Aging in Place

While we all hope we’ll be healthy and mobile until the day we die, the reality is that most of us will need assistance at least temporarily during our lifetime.  Our ability to stay in our homes as long as possible could easily be impacted by how well we planned during our last remodel.  Many of us live in homes that are currently woefully inadequate to accommodate walkers, wheelchairs or even a cane.  In fact, many of our homes in their current configuration could be quite dangerous for causing one of the most lethal of all health issues for the elderly – the slip and fall.

Here is a list of things to consider during your remodel:

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Are the chemicals in your home making you sick?

More and more, we are finding that chemicals we find in our homes that are put there to protect us are more likely to have long-term unintended negative consequences. Fire retardents, while long thought to protect us in a fire, are more likely to harm us in the event of a fire with toxic fumes, but even more importantly, could be the cause of birth defects, diabetes and cancers. Hormone disrupting chemicals are often unregulated and found in every day items, like shampoo, hairspray, laundry detergent, plastics, and the upholstery and mattresses we sit and sleep on every day.

Nicholas Kristoff has once again eloquently written an editorial in today’s New York Times that explains how these toxic chemicals so easily find their way into our homes and into the tissues of our bodies and that of our children…here’s a little taste, and the link. Tell me what you think about how we can begin to eliminate these dangerous chemicals from our lives.

Are You Safe on That Sofa?

Chances are that if you’re sitting on a couch right now, it contains flame retardants. This will probably do no good if your house catches fire — although it may release toxic smoke. There is growing concern that the chemicals are hazardous, with evidence mounting of links to cancer, fetal impairment and reproductive problems.

For years, I’ve written about this type of chemical, endocrine disruptors, but The Chicago Tribune has just published a devastating investigative series called “Playing With Fire” that breaks vast new ground. It is superb journalism.

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Chemical Sensitivity is only the start of the problem…read on and tell me what you think

Many of my friends and clients are familiar with the struggles I’ve had over the last several years with extreme sensitivities to chemical agents that are found in virtually everything we buy and nearly everything we use on our skin, including our laundry detergent and hair products and so much more.  For me, the symptoms can be elevated blood pressure and Continue reading

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Storage options that are both beautiful and useful for organizing in small spaces

Hand Painted Chinese Armoir

Hand Painted Chinese Armoir

Sometimes in small spaces, there is little room for beautiful artwork on the walls.  This is a lovely alternative that serves three purposes:  1) Beautiful hand painted images to create interest in your space; 2) This piece has volume for storage of many items that would otherwise clutter the visual aspects of your small space; 3) Serves to organize your space by offering one shelf for each category of organization.  You could even use this piece to organize a cluttered home office.

One of the things I love about pieces like this is that it can adapt to just about any usage requirement.   Use an cabinet like this in a kitchen as a pantry; in a dining room as storage for dishes; fit it out as a bar; use it in the bedroom to store extra clothing and keep it organized – maybe you’d put your seasonal clothing in this piece.  Store your shoes or your handbags; store your large folded sweaters that are too bulky for drawers.  Use it to contain your crafting supplies; use it in the office to control all the office clutter like paper and office trinket storage; instruction manuals and all the little pamphlets and books that are required for your occupation.  Really, the list could go on and on.  If you have a small space, a large cabinet can do a world of good to keep your space organized and elegantly simple.


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