The “new” retirement would wisely be defined as “unretirement,” a decades-long, active, involved extension of life. Home will be headquarters during this exciting stage of life, and the house will be command central. From untraditional housing styles to universal design, the kitchen is going to be the 1st true age-free space.
Retirement age is dropping steadily and even individuals in their twenties and thirties eagerly contemplate their move into the stage of life that used to mean the end of all that mattered. Not so in the 21st century; unretirement can bring new freedoms, lucrative ventures, broader horizons, personal fulfillment and global connections – and the majority of this as you sit at the kitchen table enjoying a morning coffee. Kitchens will continue to are available in all shapes, price ranges and sizes. They’ll constantly be loved so much for their flaws as their convenience and charm. Housing styles and development patterns that isolate residents and create urban sprawl will be replaced by designs and plans that are both earth sound and people friendly. One trend will shift couples and single homeowners towards compact, green new homes and away from energy- hungry monster houses. These scaled down residences will not only be smaller sized, they’ll be smarter. As an example, some homeowners may concentrate food production in the kitchen through hydroponic or soilless gardening in glassed-in extensions that double as dining rooms. Kitchen-centric, multi-unit housing will become more common with home-like variations that include:
cluster homes constructed around central courtyards that function as common outside eating areas and kitchen gardens,
co-housing communities which integrate separate family units with communal recreation and eating areas to strengthen community connections, and mingle-style high rise units with private bed-sitting rooms radiating off central kitchens and living areas to offer affordable, elegant lifestyles.
Our First Age-Free Environments
All too often thoughts of the upcoming focus on just how technology will transform our lives, ignoring a crucial fact: we are going to change, also. Every facet of life will be touched as the market revolution represented by almost ten million Baby Boomers moves through life. Kitchens are going to be our first age free spaces as they transform into multi purpose, multigeneration work and entertainment spaces where safety and functionality are paramount for all sizes, shapes and abilities of users. Grandchildren and children, grandparents and parents, the able bodied and those with disabilities must all be comfortable socializing, eating and cooking in these activity centres. Age-Free environments have flexibility designed in. Universal Design, an emerging concept that will soon become commonplace, stresses the elimination of all barriers to functionality and enjoyment for everyone. These Age Free features range from wide hallways, levered door handles and adjustable-height counters to visually-cued ergonomic design applied to everything from control knobs to furniture. All of which furnish a kitchen that allows the joy of cooking to be the focal point.
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Voice-activated appliances with robotic features for repetitive tasks like cleaning and equipment maintenance will be among future innovations that save time, effort and money. Comfort will be ensured by advances in computer chip embedded products and materials like chameleon wall surfaces which change colour on demand to match weather and mood, and heated floors that recognize the walker and automatically adjust room temperature to suit that person’s preprogrammed preferences.
Room for Improvement
home owners and Tenants are going to continue to shoot for your own balance of luxury and value in the homes of theirs. Not every family or community will have permission to access similar levels of technology and sophistication of design–there will still be room for improvement. Here are some improvements that could be offered to you:
Food shopping will shift from a time-consuming physical task to an automated electronic undertaking. Home appliances that continuously monitor freshness and inventory levels will automatically place orders with grocery warehouses and food distributors to ensure you never run from anything.
Bulk ordering and cooperative arrangements for purchasing food and other food items will cut costs and support essential local infrastructures within subdivisions, condominium complexes and neighbourhoods.
Equipment and systems are going to have back up capacity to protect food during power brown outs and failures. Some kitchens could be made to also become a self contained safe living environment in times of natural disaster, pandemic or interruption of municipal services.
The refrigerator of yours, through its wireless connection to the health monitor you’ll wear, may keep track of calories, other medical issues or salt for you and make suggestions or issue warnings once you open the door. Particularly outside cities, online medical services are going to reinforce the connection between nutrition and wellness using the kitchen as the health hub. No facet of housing and home will see as many changes as the multi purpose kitchen over the coming decades. Since the roots of the word “kitchen” relate simply to cooking, these evolving spaces may eventually even bring in themselves a whole new name.