by Christine Eustice, ASID, RID
Creating interiors for individuals is often like solving a mystery.
I have to figure out the who, what, where and how for the individuals occupying the space. At the same time I strive to incorporate beauty and function to execute that vision.
I spend a lot of time interviewing potential clients about their needs and desires for their spaces. The information I obtain varies depending on what is important to that particular individual and what the estimated costs required to enact those plans. With clients who are either retired or close to retiring, the quality of products chosen seems far more important than the costs involved in purchasing and installation of the products.
Don’t get me wrong, of course cost is a factor when redesigning interiors, but if the upgraded product does not require a large increase in price, and going that route will improve the quality of life for the homeowners, then why not?
One of my clients, Judy, is a good example. She is a retired federal government employee, serial traveler and passionate advocate for elephant protection who loves to swim and sunbathe in her new pool. She wanted complete access to the pool area and to update her patio including windows. Several large windows off of her bedroom were converted into a 48” wide double French doors that allowed easy access to her outdoor sanctuary. As a bonus, she now has what’s called “universal access”., a term used to describe renovations that allow all individuals to comfortably move around the residence despite existing limitations or disabilities. Judy’s new door creates space wide enough for easy entry and exit regardless of who or what is needing to pass in or out. The cost was approximately 20 % more than the estimated total to replace just the windows, but now the exterior and interior space is enhanced both esthetically and with a focus on health, safety and peace of mind.
Another client, Jennifer, is a horse breeder, wife and mom with a need for a complete master bath remodel after the teeny tiny shower had a very large leak. The shower was used almost exclusively and the tub rarely, so plans were made to remove the tub, and create a walk-in shower and large linen cabinet to help manage the clutter under the bathroom cabinets. Again, the cost to reconfigure the plumbing added a bit more to the total price of the project, but now the shower provides universal access with a 36” wide opening and a bench. The linen closet removed the need to stoop down to get items from the low cabinets.
Do you think about both where you are now in your life, both mentally and physically, AND where you might be in the future? Making modifications to accommodate possible future limitations will not only provide you with a beautiful space now, but will allow you to age in place and save you money in the long run.
Christine Eustice, ASID, RID is a Texas Registered Interior Designer at Benchmark Interiors, LLC, who loves designing outdoor rooms and creating universally designed interior spaces. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree of Fine Arts in Interior Design from the University of North Texas. Upon completing her professional interior design requirements and passing the NCIDQ (National Council for Interior Design Qualification) exam, Christine became a registered interior designer with the Texas Board of Architectural Examiners. While earning her RID status, she became a professional member of ASID (American Society of Interior Designers) and served as the past president, magazine chair and editor for the Texas Chapter of ASID’s magazine “Design Texas”. Contact Christine at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about her services, go to benchmarkinteriors.net
Photo Source: canomotos.com