Allow Me To Reintroduce Myself…
I am Allyson Forrister — founder of Counterpane Interiors.
I started my business in 2011 with the vague desire to improve the lives of my clients. For several years I tried to offer all things to all people. Like many small business owners that take this route initially, somewhere along the way I realized that serving too broad of a client base was not serving myself and my business. It was time to do some soul-searching and find my niche.
I thought a lot about who I wanted to serve and what kind of work would be the most fulfilling for me. Eventually, I got to thinking about my own family and upbringing. I have a few members in my family that have special physical needs. For a few moments, I imagined myself in their shoes as they navigate a conventionally built world. — I urge you to do this exercise for yourself and think about all the barriers in your own home that you would encounter if you were dependant on a walker or wheelchair or if you had limited use of your arms due to arthritis or stroke. It is frustrating. THIS is how I discovered that I had a great interest in universal design practices.
With aging comes physical challenges. We need to start building and modifying our homes to anticipate the future. An aging-friendly home is easier for EVERYONE to thrive in. I truly feel that we all play a part in creating a universally designed world and when the time comes for you to remodel your home and you choose to work with a universal design professional, you are doing your part to make that world a reality. This design and building practice can create the new normal for the way we live in our homes, shape our spaces and build our dwellings.
I have created a free guide called Thrive At Home: A Quick & Easy Guide to Staying in Place. It will take you room-by-room through your home and show you many small, easy things you can do right now to start your aging-in-place journey.
In addition to quick and easy pointers, I also share with you tasks for which you should consider hiring a professional. Working with a designer and skilled tradespeople on more advanced tasks will help you achieve a beautiful, tailored solution for your specific needs without making your home feel like a medical facility.
I wrote this guide for a myriad of people.
- Empty nesters who want to update their long-time home or downsize to a smaller one.
- Families with multigenerational homes with or without an in-law suite.
- Couples or individuals nearing retirement or newly retired who want to craft the next chapter of their lives.
- People of any age who are living with a physical disability in a conventionally built home.