Kitchen & Bath Design News

JUN 2018

Kitchen & Bath Design News is the industry's leading business, design and product resource for the kitchen and bath trade.

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features that benefit aging consumers. "I am committed to sharing living-in-place principals, but I rarely use those words. Rather, I talk in terms of safety, comfort and flexibility." She also likes the word "expansive," which indicates a space that would work for people of all ages and abilities, including visi- tors, neighbors, friends or even pets. As she sees it, the more people a space works for, the better for the homeowner – and the better for the home's value, as well. Even treading carefully, though, selling safety and acces- sibility can be tricky. McCabe admits, "I had two people who threw me out of their house once, offended because I wanted to put in grab bars." However, she sees this as a small price to pay for potentially saving lives. While aging consumers can be wary of the idea of ugly, institutional design being thrust upon them, Peterson believes many are coming around to the idea of supportive design, especially since it has become both stylish and mainstream. She says, "Historically, it was always the designer who brought up this topic, but nowadays I see more clients who are asking for good, healthy design that will support them forever." She concludes, "Things are changing, and design that supports aging is becoming mainstream because it's just intelligent design. That chapter has begun, and if you don't do it, you're missing the boat." ▪ 10 years older than you are" comes into play here; regardless of their age, people rarely think of themselves as "old," and can be highly sensitive to any suggestions to the contrary, the designers assert. Phipps explains, "As a designer, I have to tread lightly. People don't feel as old as they are these days, and they don't want to be reminded that they're getting older." So instead of focusing on the aspects that are age related, she spotlights the fashion and convenience benefits. As an example, she cites a bath she did for a client who'd had a recent hip surgery. Showing her the plan, she said, "I put in a really cute sit down vanity so you can relax while you're doing your make up." While left unspoken, the vanity's ability to support wheelchair access if needed offers added future value. McCabe finds that clients are often more receptive to fea- tures that support aging in place when she brings other people into the equation. "There are a lot of ways to ease their appre- hension," she believes. "I might mention guests visiting, or pro- viding a safe place for their elderly parents to bathe. If they have grandchildren, we'll talk about preventing accidents for them." Peterson agrees that "stealth marketing" can often be the way to go. She doesn't suggest a "no-threshold shower," but instead refers to it as a "European-style shower." And, she explains, "When I'm doing a plan, I don't point out [that these features will help with aging in place], I just put them in there. So I'll be showing them the design, and go through the whole plan, saying, 'here's the vanity…and here's where we'll place the toilet, and the support rails go there,' and just continue unless they stop me." If that happens, she simply explains why the feature is a good idea and why most clients want it. This is part of a selling technique she initially learned in Dale Carnegie classes many years ago – the idea of "third-party testimonials." She explains, "People seem to be more receptive when you tell a story about another client, i.e. 'Past clients have found that X really works well for them because…'" Barton agrees that a third-party testimonial can be help- ful, but she also believes word choices matter when selling Resources For more information on designing smart spaces compatible with aging-in-place principles, the following resources may be of help. LIVING IN PLACE INSTITUTE Designed to blend the principles of aging in place, accessibility and universal design, the Living in Place Institute is home to the Certified Living in Place Professional (CLIPP) training and certification program to give home professionals the tools for making homes accessible, comfortable and safer for everyone through networking, education and home assessment tools. CERTIFIED AGING IN PLACE SPECIALIST TRAINING The Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS) training and cer- tification program was developed by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Remodelers, NAHB Research Center, 50+ Housing Council and the AARP, and is designed to teach the business management, customer service and technical information a business needs to serve the needs of seniors and the elderly. | HARVARD UNIVERSITY GRADUATE SCHOOL OF DESIGN, RESIDENT DESIGN FOR HEALTH AND LONGEVITY CLASS Taught by renowned designer, speaker and author Mary Jo Peterson, president of Mary Jo Peterson Inc., and Cynthia A. Leibrock, principal, Easy Access to Health, LLC, this intensive two-day course looks at how design can promote a lifestyle that leads to health and longevity, looking at innovative prod- ucts and forward-thinking projects focusing on design that supports aging in place while maximizing health and wellness. UNIVERSITY OF BUFFALO SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE AND PLANNING'S CENTER FOR INCLUSIVE DESIGN AND ENVIRONMENTAL ACCESS The Center for Inclusive Design and Environmental Access of- fers online classes, innovative solutions for universal design, a list of publications related to inclusive design and other design resources. | In this bathroom designed by Barbara Barton, a custom designed teak seat allows the homeowners to swing their legs over, making it easier to get in and out of the tub. Photo: Scott Hasson Photography 56 Kitchen & Bath Design News • June 2018 AGING IN PLACE

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