【A Worry-free Retirement Home Design】
「家」陪伴我們走過人生不同階段，當我們年輕時，它為我們帶來活力，是最好的避風港；當我們到了退休年齡，慢慢放下急速腳步，開始新的階段，陪伴我們走過數十載的家也需要一個轉變，讓它能繼續陪伴我們過新生活模式。 這個位於沙田帝堡城、實用面積約780呎的單位，會為我們演繹「如何讓房子和你一起過舒適無憂的退休生活」。 "Home" is our best companion throughout the different stages of life. When we are young, it provides us with the best shelter and surrounds ourselves with the energy to pursue our goals. When we retire, we begin to slow down our pace and start a new phase of life. Our house that has been with us for decades also needs a change so that it can continue to walk and grow with us for the rest of our journey in life. This 780 sq ft unit in Castello will show you how to design a house into a comfortable and worry-free environment that allows you to spend your retirement life.
This house owners are a lovely couple who wanted their new home to provide a safe and easy to maintain environment while being timeless in design. Therefore, this design is more sophisticated in terms of colours and materials. It has more tailor-made furniture that has a balance between function and form.
Let's take a look into their house. When we open the door, we can see a very bright and open dining area. In addition to the natural bright colours used throughout the design, the walls of the dining area near the entrance are covered with mirrors, providing the illusion of enlarging the space. Together with the right lighting setting, It greatly enhances the brightness of the space.
For this project, the designer did not make many changes to the structure but, mainly focused on enhancing the space using design principles. There were originally two bedrooms in the unit. The owners wanted every guest or house helpers to have a private and comfortable place to rest. So, the designer kept the setting of one master bedroom and one guest bedroom. Considering that there is enough space we also divided the guest room into two by using a full height built-in cabinet as a partition to build a separate study room. The advantage of using tailor-made furniture as partition walls is that you erase the need to have a traditional wall, making the space bigger. The 'partition cabinet' together with the tall bookcase which are also designed to be easily cleaned with doors in the study room provides plenty of storage space. Heating pipes are also installed in the cabinet because Castello in Shatin is built near the mountains with relatively high humidity. The heating pipes can keep the items inside dry and moisture-free.
The bedroom and the bathroom are the private resting area for the two owners. The designer adjusted the internal settings slightly in terms of different usage of the guest and master bathroom. The two owners hope that the design can take into account their changing needs of their age. The designer installed handrails on all sides of the master bathroom to take care of their future needs of the two retired owners. Oppositely, the guest bathroom is using a minimal modern design with dark colours as the main theme. It is easier for them to clean and providing a higher durability. We also provide a large storage space in the guest toilet. For example, the sink cabinet, we decided to use a sliding cabinet door to replace the tradition drawer design becausee it allows the owner to place larger objects inside, such as a laundry basket. It helps to minimise the exposure of two many objects placed outside while providing a safer environment. The guest bathroom has a bathtub design because, the master bedroom has a shower. It can provide an additional bathing option. When there are no guests, this space can also be used as a laundry.
For the master bedroom, we paid special attention to the design of the bedside table. There are two beside tables on each side of the bed, which are convenient for both owners to put medicine or other objects. The headboard is recessed into the wall to achieve a seamless look, which allows ease of cleaning. For the closet, the designer has kept the door handles so that they can be used as handrails when needed. Additionally, there is a Care-on-Call bell installed inside the closet which contacts the property management office in case of emergency.
When people think of safety, they will think of big machines and unappealing design, and often ignore the subtleties which can clash with the overall aesthetic of the design. In addition to the necessary professional equipments, safety can also be approached from a designers perspective. The designers have put a lot of thought and effort into improving the overall safety of this project, such as replacing sharp angles with rounded corners; the electrical wires are neatly installed behind the furniture designs to avoid any potential dangers. We hope to think of the smallest step for out guests, so that the design can accompany them on their journey in life.