Ag­ing in Place

Old House Journal - - Favorite Things - By Mary Ellen Pol­son

New de­signs, prod­ucts, and adap­ta­tions help us stay in our treasured houses for as long as we like.

1. DOU­BLE DUTY

A clas­sic in solid brass, the Circe 48" grab bar dou­bles as a towel bar. With a sturdy three-post de­sign, the bar comes in pol­ished chrome with in­stal­la­tion hard­ware. It con­forms to ADA guide­lines. $492. Gin­ger Co., (949) 417-5207, gin­gerco.com

2. BRIGHTEN IT UP

We need more light to see as we age. Don't com­pro­mise a pe­riod in­te­rior: use high-per­for­mance Eco-Cove LEDs. In­tended for hard-to-reach lo­ca­tions, the dimmable LEDs have a 50,000-hour lamp life. They come in 10 ½" and 21" lengths. $170 and up. Cre­ative Sys­tems Light­ing, (626) 336-4511, csl­light­ing.com

3. EASE OF USE

Colo­nial-in­spired levers and thum­blatches are eas­ier to work than door­knobs. The mor­tise cylin­der lock­set has an easy-to-grasp grip and in­te­rior spin­dle latch. For 1 ¾" thick doors, it mea­sures 16" high x 2 3∕ 8" wide. $907.38. Acorn Man­u­fac­tur­ing, (508) 339-4500, acorn­mfg.com

4. DRAW­ERS, NOT DOORS

In­crease ac­ces­si­bil­ity by spec­i­fy­ing draw­ers in­stead of doors where pos­si­ble. Shown in cherry with dove­tailed join­ery, these tra­di­tional draw­ers are also equipped with a soft-close mech­a­nism. Pric­ing varies. Crown Point Cabi­netry, (800) 999-4994, crown-point.com

5. COM­FORT WITH STYLE

Fea­tur­ing an 8" rain show­er­head with goose­neck arm, the ther­mo­static set is fit­ted with easy-use levers and a hand­held shower. The faucet keeps the wa­ter within 1° F of the tem­per­a­ture you set. $1,573. Strom Plumb­ing by Sign of the Crab, (800) 843-2722, sig­nofthe­crab.com

6. NO CON­STRAINTS

Avail­able with slid­ing pa­tio doors in tra­di­tional de­signs and fea­tures, the high-per­for­mance Low Pro­file Sill is less than ¾" high, mak­ing for easy tran­si­tions from the house to the out­doors. The sills are priced as part of the over­all door set. Marvin, (800) 533-6898, marvin.com

7. CURBLESS SHOWER

Take a shower with­out nav­i­gat­ing a step with Banyo Cor­doba By­pass Plus semiframe­less slid­ing shower doors. The clear glass blends well into his­tor­i­cal homes. They are 72" wide x 75" tall with an en­try width of 34”. $1,146. Fleurco, (888) 568-2121, fleurco.com

8. OR­GA­NIZED FOR LIFE

These made-to-fit, full-ex­ten­sion or­ga­niz­ers put the contents of a cabi­net where you can reach them. The Dou­ble Dek slide-out or­ga­nizer in­cor­po­rates a unique re­tractable sec­ond level for spa­ces up to 24" wide. $209. Sin­gle slide-outs and spe­cialty shelves: $99 and up. Slide-A-Shelf, (800) 575-4335, slideashelf.com

9. NOT-SO-DEEP SINK

Kitchen sinks that are only 8" deep, like the Manor House Fire­clay apron­front model, de­mand less reach­ing to wash dishes or prep veg­eta­bles than do deeper ones. The sink mea­sures 27 5∕ 8" long x 19 ¾" wide. About $993. Franke, (866) 687-7465, franke.com

10. ONE-TOUCH CLEAN

The Ac­ti­clean self-clean­ing toi­let lets you eas­ily wash the loo at the touch of a but­ton. It has two clean­ing cy­cles, Deep Clean and Quick Clean, and comes with a re­place­able clean­ing car­tridge. $608. Amer­i­can Stan­dard, (800) 4421902, amer­i­can­stan­dard-us.com

Se­rial re­storer Mary Ellen Pol­son is known for her dis­cern­ing eye for pe­riod fur­nish­ings.

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