Keeping to a neutral color scheme makes this space appear much bigger.
What we do know is that we are just as happy to get this project wrapped up, given that we had but three weeks to pull it all off including cabinetry. Yes, well actually a bit less than three weeks... certainly not three days... nor three hours as some on HG-TV would have you believe. We painted, papered, hung fixtures + track lighting, delivered the upholstery, thru our the rugs + installed her TV so should could watch LPGA tournaments on the big screen on the first night of occupancy. Not too shabby, eh?
The concrete counter makes a great bar top.
What else made us happy as the design team was the great rapport we had with she and partner. It makes a difference when client and designer truly have a great time with one another.
We will say it helps when a client says "you know better then me on such things." And it of course helps when the client has a great eye for art and let us "select" pieces that would work well in this residence from their Chicago condo. Sweet.
So who did have the best time? By far, we did. It was a challenge to assemble all the parts + pieces together in a cohesive plan and meet our scheduled installation date. And while we are still buttoning up the details + finishing the punch list, we're happy to know that we made this client happy again once more. But the best part? Just how much she appreciated all our efforts. ;-)
• Psst. Next project we do, Ms. S....we're definitely going need an extra few days. You good with that?
The workshop will feature case studies of clients and showcase their homes that incorporate “universal design” solutions with high style aging-in-place features. And in case you have not met our founder and designer, Michael is a Fellow ( one of only 200 in the country) and Professional Member of ASID, the American Society Of Interior Designers. He is also he co-author of the professional book “Residential Design For Aging In Place.” He has been quoted and had projects published in various media including Dwell, Interiors + Sources, Time Magazine, the Miami Herald, Florida Home & Garden and a video segment on the Travel Channel.
“With 76 million baby boomers contemplating their future, now is the time to consider how and where they will live in safe, secure but also beautiful sustainable home environments,” he stated. “But it is important to know that aging-in-place designs are great for everyone, no matter the age or ability.”
There is no cost to attend but reservations are required and seating is limited. The event will be held at Design Pure + Simple, 301 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Showroom #103, Palm Springs, CA 92262.
And for those interested in Michael's book, a book signing will follow the event.
To make a reservation or for further information on this or other events this summer...
contact Design Pure + Simple at 760 - 322 - 3784, Ext 1 followed by the # key.
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This Wright home designed for a client in a wheelchair was a safe and secure place for more than 50 years.
I'm lucky to be living in the desert valley in Palm Springs and have lived in Scottsdale where Frank Lloyd Wright made his home and office, beginning his life anew in the early and middle of the 20th Century, escaping from the wicked winters of Wisconsin. And for me, it doesn't take more than of walk of five minutes to experience his architectural influence up close and in person over and over again at the Biltmore Hotel near 24th and Camelback, in the near north end of Phoenix. Everyone who is a devotee of Wright knows just being in one of his projects is inspiring.
When one thinks about the Master Wright, what often comes to mind is his use of natural materials in geometric shapes such as his concrete textile block, stylized details fashioned in horizontal lines from cypress, pine and oak, furnishings built into the interior to save space, cantilever roofs that seem to float in space and the use of art glass as light screens to enhance the illumination of the interior space.
For one couple in Rockford, Ill. who contacted Mr. Wright in 1948, they got what they wanted from this master of space in the design of their home plus more : cypress interiors, large expanses of glass, and built-in furnishings. But they also got one important detail Wright designed only for this residence: a home that would accommodate the couple so they might "age in place."
And so for Ken Laurent, a Navy veteran and paraplegic and his wife Phyllis, they have aged in place in this beautiful place for some 57 years.
The Laurents have had the opportunity to be the occupants and caregivers for this Wright home since they started building it in 1951. What a treasure for them. The house is one of Wright’s Usonian (or no-frills) homes and the only home the world-famous architect designed for a person in a wheelchair.
In addition to all the other standard elements of a Wright-designed building, the Laurents also got a home that was built on a single level, one with wider doors, a flowing but deep loggia and a master bedroom that is larger than most Wright bedrooms.
The couple has lovingly cared for this home but at 90, it is time for the couple to move to a place where they can receive the kind of assistance they need at this time of their life. So the house went up for sale at $875,000 early this year. And just this week, the home and 1-1/3 acres of natural surroundings sold to a group of Rockford preservationists and concerned citizens for less than $600,000.
This is a great example of how a home can be functional, beautiful and add the needed aspects of safety, security and accessibility that can last for a life time. After more than 5 decades of occupancy, I'd say it was Wright On.
After attending the furniture and design market in Las Vegas, people asked about what we saw as the most important design trends.
To be frank, we didn't see anything significant that bubbled up to the top. Certainly the grey-beige colors popular for the last few seasons continue to be seen in fabrics, floorcoverings and cabinet finishes. And when accented by sharper color statements, these cooler neutrals work well in most any environment, be it contemporary or traditional.
But one thing that seems to be a consistent and some would say a "classic forever" trend is the mixed use of materials. It brings to mind the designs we do for many of our clients' kitchens and baths, both spaces where it's not as easy nor inexpensive to change when one gets bored or tired of something. And besides when you work hard to get everything just right, you don't want to just toss out a design because tastes change.
Take for instance this kitchen. A mix of wood, stone, glass and metal make for pleasing space to prep the daily meals, visit with the family and entertain guests. Each of the materials are "soft" in nature. And except for the glass tile back splash, there are no glossy or overtly shiny finishes anywhere.
The wood is a quarter-sawn oak designed to have the lines of grain flow vertically and then rubbed smooth to be a "furniture" type-finish. The metal materials including the accent doors, door hardware and faucets are made of satin, brushed stainless.
Even the inserts in the accent doors, cut from frosted dimensional glass that somewhat obscure what's behind them, has the same "soft" appearance. But collectively, the materials hang together well, each contributing their own sense of style that will certainly outlast any current design trend of the moment.
So the lessons are simple. Trends are fun to follow. They can re-direct our eye to something that's new and fresh. But in the long run, it makes much more sense and "cents" to mix materials to achieve a timeless and "classic forever" look in your home or workplace.
A colleague of ours in the Palm Springs design community, Cheryl Urrutia, shared what it is like for her and Frank, her architect husband to reside in a very special place. The place? The residence William Cody built for himself in Palm Springs in1947, one filled with special views + its own unique challenges.
The trees were moving, but the wind wasn’t blowing. I was in the tub since it was winter time and using the outdoor shower was out of the question and there was no indoor shower in the house at that time. Two of the walls around the tub are floor to ceiling glass, which is nice for taking a relaxing bath, and watching the sunrise.
This morning was different and I said to my husband, why are the trees moving; the wind isn’t blowing? As he came around the corner and looked out the window, he said, “Get out of the tub, they’re trimming the trees!” That gives you an idea of the type of surprises that can occur when you live in a home designed by Mid Century architect, Bill Cody.
Bill Cody believed in a seamless transition between indoors and out, so many of the walls throughout our home are glass; floor to ceiling glass. The line between indoors and out can be deceiving to a first time guest, so we end up watching them so that they don’t run into any of the “walls”.
My husband, architect Frank Urrutia, worked for Bill Cody just out of college and a lot of his own design aesthetic comes from being mentored by Cody. When the Cody home came up for sale, Frank purchased it.
Unfortunately the home had been leased and the tenants hadn’t taken care of it. Some of the glass “walls” had been painted as well as the beautiful cedar tongue and groove ceiling.
Frank gutted the home and did some renovation work prior to moving in. Frank wanted to stay true to Bill’s original design aesthetic, but there were a few things that needed to be changed…… One major change was to the living room. Bill had designed a conversation pit, which was cool at the time. It was great for parties and Bill loved a party! It was three feet deep and four feet by five feet wide. You stepped down into it from the main level in the living room. The problem was that during cocktail parties people actually fell into the pit! Frank filled it in.
Another change was in the kitchen. Frank enjoys cooking so the kitchen was enlarged, new appliances put in, and a breakfast room added. Staying true to Bill’s aesthetic, you still have to come to the kitchen fully clothed when you get up in the morning and are searching for that first cup of coffee!
• Great Story, Cheryl... Thanks for sharing it.
Michael is an award winning interior designer based in Palm Desert, CA. He is a Professional Member of the American Society of Interior Designers and a member of the ASID College of Fellows.
As a Certified Aging In Place Specialist, he creates smart looking spaces that are safe and secure and create homes for a lifetime.
And with thirty plus years in the profession, he has honed his humor, elevated his passion for design and sharpened his wit to not take anything too seriously except his design work.