Some of our most exciting projects are kitchens and bathrooms for empty nesters. With Baby Boomers entering retirement age, we at KDP are faced with many exciting opportunities to design spaces that accommodate people experiencing this very special phase of life.

At KDP we have found some general kitchen Remodel Ideas for empty nesters that help us to design practical and beautiful spaces that our clients will enjoy for many years. For instance, many empty nesters hire us when they have decided to downsize, or move into a home that is smaller than the home they lived in for many years with their children. This change in lifestyle encourages us and our clients to think of space and storage solutions in new, creative ways. An efficient use of space is critical and identifying priorities for how empty nesters will use the space is more important than ever.

Empty Nester Open Floor Plan and Double Ovens

Some important questions that we like to ask include:
Do you plan to cook a lot in your new kitchen, or will you be eating out/ordering in more?
  Do you have a large family and friends that you would like to continue to entertain in your home or have you passed the baton to the next generation?

These details help us design features that will complement the empty nester’s lifestyle.

We also consider ergonomics and comfort, since we want our designs to meet your personal physical needs. Nancy is a certified “Aging in Place Specialist,” also known as CAPS. With this area of expertise, KDP is sensitive to the needs of a growing and vibrant aging population. Whether these needs are immediate or in the distant future, KDP can ensure that you will enjoy your home for many years to come.

While each journey to design for an empty nester is unique, here are a few details that we like to consider:

Efficiency and Organization

To be efficient and organized, we aim to incorporate a lot of drawers and rollouts in Kitchen Remodel Ideas. This is a wonderful way to subdivide and organize cabinets, whether they are base cabinets or tall pantries. Drawers and rollouts offer a much better view of what you have stored in your cabinets, so you can feel comfortable using the backs as well as the fronts of your cabinets to store important items.

We often incorporate vertical tray storage, which is a lot more efficient than stacking trays and platters on top of one another horizontally. Vertical storage is also useful for cutting boards and cookie sheets.

Double waste baskets are a most popular feature, so you can keep your garbage and recycling bins hidden behind one cabinet door. Keeping organized is an ever-evolving challenge, so we like to recommend storage solutions that are flexible and can be adjusted as your needs change.

Empty Nester Waste Units and Vertical Tray Storage
Vertical tray storage unit image from Dura Supreme


Empty Nester Open Floor Plan2

As a general trend, open floor plans continue to be all the rage. According to this study by, 48% of homeowners are opening their kitchens up to other spaces during kitchen remodels. Homeowners report spending upwards of 3-4 hours daily in their kitchens. Beyond cooking, baking and eating, many homeowners use their kitchens as central hubs for entertaining, socializing and doing work or homework. Empty nesters also like an open floor plan because it gives your home a more spacious “great room” feel. So you can work in the kitchen while feeling the presence of others around you. An open floor plan also affords you greater flexibility for entertaining. Empty nesters who would like to invite their children and grandchildren for a holiday can adjust their open floor plan to accommodate a large dining table for the family.

Empty Nester Islands

Many empty nesters are value focused, while others are looking to design their dream kitchen or bathroom with few restrictions. At KDP our suppliers offer various construction options so our clients can prioritize their expenditures without compromising priorities.


Empty Nester Appliance Garage and Wall Cabinets

One of the most critical Kitchen Remodel Ideas for empty nesters is what Nancy calls the “knees to eyes” concept for ease of access. In other words, the most valuable cabinets, the cabinets that you should use most often for your most important items, should be above your knees and beneath your eyes. For this reason we often recommend incorporating some wall cabinets that extend to the countertop as well as appliance garages. Both take full advantage of this ideal location for storage, so you do not need to bend down too low or reach too high for frequently used kitchen items.

Empty Nester Double Ovens

For the same reason, we also like to recommend that empty nesters with back issues, use cooktops and wall ovens in their kitchen designs rather than a slide-in range with cooktop and oven below. Ovens that can be installed in tall cabinets allow you to place your oven at a desirable height for you to eliminate the strain of bending to open and close the oven doors.

Updated lighting is a popular feature in both kitchen and bathroom remodels for empty nesters. Under-cabinet lighting and recessed lighting prove helpful in the kitchen, while recessed lighting and wall sconces are highly desirable in bathroom updates.

We have additional recommendations for bathrooms that ensure comfort and safety. According to this article from Houzz, 84% of baby boomers are upgrading their master bath shower as part of a bath remodel. especially such features as hand held shower heads, grab bars, and non-slide floor tiles. Another popular safety and convenience feature is the zero-threshold shower.

Empty Nester Shower

This design feature is not only practical and safer than showers with thresholds, but is also aesthetically appealing and a growing trend among those who are pursuing a sleek, modern look. Removing the threshold significantly decreases any potential of tripping as you enter the shower and affords improved accessibility. Also, while thresholds tend to trap dirt and moisture, a zero-threshold shower is easier to keep clean.

Empty Nester Vanity

We enjoy finding space in the bathroom for a makeup vanity. We believe that makeup vanities are important because they provide an opportunity for you to have a seat in your bathroom and apply makeup, blow dry your hair, or any other task in a comfortable seated position. Most of our clients don’t know what they’re missing until they can finally experience a makeup vanity. Then, they’re thrilled they have one!

As an empty nester, this is your chance to look through Kitchen Remodel Ideas to design a home that suits all of your current personal needs and can evolve as your needs change. KDP is sensitive to this journey and excited to share our expert insights and ideas with you.