“Aging-in-place design is really a forward-thinking design strategy that supports any user to live in their home [for] their lifetime, and their home will support them as their needs change,” Andrea Cowan Molyneaux says over the phone as the hustle and bustle of a busy day at ACM Designs occurs in the background.
Cowan Molyneaux is passionate about aging-in-place design, noting it’s important to her, and important to everyone on the team at ACM Designs, a residential interior decorating and design business located in Haliburton. ACM Designs is a national leader in aging-in-place design, with everyone on the design team being certified in aging-in-place design, and both Cowan Molyneaux, founder/principal, and decor lead Katie Golec are certified living-in-place professionals.
ACM Designs offers a comprehensive and specific package for aging-in-place, in which a home audit is conducted, looking at deficiencies, and an interview is done with the user to talk about their current medical status, including potentially progressive illness or disease and how their home might need to adapt to suit them now, or in the future. Virtual reality goggles can be used to see in advance what the space will look like with change. While sometimes, Cowan Molyneaux said the team will work with clients who have, for example, survived a stroke and need major modification, sometimes the conversation is more about presenting options in preparation of making modifications.
“They’re still beautiful, they’re still relevant, they’re still in the aesthetic that you’re looking for, that the design is demanding. But they still allow you to safely age in your home.”
Planning for change allows for a space that can adapt or be flexible as necessary. Cowan Molyneaux said, for example, putting blocking in during priming of a bathroom that would make space for where a grab bar could go in the future.
“You don’t have to put a grab bar in, but you’re ready if you ever need it,” she said. “And that need could be taking in a loved one.”