"I HAVE THE BEST JOB IN THE WORLD.  AFTER MANY YEARS BUILDING MY REPUTATION AS A PROFESSIONAL DESIGNER…

I find it's important to show the serious side of design and inspire others to create engaging homes.  But another important lesson learned is to enjoy the moment and find time to have a good laugh.  It is my team of talented, hardworking people that manage to keep me—and each other—laughing."

Years ago I was honored to be asked to create a multi-purpose bedroom that the whole family could enjoy. You see, my client’s career in the military meant that the family moved a lot and learned to adapt to changes. But several events in their life forced them to deal with changes they never saw coming.

 

My client was injured on a mission in Afghanistan and after several back surgeries hopes were high for a full recovery. But this strong, young man began to experience unusual symptoms. Testing revealed that he had developed ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. The whole family was fighting this battle, so just a bedroom renovation wasn’t enough. This room was to become the heart of the home; a sanctuary to retreat together.

 

Function came first: The best place for the elevator shaft was where the closet had been, so we took out a wall to make way for it. Near the elevator is a new multi-functional custom wall unit with a raised gas fireplace as the focal point for both warmth and visual comfort.

HEROIC MASTER SUITE

To position the bed so there would be enough space for circulation, I had to ignore the location of the windows and come up with a solution. Layers of drapery create a dramatic backdrop for the bed and completely hides one set of windows.

 

Drapery panels frame the remaining window and extend along the wall on the other side of the bed, creating a balanced, intentional look.

 

My client needed an ordinary hospital bed. But I didn’t want it to look ordinary or feel at all like a sterile hospital bed. So I designed

an upholstered, wall-mounted headboard in truffle-brown velvet to establish a feeling of a luxurious hotel suite, then dressed the bed

in layers of organic cotton bedding for the ultimate comfort.

Designing spaces that can accommodate a wheelchair is becoming more important as better health care and new technologies help people live independently who might not have been able to before.

 

Renovating to include an elevator and accessible spaces can make all the difference in allowing a family to live comfortably and function normally— and there’s no reason those spaces can’t be beautiful!

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