A Home for Aging in Place

Published: March 13, 2023
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When a couple in Vancouver needed their 1,100-sq.-ft.townhouse to better function for their lifestyle, they called upon Jamie Banfield of Jamie Banfield Design after seeing his projects on social media. In addition to a kitchen for entertaining and more storage in the primary bath, the clients wanted a home for aging in place  and that also catered to their health and well-being.

Cultivating the Kitchen

To create a space for entertaining multiple guests and catering to the husband who cooks at home often, Banfield took space from an unused dining room and incorporated a sizable, accessible island instead of the limiting peninsula. The galley-style kitchen has areas for preparing, plating and presenting food, and an appliance garage keeps smaller tools hidden when not in use.

In addition to a home for aging in place, incorporating wellness elements was also important to the homeowners, so Banfield chose natural materials like real wood, as well as durable and easy-to-clean surfaces like the quartz countertops from Caesarstone with a matte finish and the solid-surface sink by Blanco. The large-format tile backsplash has less grout lines to clean. The backsplash, sink, cabinets and countertops are made from recycled content, which is a nod to the health of the environment as well, and the designer specified low-VOC paints and zero-formaldehyde millwork.

The layered lighting plan includes under-cabinet strip lighting built into the cabinets and provides consistent countertop illumination and minimal shadows. The design does not include decorative pendants over the island, better to provide an unblocked view from the kitchen to the dining area.

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As this project took place during the onset of COVID, air quality was also a priority. The contractor for the project installed a split AC/filtration system, and the hood needed to be high functioning since the husband loves to cook often. Banfield also included areas where the couple could bring in plants, and as the townhome has windows on both sides, plenty of natural light filters through the space.

The homeowners use the island and countertop for everything from preparing meals to folding clothes from the adjacent dryer, and Banfield says the two heights function for someone needing to sit down, rest on a walker or stand up to complete tasks in the kitchen.

Enriching the Primary Bath

The designer brightened up the previously dark space with lighter paint and a custom vanity in a light-toned sandy oak finish. He incorporated a soaking tub and a layered lighting plan for different activities. The corners on the tub are mitered to keep it watertight and easy to clean – key for aging in place baths. According to Banfield, mitering not only produces a more natural look, but it also helps the fixture appear as a slab of stone instead of separate pieces.

He enlarged the shower by removing a pony wall and added a bench and an adjustable showerhead. Both bathrooms in the condo feature motion-sensor lighting, making them easy to navigate at nighttime. In the primary, Banfield incorporated accessible lower drawers for storage, and the shower niche is reachable by someone standing or sitting on the bench.

This home for aging in place was successful because of clearly communicated ideas, prompt responses to queries and identifying which products and finishes would require long lead times. The clients are thrilled with their townhome renovation and also appreciated the design team’s clever solutions for maximizing the space.

—By Chelsie Butler, KBB Executive Editor

Source List

Designer: Jamie Banfield, Jamie Banfield Design Photographer: Janis Nicolay KITCHEN Bar Stools: Hay Cabinets: Upper Canada Forest Products Countertops: Caesarstone Faucet: Brizo Flooring: Woodpecker Hardwood Floors Hardware: Emtek Hood & Range: Dacor Lighting: Nora Lighting Sink: Blanco PRIMARY BATH Countertop: Caesarstone Faucet & Hardware: Brizo Lighting: Wayfair Shower Fixtures: Kohler Tile: Ames Tile & Stone & Euro Tile Tub: Hytec Vanity: Upper Canada Forest Products

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