While the phrase "aging in place" – a philosophy that has been gaining favor among trendsetters in the field – may be a relatively new buzzword, the pillars of this style movement have been around for some time. Essentially, "aging in place" embraces sustainable design with a focus on furnishings that accommodate multi-generational households.
For instance, simple features such as lever handles on doors instead of traditional knobs are easier to use for people of all ages and tend to last longer. Functionality like this is a key tenet of "aging in place," which not only makes day-to-day living easier, but also saves homeowners money, as household items don't need to be replaced as frequently.
Materials play a key role in this design philosophy as well. Natural fibers in furnishings and window treatments as opposed to nylon or chemical-based products have more long-term durability and are easier to maintain.
Wool carpets, for instance, produce fewer allergens and are naturally more absorbent and resistant to stains than similar nylon products. As well, cotton or linen drapes are functional, easy-to-clean products that are perfect for homes that embrace sustainability.
Color plays into this as well, as some shades are more likely to show off stains, animal hair and wear than others. Neutral tones like beige and gray are perfect and when used on drapery and furniture, while allowing you to get creative with brighter, statement-making hues in less permanent fixtures like wall hangings, throw pillows or lampshades.
Designing for the long term will help keep your budget in check and your home livable for generations to come.