Designed For Life – Old
One of the most dangerous rooms in the home – the kitchen – was the target for the 2010-11 Designed For Life contest aimed at older San Diego adults who wish to remain in their homes as they age. ReVisions Resources, in collaboration with AARP and the San Diego Chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), developed a pilot project to show the public that their home can be safe, aesthetically pleasing and more comfortable throughout their lifetime.
Photo by Paul Burlingame
The 2010-11 contest winner was Diane Petrini, 59, who shares her Rancho Bernardo home with her husband Joe, 62, their youngest daughter, Laura, 35, and 15-year-old grandson, Torrin, along with the family dog Cashew. The Petrinis were one of seven San Diego households who wrote winning essays in the Designed for Life contest. Joe Petrini, a Purple Heart Vietnam War veteran, suffers from arthritis and other health issues. Diane has vision problems, as does grandson Torrin, who has mild cerebral palsy. They received a custom designed remodel worth more than $50,000.
Falls in kitchens and bathrooms are the number one reason older Americans are forced to leave their homes, according to the Centers for Disease Control. ReVisions Resources Executive Director Liliane Choney said her group “works to connect people with products and services to help them ‘age in place,’ to stay in their homes.”
Interior Designer Lindsay Hester planned the new kitchen utilizing the principles of Universal Design, a concept pioneered by the late Ron Mace, a wheelchair-bound architect.“The essence of universal design is that a home should serve the greatest number of people regardless of age, mobility or physical stature,” said Hester. Two little-used sliding glass doors were replaced by a solid wall which now supports a single, L-shaped counter. “We’ve really doubled our counterspace,” said Diane. The previous island cooktop has been replaced by one built into the counter. A raised breakfast bar provides family gathering space while isolating stray hands away from the adjacent cooktop. Two waist-level dishwasher drawers, one on each side of the kitchen sink, insure adequate dishwasher capacity while minimizing bending and stretching. New cabinets right above the dishwasher drawers have clear glass doors and lighted interiors “so items are easy to identify and locate,” said Hester. Other examples of universal design include: improved color contrast to aid those with impaired vision; corner closets containing lazy susans and drawers that can be pulled out fully for easier access; a pull-out “appliance garage” that keeps small appliances accessible without having them clutter up the counter. “She’s really taken into account all of our needs,” said Diane Petrini of Hester’s design.
The home was one of 5 homes featured on the 2012 ASID Remodel Tour. A new Designed For Life contest will be launched in 2012 with details to follow.
- Wardell Builders partnered with Arizona Tile, Bill Howe Plumbing, Cabinetry Design, Chism Brothers Painting, Dixieline, G Marble & Granite, Infrastructure Design Group, Kiva Kitchen & Bath, Kohler, Lessler’s Draperies & Design, Lightworks Architectural Lighting, Performance Drywall and Insulation, R&R Custom Builders, San Diego Marble & Tile, San Diego Hardware, Star Tile Inc., Titan Excavating and Tutto Marmo to provide a new kitchen for the contest winner.
- Additional community support for the contest is provided by San Diego Home/Garden Lifestyles, PACE TV, Paul Burlingame Photo, Friends of San Diego Architecture, the San Diego Fall Prevention Task Force, the San Diego Public Library, and the San Diego County Library.