The variety of living situations for well people in their “twilight years” has been constantly expanding.
One very viable option is to live downtown in a big city, reasoning that there are taxis to drive you where you need to go, and many restaurants and services nearby and even deliver. Another choice is to live in a small town close to friends and relatives and, like the city option, opportunities to walk most places provides a healthy way of life.
A very savvy, extremely independent woman of 75 had searched for, and purchased the only ranch home near the village she chose to move to. The house was unremarkable, yet well built (50’s era) and had property to expand the dwelling.
She frequently hosted family gatherings so even though she didn’t feel she needed a separate dining room; she wanted ‘flex-space’ that would accommodate an expanding table. She was used to entertaining her friends by having a group over for card and various other games.
Even though she didn’t anticipate cooking large meals anymore, she wanted to have a nice, open kitchen. She especially requested open spaces with abundant natural light so she had imagined a sunroom addition for her main living space.
This woman was accustomed to creature comforts and felt that the master bedroom should be large with a walk-in closet; and her bathroom should have both a shower and a whirlpool bath.
She chose not to plan for every eventuality; however, moving the laundry to the first floor and building a ramp seemed prudent things to do.
The living room (A) didn’t seem large enough, mostly because traffic passed through one side, limiting the available space for furniture layouts. We closed the opening to the bedroom area (D) and created a furniture corner (B). A new hallway was created (E) by going through the bottom half of the bedroom to the left of the bathroom. The two guest bedroom closets (F) were modified and the doorway to bedroom (C) was removed.
The hall bath (G) stayed the same however it lost the one window it had. It will be used primarily as a guest bath.
To create a luxurious master bedroom (H) an addition was required, so we built it as large as we needed. The walk-in closet (I) and new bath (J) aligned on the side of the house. The whirlpool tub (K) projects out and pulls in light from obscure glass at both ends of the tub.
A family entry (L) was created by modifying the eating end of the kitchen (M) and adding a coat closet and concealed stack washer/dryer unit (N). French doors out to a deck (O) make this area bright. The table (P) floats in the remaining area, with a built-in buffet counter (Q) along the basement stairs. A closet style pantry (R) consumes unused space at the end of the stairwell.
The sunroom (S) addition has an open cathedral ceiling, French doors, and a small fireplace. The kitchen (T) is built along the long wall, with a boomerang shaped island with a raised counter for stools. The cook will be in the large open space with great views of the sunroom, fire, television French doors and deck. A skylight located above the kitchen distributes even more light.
Outdoors, the original two sided stair stoop (U) was modified to connect to the deck (V) and ramp down to the backyard and the front of the garage.