Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Lunada and ASID Los Angeles

The American Society of Interior Designers is a professional organization that helps organize and bring the design community together through education and community service with the goal of uplifting the practices of interior design.  Jane Biggeln, Lunada Consulting and Design's owner and Principal, has been a dedicated member of ASID (Los Angeles Chapter) for a number of years.  Jane has also always been an active member of her community participating and organizing numerous events, fundraisers, and community outreach programs.  Last year, the ASID Los Angeles Chapter, with the help of Jane, participated in a program called Aging in Place that helps improve the homes of the elderly increasing their mobility and level of comfort.  It is programs like this that help people understand that interior design is more than pillows and paint, it effects the way people live. Below is the article that was posted on the ASID website:

When a House Is Not a Home
ASID Los Angeles Chapter and Kiwanis Partner Gives Senior Owner a Barrier-Free Future
Thirty years ago, Hugh Finlay suffered a stroke that left him paralyzed on his right side and unable to speak more than a few words at a time.  In all but one respect, he was able to move about the condominium he had purchased in the New Horizons retirement community in Torrance, Calif.:  He could not take a shower because the tub was too high for him to step over safely.  So for many years Hugh grabbed his cane and walked to the local YMCA to use the showers or visited the clubhouse pool showers once or twice a week on the days his friend, Jack Rennie, would pick him up and drive him there.
Today, Hugh no longer has to leave his home just to take a shower.  He has a newly universally designed bathroom, thanks to a cooperative effort of the ASID Los Angeles Chapter and the Torrance Kiwanis Foundation. Evelyn Grodan, CAPS, of Design That Works, a consultancy specializing in building modifications for seniors and people with special needs, served as project manager and accessibility consultant for the project. Their combined efforts, along with generous donations from local vendors and contractors, allowed them to remodel not just Hugh’s bathroom but the entire condo.  The project employed universal design, sustainable and accessibility principles to create a space that is healthy, safe and barrier-free.
The project expanded beyond the bathroom, as more vendors and people heard about it and wanted to get involved.  The kitchen cabinets were refaced and new appliances, countertops and lighting were added in the kitchen.  The doors and windows were replaced with easier-to-open, lighter weight vinyl models.  Donations included new furniture, built-in closets and window treatments.
Other improvements were made to create a healthier environment and enhance ease of use.  All the door knobs throughout the condo were replaced with lever-style handles, and all closet hardware was changed to large pulls.  The carpet was removed and replaced with a wood-look vinyl flooring that is easier to keep clean and makes for a smoother transition from room to room.  The walls were given a fresh coat of low-VOC paint.  New thermostats with auto control and larger number pads were installed, as were two HEPA air purifiers.  All the light bulbs were changed to energy-efficient, longer-life fluorescent bulbs. To top things off, the address numbers on the outside of the building were replaced with larger ones and properly lighted. 
“It’s amazing, the support we’ve gotten,” says Ellen Cantor, ASID, CID, the chairperson for the chapter’s Aging in Place program.  “The positive reaction from the neighborhood has been very encouraging.  We are eager to get started on our next project.”

--The original article can be found at http://www.asidla.org/news_events/public_service