Category: Universal design

Stylin Senior Design

By , April 15, 2015 9:53 am

This past year Michael Graves came to Portland Oregon to defend his iconic Portland Building and when he was done telling his side of history and why the 1982 Postmodernist building should not be torn down, there was a standing ovation.

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Graves, has left us mortals on earth as he has gone to another galaxy to continue his design presence.

Since he was partly paralyzed by an infection in 2003, he focused on health care design, and brought humor and design sense to walkers, transfer chairs & walking canes.

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He thought that design should celebrate aging for what is really is- filled with spirit, possibles and growth. He challenged design conventions making everyday items smarter and more beautiful.

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Also this past month a Concept store called Senior Design Factory opened in Zurich. There are products with character, from hipster canes, high end walkers and durable household goods.

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This growing trend is exciting and has more humanistic design and for boomers it has to have the fun appeal!

What would you like to see redesigned as you age?

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Age Friendly?

By , November 4, 2014 6:00 pm

Elders in Action- Sharing experience. Staying engaged. This community of individuals live life to its fullest. They are active advocates and vibrant volunteers of ALL ages committed to assisting older adults.

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One way they stay involved with the community is with their Age Friendly Program, which was developed in 1993 as a way to engage, evaluate and educate businesses and the community on how to involve our aging population.

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Visit their website here to see the complete list of partners in the Age Friendly network.

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Last month four volunteers visited the Lake Theater & Cafe that has just been remodeled in Lake Oswego. There were other small groups that visited The Pine Needle, The Oilerie, Key Bank, Sofas by Design, and Miller Paint. This was a partnership with the Lake Oswego Adult Community Center.

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They had a tour of the theater and than sat down with the owner Drew Prell to discuss their evaluation and discuss the the following key points:

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Finding the Building, Parking, Building Entry, Signage & business information, Seating, Restrooms, Stairs, aisles & walkways, Lighting & Flooring, and Customer service. All the notes were recorded in a booklet from the volunteers including their feedback.

With a variety of businesses meeting current building city code issues and trying to appeal to a wide range of ages this was a excellent opportunity to connect and be aware how the older population views your business.

The big surprise really is that the feedback would be helpful for any age group- signage and directing people though a space is vital, were do I go, how do I pay and maneuvering throughout the space safely. Great ideas!

What store or restaurant do you like to visit over and over again- it just feels right?

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Age-Friendly City of Roses

By , March 4, 2014 11:36 am

Portland always seems so ahead of the curve when it comes to hip fashion, hoppy beer, food carts and now housing for those eternally young graying baby boomers. Portland is in the top 5o regions where 40 plus boomers want to retire. Currently there are over 190,000 people aged 65 and older living in the Portland metro area and by 2030, that number is expected to grow to almost 395,000.

Portlands Age-Friendly Housing

Portlands Age-Friendly Housing

Alan DeLaTorre was the moderator for the City Club panel to discuss “How Age-Friendly are Portland’s Housing Options”. He is a research associate at Portland State University Institute on aging and a newly minted Ph.D with a focus on housing for older adults. There is a growing international movement and PDX crafted a Action Plan in the Fall of 2013 with Alan’s guidance.

 

Alan DeLaTorre

Alan DeLaTorre

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Villages NW works to enable people to age in place in their existing homes as well as they can for as long as they can for as little as they can. Four Villages are up and running in NW Portland and six villages are in development in the greater Portland area. 89% homeowners want to grow old in their home. There are 130 Villages nationwide that are successful. There is no real estate involved, but a community of  volunteers and “vetted vendors” that support people who want to live & age gracefully in their home.

 

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Bridge Meadows is an innovative community designed to bring together three generations to provide a stable, loving home for foster children, support for adoption and an opportunity for elders to have a sense of community and purpose. This project is up and running in North Portland. Windermere Cronin & Caplan Realty was a part of this ground breaking building and committed $250,000 over 4 years. I have worked for 12 years at Windermere and am proud to of been apart of this development.

Bridge Meadows

Bridge Meadows

 

PDX Commons is a new project focusing on creating an environment for aging in place based on the co-housing model. The project is under development and will be located in the Vancouver corridor. There are 25 units and the location in walking distance of urban shopping and parks.

PDX Commons

PDX Commons

For Cohousing resources in the US go here and Cohousing resources in the world go here                                                     It is an International Movement!

 

This trend is going to continue, since there are not enough retirement facilities in existence or being built to accommodate 395,000 projected seniors. Not to mention that a huge percentage of this population- current estimates suggest up to 75%- don’t have enough retirement savings to be able to afford he $3000 plus per month it would cost. Being ahead of the curve in design and housing options is a must.

Where do you want to live or retire to?

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Vintage Studio Interior

By , February 12, 2014 3:17 pm

Welcome back to the Sellwood Studio Tour- the last post was about building an ADU- now lets go inside –

BEFORE Garage

BEFORE Garage

 

AFTER Sellwood Studio

AFTER Sellwood Studio

How to design in a smaller space- the essential functions, sleeping, bathing eating and hangin out all all going to happen in 380 sq ft. First goal- jettison the stuff you really do not need. Use furniture that is light weight and moveable and does double duty.

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I wanted to blend my love of vintage (confession – I own 3 vintage refrigerators and 3 vintage Schwinn Bikes) with clean modern lines. Using old barn wood for the shelfs in the kitchen, subway tile is floor to ceiling, plumbing pipes to hold up the butcher block countertop. No need for a range when you can use induction plates just like  restaurants do – instant heat and they are safe, not hot to the touch turning off instantly. A microwave fits into the island, providing more prep area, or spreading out to read the paper. No disposal since there is a worm bin out in the garden. The green auto cabinet from Stars Antiques works as a panty, across from the Ikea PAX closet system.

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The entry has a coat wall rack and bench to sit and store shoes. There is also a place to hang your bike at the front door from the exposed rafters. The large open shower has storage at one end for towels- always go vertical and find storage overhead. Open shelving provides easy access to all those small toiletries items. A stackable washer/dryer is tucked away.

For lighting I like the vintage cage look and white porcelain for the bathroom that I found at                              School House Electric & Supply Co that also has an amazing of vintage furniture.

Surface mount bathroom comes in exciting colors

Bathroom surface mount comes in exciting colors

 

Kitchen & Entry Cage comes in a variety of finishes

Kitchen & Entry Cage comes in a variety of finishes

Rejuvenation Lighting and House Parts  has wonderful exterior lights and is another store for vintage finds.

Classic & lots of colors available

Classic & lots of colors available

For more fixtures reminiscent of the industrial age be sure to check out Obsolete.

The ladder to the cozy sleeping loft was build by Ryan who specializes in working with Reclaimed wood, he found the large brackets and handles at Hippo Hardware.

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Here are other places to look for  custom ladder ideas more ideas here.

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When the project was finished anything worth recycling went to the Rebuilding Center- but this also a good place to start! Of course the Habitat for Humanity – Restore  needs left over building materials to help build homes for those in need.

What project are you planning for this Spring? Where do you start? Let’s talk ADU’s.

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Granny knows how to Downsize

By , January 9, 2014 11:50 am

My 95 year old mother in-law lives in a Granny Flat, she came west from cold Ohio to live behind her sons home in warm San Luis Obispo 15 years ago. Evelyn climbs the exterior staircase to her one bedroom 400 sq ft apartment above a garage. I was inspired to build my own studio following my Granny’s pioneering idea. Mother in-law apartments or Granny Flats have been around for years, but no longer just for Granny’s, ADUs ( Accessory Dwelling Units) offer rental income, work studios, and promote community Multi-generational living and increase your homes property value.

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Today the modern term is Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs).

In the fall of 2012 I went to a day long summit the International Living Future Institute held in Portland Oregon. Build Small LIVE LARGE  brought together architects, developers, builders, remodelers, urban designers, policy makers and real estate professionals to discuss, inspire and share ideas to craft strategies for this growing housing market. Go here to see videos from the summit. This was the first ever summit on space-efficient housing!

Currently the planning bureau and Portland City Council have waived Systems Development Charges on ADUs and they have increased the ADU size limit from 33% to 75% of the primary dwelling or 800 sq ft, whatever is smaller.

Go to this website for a one stop source of information about ADU’s, granny flats, in-law units, backyard cottages.

Let me share with you my 380 sq ft Sellwood Studio ADU that I build last year!

First Permits and paperwork- Upfront work but well worth it.

Now the fun part tearing down the old garage that just was a storage place for junk not a car.

The size 16 x 24 was similar footprint to the garage but was vaulted and has a private patio

BEFORE rear of existing garage

AFTER rear of Sellwood Studio

Emily Refi was the architect that I worked with she now works for Waterleaf Architects.

Architect Emily Refi at front of Studio-                            complete with red   Vespa scooter!

I like how the Studio is similar in scale to the red cottage in front and that it sits in the middle of my urban garden.

Red Cottage in front is 900 sq ft

Since the garage was demolished a small garden shed as built with nod to the old garage- the original green door was used.

View from Studio set in middle of garden

Thanks Granny Evelyn for inspiring me to build a modern flat!  Next time we meet I will take you inside!

 

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