Aging in place is a big snore — until you get to that age when the right modifications will allow you to stay in your home. And since a large part of the population is reaching retirement age, accessibility finally is catching on — even with homeowners who aren’t intentionally seeking those features. Why? Because the designs make so much sense.

It’s not a trend that’s going away. The NKBA’s 2018 survey shows that 56% of designers specified accessible/universal design features in kitchens during 2018, and most believe they’ll add more and more features in the years to come.

Three here-to-stay trends:

1. Side-opening ovens at counter height: You don’t have to reach up or bend down to fetch your roast, just comfortably slide it out. It’s one of those great tweaks that make cooking so much more ergonomic and accessible for everyone.

2. Drawers with deep pockets: Base cabinets have evolved from back-bending storage for pots and pans to deep drawer space — typically 24 inches deep — that can hold just about everything in your kitchen.

Continuing that evolution — are deep drawer organizers, that make sure everything stays in its place, rather than rumble around in chaos. You can customize drawers with:

  • Slots to hold plates and store knives
  • Dividers to keep your water bottles separate from your vinegar collection
  • Stackable trays that keep utensils away from flatware
  • Removable boxes that let you reorganize the drawers at will

3. Microwave drawers: Just like the side-opening oven, by installing the

microwave below counter height in a drawer, it’s easier for everyone to use. Just open it up put your food inside, close, and start it. That’s better than above-oven height, which has been the typical location for many years.