Dream Homes

For the last several months I’ve been working on a new home for a couple from the northeast who intend to retire in a couple of years. After looking at dozens of current houses and empty lots, we’ve settled on a delightful part of property in Ft. Myers, Florida. It is close to the Gulf waters, close to shopping and other amenities, also has frontage on a pond in addition to a southern exposure.

Now that we’ve discovered our lot, we can start working on the property’s design. Which got me to thinking about what makes the perfect home for a retired couple. What attributes should the home have? What is the distinction between this kind of home and a home for a family with children? So I began to search for answers.

Jeff Luth – Soldano Luth Architects

1. One-floor living. It certainly stands to reason that we do not want to climb steps and stairs all our own lives. So a home that is on a single level is reasonable.

Resolution: 4 Architecture

2. Efficiency and low maintenance. Let’s face it, nobody wishes to be spending their nest egg utility bills or painting and re-roofing their own property. The design of a home for the golden years must be”one and done.”

OJMR Architects

3. Separate zones. Developing another zone or two for visiting friends and relatives makes a lot of sense. These zones must be self-contained so they do not need to be warmed or chilled when not in use.

Ziger/Snead Architects

4. Connected to the landscape. It seems that the majority of us hope to live in places with warm weather once we retire. These homes should be connected as much as possible to the landscape beyond its walls.

Jeff Luth – Soldano Luth Architects

5. Barefoot and barrier-free. Inside should blend with outdoors without obstacles or barriers. The transition between living and patio should be as easy to navigate because the transition between toilet and shower.

6. Open strategy. Combining the kitchen, living and dining rooms into a single area generates the perfect room for when it’s only the two of you, and when friends, children and grandchildren visit. Manipulating ceiling heights, walls and sight lines enables the room to be romantic and big at the same time.

Richlin Interiors

7. A comfy and joyful corner. Include a place to get that morning cup of coffee, do the crossword puzzle, read the morning paper. The spot should link us to the world beyond as we like not having to go through that frantic rush to get out the door each morning.

Frederick + Frederick Architects

8. An outdoor room. Even though it’ll be nice to get that massive space to enjoy one another’s company, it’ll be important to have a room (or 2 ) to get away to. Someplace little, comfy and quiet. Maybe to read, play the piano, have a rest, or see the show just you enjoy.

9. Simple to Use. Doors, like everything in a home you intend to grow old in, should be easy to operate. The door should close or open with a push or pull and provide an opening big enough to get through.

Rochelle Lynne Design

10. Hazard free. Homes for owners not as spry as they once were should include features like zero-threshold showers and towel bars that can become catch bars.

Dan Forer, Photographer

11. A place to relax and revel in. If a photo is worth a million words, what more can I say?

Houzz Tour: Balance and Beauty on the California Coast

Design for All: Smart Interiors for All Members of the Household

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