Seniors | Home designs for active living, aging in place

Baby boomers aren’t about to sit back and watch the world go by in retirement. They’re getting involved in their communities, enjoying the outdoors and starting new — or restarting older — hobbies. They also love spending time with family.

This active lifestyle often means boomers don’t want to take care of the large homes they lived in for years while raising children. In fact, they’re ready to downsize, and want to design their homes to be exactly what they need for their retirement years.

Downsizing into a new home — one that can adapt to changing needs as well as accommodate their occasional desire to entertain guests — is a great way to enjoy retirement in comfort and style.

Consider the following customizable features:

• Bragging wall: Every parent and grandparent loves to show off photos of their children and grandchildren. A wall designed specifically for hanging photos, awards and other proud mementoes gives parents and grandparents the perfect opportunity to share stories with visitors.

• Handy but hidden entertainment: When friends and family come over, how about a built-in cabinet that flips open to serve as a beverage station? When visitors are not around, tucking the beverage station away into a designated place makes the home more open.

• Accessible laundry: Placing laundry facilities close to the bedroom is great for baby boomers. The space doesn’t need to be large, but sometimes when a small space is designed for laundry, you lose out on those wonderful additional features, such as drying racks. Pull-out hanging racks or built-in storage above the machines and off the floor alleviate this problem

• Bedroom luxury: Enjoy a home that segregates the master bedroom and bath from the entertaining areas. One way to make this private space perfect is to install a vanity station in the bedroom with a large mirror and chair so one can comfortably prep for the day without constantly standing.

• Fun space: Many retirees finally have the time to enjoy their hobbies to their full potential, and they need to designate a space to accommodate the activity. Sometimes a craft room is required so the grandkids can come over and put their creativity to good use. Entertaining is an option, too, and having a separate room near the kitchen just for those planned gatherings might be exactly what is needed. — brandpoint