Category Archives: Universal Design

90% of You Want This…

No doubt a lot has changed since 2020.

The way we work.

The way we connect with family and friends.

And for many of us even what we want for ourselves and our loved ones

Which is why I’d like to share with you what a lot of what people are thinking about — where they will live in their retirement years. What’s changed since the pandemic are feelings about nursing homes and assisted living.

Now, I get this is a topic most of us don’t want to dig into or think about. It can feel uncomfortable because it’s not something we openly talk about with our friends, family or communities until something tragic has happened and a decision has to be made BUT… I want to encourage you to at least consider how and where you will live before something steals your freedom to choose and your independence is compromised.

Let’s take a moment and look at the stats…

While nearly 90% of all individuals want to stay in their home as they age, 99% of all U.S. homes are NOT ready for aging in place, according to a 2017 report from Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies. This means that at a critical time, you or your loved one may not be able to stay in your home, or a hospital or medical rehab facility may not be able to release you to your home for safety reasons. That’s right, the hospital or medical rehab must ensure your home is safe in order for you to be released, and that includes having a wheelchair accessible bathroom – this is often unknown and overlooked until it’s too late. That’s how many people end up in assisted living when they really want to stay in the home they love.

We never think about things happening to us, but they do. As William Strohman, M.D. of Lifescape in Scottsdale, AZ, says:
“As a family practice physician, I see abrupt episodes occur with patients every day, and life can change in a moment.”
Things such as a fall or injury, surgery, neuropathy, mobility issues, impaired vision, stroke, heart attack, illness, diabetes complications, or dementia change your needs. If your home is not ready to accommodate those changing needs, you may only have two choices. Have it designed and remodeled or move to assisted living.

And here’s the thing… design and remodeling doesn’t happen in a day.

Now, there are a lot of great senior living communities and even smaller assisted living care homes you could move to. However, if your heart’s desire is to stay in the home you love, to and through retirement, or if you’re planning to have your parents move in with you, you need to prepare your home to have at minimum one bathroom that is wheelchair accessible and safe. 

So, while you may be feeling great about your life and your health it may make sense on the economic front to consider an update to your home to take you to and through retirement.

Updates and remodels that support aging in place don’t have to be ugly and sterile. In fact, I am nationally recognized as an innovator and leader for my design work that dispels that very myth.

Gone are the days of industrial grab bars (if you have the right designer), that are highly ineffective without proper installation. I have been ushering in beautiful, elegant, and functional designs that have a positive impact on homeowner finances while keeping them living safer in the home they love.

Did you know that your return on investment for the design and remodeling, when properly and beautifully done, will cost less than a year of assisted living rent and increase the overall value of your home?


I often think of an investment in design and remodeling as the missing link to retirement planning. Experts often talk about your 401K or your IRA accounts and other investments, but rarely do we talk about housing costs, like reserves for Aging in Place design and remodeling or assisted living and long-term care until we’re right up against it. Then we’re blindsided by the cost of living in an assisted living community or care home, memory care, or skilled nursing, which can range between $3,500 and $12,000 per month depending on level of care needed. And with COVID giving us a glimpse of what the future could look like, better to prepare for your future. Now is the perfect time, as you may already be planning post-COVID home renovations.

Plan for long healthy and happy lives, living where you choose.

If you have any questions about what’s next for you or home renovations please reply to this email. I’d be happy to hop on a call and do a virtual assessment of your home. Also, please share this newsletter with anyone that may be planning a home renovation and/or wants to stay in their home through retirement.

55+ TLC Interior Design is Honored with 2019 Chrysalis Award for Remodeling Excellence

For a second consecutive year, 55+ TLC Interior Design and Founder Bonnie J. Lewis have been honored with a Chrysalis Award for Remodeling Excellence. The 2019 Western Region Award is in the “Commercial Project Under $500,000” category.

The entries were judged on overall design, the creative use of space and materials, and the degree to which the project enhanced the original structure.

The project was commissioned by Lifescape Premier, a medical practice in Scottsdale, Arizona. An existing X-Ray imaging room was re-designed, re-modeled and re-purposed into a fitness testing and training room for adult and senior patients.