Making a Splash

There’s no shortage of opportunity for innovative design in kitchens and bathrooms. And as with Sub-Zero’s 632 fridge, which has a door that features an extra-tightly sealing magnetic gasket, a better appliance can reduce energy costs. Others, such as Gaggenau’s Built-in Steamer—which has a glass cover that allows you to see food as it cooks—offer improved functionality. But the biggest changes in kitchen and bath design are being driven by baby boomers: every seven seconds someone in the United States turns 50. The U.S. Census Bureau projects that by 2050, people aged 65 and older will constitute 20.7 percent of the total population, versus 12.4 percent in 1997. Accordingly manufacturers and designers are developing better-looking bathroom grab bars, ergonomic kitchen systems, and a host of other products that promise to ease a demanding generation into old age.

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