PRODUCTS | Multigenerational living

According to Rotpunkt, this new hybrid kitchen concept combines the best elements of work and play. It has the new Old Split Oak door range that depicts this year’s must-have timber

effect, European oak, a bi-colour unit and new black accessories

hot water taps. Abode is one, with its Pronteau Prothia and Franke now offers a sensor-activated cold tap, which it says is ideal for users of all ages due to its touch-free technology and manual operation with an easy-to- use single lever.

Where refrigeration is concerned, capacity is key, so a French side-by- side might be a good idea, however if you can specify a fridge freezer with the freezer next to the fridge, even better as this will be more easily accessible.

The oven, dishwasher and laundry appliances should all be raised off of the floor so the user doesn’t have to bend down.

Perhaps consider having a slide-out rack beneath the oven if it’s likely that the client will need that. This is somewhere the user can place a heavy, hot pan, before moving it over to a work surface and is an extra safety feature that’s easy to design in, but unobtrusive at the same time. On the hob side, induction, of course, is much safer than gas – it doesn’t stay hot after use and will turn itself off if forgotten about. It’s also much easier to maintain and keep


clean than other types. Finally, where extraction is concerned, it might be preferable to go with downdraft or flush-to-ceiling as the former is much easier to clean and maintain and the latter won’t gather dust like a bulky over-hob option.

Accessible bathrooms For bathrooms, the choice for multigenerational homes is now huge and almost every manufacturer has a number of solutions that can be suitable for all. This is partly down to the fact that the bathroom is such a private, personal space, and so independence is deemed as essential in a way that activity in the kitchen isn’t quite so much.

From our research and speaking to customers, a key challenge is finding accessories that are aesthetically pleasing and multi-purpose to cater for the modern family

Eileen Slattery, Merlyn head of marketing

In terms of layout, the bathroom should be easily accessible for those with limited mobility – so showers should be step-free, floors should be non-slip, and there should be enough open space for the user to easily navigate the room. A large shower, which occupies the same footprint as a bath should be specified if possible and it’s worth having a conversation with your customer about installing a grab bar and shower seat. Many homeowners are, naturally, resistant to such 

Neil Gokchen, co-owner at Birkdale Kitchen Co, in Southport, which specialises in smart solutions, comments on how technology can be used for the benefit of all in a multigenerational design…

My wife and I live in a multigenerational home – my parents live with us, and our children now live back at home, so I can speak from personal experience, as well as from a professional perspective, to the fact that ‘smart’ technology can be used in all sorts of beneficial ways. We have voice-activated Siemens appliances from the IQ range (pictured) which are voice-activated and connect up to the Home Connect app. It’s easy for my parents to use and the kids love it because it’s quite cool and sexy. We also demonstrate these in the showroom and we recently specified a set-up with a Siemens oven which is voice-activated but which also links up to Philips Hue smart lighting and indicates – with lights – when the oven is ready or up to temperature. This client had their deaf sister coming to live with them so having a visual aid was crucial. I would also always recommend a hot water tap as these are much safer than traditional kettles.

· August 2021

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