • Stove – $500 – $6000.00
  • Hood Fans – $250 – $6000.00
  • Ovens – $250 – $4000.00
  • Fridge – $500 – $40,000.00
  • Freezer – $500 – $30,000.00
  • Dishwasher – $450 – $3000.00

Consider the following 4 of 8 things when choosing your cooking appliance:

  1. How much space do you have and what is your budget range?
  2. Who is the main cook in the family?
  3. What type of food do you cook and how frequently?
  4. Do you need a separate oven, double ovens or an all in one style?

CLICK HERE to get ALL Jan’s 8 BEST TIPS for selecting Appliances 

Look for the following 4 of 8 items when selecting your Fridge / Freezer:

  1. How much space do you have – width (24, 30, 33, 36, 42, 48”) and depth (full or counter)?
  2. What is your budget range?
  3. What type of refrigerator do you like – full fridge; freezer top or bottom; side by side; French door; door within the door; water and ice machine (inside or outside) remember cubic feet of storage gets eaten up when you have an icemaker.
  4. How much fresh food (fruits, vegetables, dairy) do you store in the fridge?

Plumbing:

  • Dishwasher – $450 – $3000.00
  • Sink (Main) – $200 – 3000.00
  • Bar Sink – $100 – $1000.00
  • Faucet (Main)- $250 – 700.00
  • Faucet (Hot / Cold) – $500 – $1500
  • Cooktop pasta faucet – $200 – $2200

CLICK HERE to get ALL Jan’s 8 BEST TIPS for selecting Appliance &  PLUMBING Fixtures

Look for the following 4 of 8 items when selecting your Dishwasher and Plumbing fixtures:

  1. Do you have an open floor plan – select a quiet dishwasher?
  2. Do you like to easily access the controls or prefer them hidden?
  3. Do you want a dishwasher that blends into the cabinetry (panel ready – limited items)?
  4. Do you want a full dishwasher or the new ‘drawer style’ dishwasher?
  5. Consider how you use your sink – pots, pans, and roasters require a large sink. I suggest a ‘smart divide’ or ‘low divide’ sink be able to easily wash and rinse all items.

As with any and all items you may purchase research is key.  Check out websites that rate appliances for you like http://www.reviews.com/

Jan with love flowers from Glen

8 ‘Resort Style’ Entrance Features

Boomers want a resort style life

Baby Boomers are aging, this is no longer a secret.  Also, we don’t think we are getting old and we don’t think old!  We are younger looking, healthier, travel more and generally have more fun than our parents did.

Even Real Estate news websites are beginning to talk about it: “Our current generation of boomers doesn’t want to do those for-old people things,” says Jana Lynott, senior policy adviser on livable communities for AARP. “We encourage [people to consider] neighborhoods where you can walk to a variety of services you access on a daily basis, like banks, public transportation, shopping, restaurants.”

This is also happening in Canada. Instead of migrating south en masse to retirement communities more and more baby boomers—a particularly urban-savvy group of Canadians —are moving back to the metro areas they abandoned when they began raising families. And in leaving their suburban homesteads, these empty nesters are redefining the urban centers they now call home.  

My husband and I are examples of this.

Making the decision to leave our coastal home on the ocean was an incredibly hard thing to do.  We loved the area but our home was becoming more of a burden than a joy to look after.   Wanting a simpler home with less maintenance where we could enjoy our life became the utmost of importance to both my husband and me.  

Real estate was on the upswing and our home was worth so much more after 30 years of being in the same area.  We sold our character home to a lovely couple that moved from the city wanting a quieter life (the reverse of what we were about to do).

‘Well, the first thing you know we become millionaires… our kin folk said Jan & Glen move away from here… said the island is the place you want to be so we loaded up our trucks and instead moved to Burnaby!   Hills that is… swimming pools, movie stars…  (Music to the Beverly Hillbillies is playing in my head… ) 

We found another ‘character home‘ to begin our ‘Aging in Place – Resort Style‘ life.   We consciously ‘right sized‘ our home and maintenance level and upped our lifestyle!  We now had the added convenience of being within a 5-minutes drive from everything we used and walking distance to parks, stores, restaurants, and even a library! 


So you want to ‘Age in Place – Resort Style’?  

Let’s start with the ENTRANCE to your home.  Here is a checklist that an accessible entrance NEEDS:

  • Smooth, ground level entrances without stairs
  • Surface textures that require low force to traverse on level, less than 5 pounds force per 120 pounds rolling force (for wheelchairs)
  • Surfaces that are stable, firm, and slip resistant per ASTM 2047
  • Learn how threshold ramps and residential ramps can make stairs a problem of the past

Now take your lifestyle up a notch with these ‘8’ AGE in PLACE – RESORT STYLE Features:

  1. High curb appeal exterior design
  2. Easy care driveway (non-slip stamped concrete, exposed aggregate, brick) with turn around 
  3. Remote opening with no post divider in the garage door 
  4. Low maintenance Exterior including stucco, brick, stone or smart board siding (no paint)
  5. Easy sight line into home for security
  6. Security System or ‘motion lights‘ – crooks don’t like bright lights
  7. Low maintenance yard with underground sprinkler system
  8. No threshold entrance or add transition ramp 

Having a no threshold entrance way is optimal.

 

 

 

 

 

Or, have a beautiful a ramp added.

 
 
Or, have an elevator on the ground level accessed from the garage to all the rest of the floors.  
 
They really aren’t as expensive as you think. In fact, for about the same price as a ‘Thermador Fridge,’ you can have a 4 x 6′ residential elevator installed.  
 
This is similar to asking, “how much do cars cost?” There is a pretty wide range, depending on a number of factors. Generally speaking, in most parts of North America, two-stop home elevators start in the range of $20,000 installed.  Typical installations cost between $19,000 and $39,000 .
 
 
 
 
 
Below is a contemporary home I designed for my ‘millennial’ clients that have aging relatives.  
Due to the house to lot size restrictions, I designed the elevator in the center of the house with the staircase next to it.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Whatever you are able to do, ensure the floor area is non-slip and has a 60″ turning radius in the halls to allow for wheelchair access if needed.  
The key to ensuring a universal entranceway is to think about ‘all users’ remember ‘grand babies’ need to grab onto handles and don’t like stairs and trip when the floor transitions change height.  
 
Simply Me by Design,
Written by Jan Addams
(Designer, Author, Trainer) 
President of IMAGE To INTERIOR Inc.
 
If you have photos, comments or ideas to make an entrance feel like a ‘resort’  submit them to guru@imagetointerior.com 
 
Jan with love flowers from Glen

What is UNIVERSAL Design?

Universal Design and the Aging Society

 

Wikipedia States:  Universal Design ( a close relation to inclusive design) refers to broad-spectrum ideas meant to produce buildings, products and environments that are inherently accessible to older people, people without disabilities, and people with disabilities.

Stairs really?

The term “universal design” was coined by the architect Ronald L. Mace to describe the concept of designing all products and the built environment to be aesthetic and usable to the greatest extent possible by everyone, regardless of their age, ability, or status in life.[1]

However, it was the work of Selwyn Goldsmith, author of Designing for the Disabled (1963), who really pioneered the concept of free access for people with disabilities. His most significant achievement was the creation of the dropped curb – now a standard feature of the built environment.

Universal design emerged from slightly earlier barrier-free concepts, the broader accessibility movement, and adaptive and assistive technology and also seeks to blend aesthetics into these core considerations. As life expectancy rises and modern medicine increases the survival rate of those with significant injuries, illnesses, and birth defects, there is a growing interest in universal design.

There are many industries in which universal design is having strong market penetration but there are many others in which it has not yet been adopted to any great extent. Universal design is also being applied to the design of technology, instruction, services, and other products and environments.

Transition free floors, elevator behind stairs.

 

Curb cuts or sidewalk ramps, essential for people in wheelchairs but also used by all, are a common example. Color-contrast dishware with steep sides that assists those with visual or dexterity problems is another.

There are also cabinets with pull-out shelves, kitchen counters at several heights to accommodate different tasks and postures, and, amidst many of the world’s public transit systems, low-floor buses that “kneel” (bring their front end to ground level to eliminate gap) and/or are equipped with ramps rather than on-board lifts.”

Designing Spaces using Universal Design Principals

 

So… what has been done recently in the building and design world to bring this Universal Design concept to the average home whether it is a house, townhouse or apartment?  

As a veteran Interior Designer, I am seeing more homes incorporating this concept.  In fact, I have recently designed two very different ‘user-friendly‘ homes.  For one owner, is in his late 60’s,  I designed 2 elevators; plus several ADA compliant areas in the home by using side ramp into the main house, wider hallways and doorways with lever handles on the doors.  I also designed a transitional/accessibility vanity (where the cabinet was 34″ high and could be pulled out to accommodate a wheel chair) I also created a transition free 7′ shower in the Master ensuite.  

My other clients, in their late 30’s, had a keen awareness of wanting their home to be accessible to aging relatives. I designed their contemporary styled 2 story home with an open concept around a 3-floor access elevator, ADA  compliant washroom on the main floor and a ground access ‘in-law‘ suite with ADA compliant bathroom, kitchen and bedroom areas with access to the main and upper floors.

As I too am aging, I am doing more and more research on this topic.  However, I want to add another element = creating a Hotel or Resort feel to any home I design that has ‘designer looking’ products that are easy to understand and use; require low physical effort; spaces that have easy access to all areas of the home and are beautiful to behold and touch. 

 

Join me on this journey and let’s see how we all can embrace this ‘re-Newed’ standard of living!  If you want this info as I get it…  Go to my Training Site and Subscribe to my ‘Aging Resort Style’ – Newsletter >> HERE

 Aging ‘Resort Style‘ by Design,

 

Jan Addams
Designer, Author, Trainer

and fellow Baby Boomer

Jan with love flowers from Glen

4 TIPS to create a Resort Style Home

Casa DeckIn January, my husband and I downsized from a 3700 sqft. home on a half-acre to a low maintenance 2500 sqft home in the city with virtually no storage.  A month later after a horrific move (we thought we had downsized – apparently not enough…) we are now nestling into our new home.

Rather than bemoan the fact that we have no space, we have embraced the challenge and have called it ‘Resort Style Living‘.  When we are on holidays, we typically stay in an apartment style room with a beautifully decorated living room, bedroom(s), bathroom, and a mini kitchen with an eating area plus a laundry closet. There is internet, a TV and everything we else we need with nothing extra: 4 sets of cutlery, dishes, coffee maker, toaster oven, microwave, pots and pans, utensils as well items we need to cook with. There are also 2 sets sheets, towels; pillows, blankets… you get the idea. If we need anything, we call the management and it is taken care of.  We are there to have fun by exploring and enjoying our vacation destination.

We took that concept and are creating a ‘Resort Style Life‘.  We have thrown or given away items that no longer has a place in our home and have made room for things of enjoyment in our retirement years, such as a fun car, pool table, TV room and other areas (inside and out) to entertain family and friends. When we get back from our next holiday we won’t be sad to come home because we are living a Resort Style Life.

4 TIPS for Resort Style Living:

  1. Identify your true passions (hobbies, collections, entertainment, sports etc). Keep the items you will use and sell or give away the rest.  (I collect all things ‘Mermaid’ and of the sea.)
  2. Create a uniquely you spot in your home for each member of the family. (We have our own personalized office areas that is congruent with the theme of our home’s colours and style).
  3. Keep only items that give you the most joy and good memories. Take pictures of everything else as a digital memory.  (I took pictures of photos fading away in old albums and placed them on an expandable memory card in my digital frame continuously playing in my office.)
  4. Create a vacation themed home with furniture and accessories, colours, scents, and sounds that transitions your home (no matter its size or location) with your favourite vacation spot. (My husband and I are water babies that love the ocean; we are in the process of creating a tropical resort theme in our new home – now we can’t wait to get back from our Hawaiian vacation to our own little Mediterranean Resort.)

What type of Resort Style Living home do you want to make?  Share your thoughts below and let’s brainstorm ways to create it (uniquely and on a budget).

Written by Jan Addams (Designer, Author, Trainer) DAT Girl