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 live in. We need to start making universal design practices the new normal for the way we live in our homes, shape our spaces and build our dwellings.
This guide that I have created for you will take you room-by-room through your home and show you many small, easy things you can do to start your aging-in-place journey. Each room also has pointers for 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 are eager to begin a new chapter of their lives.
- People who are nearing retirement or are newly retired who are eager to begin a new chapter of their lives.
- Adult children who are interested in keeping their parents safe and healthy at home.
- Members of multigenerational homes who want to learn about how they can make the home safe for people of all ages.
- People who have dear friends and family members who want to visit their homes but experience barriers at entry and in restrooms.
- People of any age with mobility issues who experience barriers within their own homes making day-to-day tasks difficult.
- People who are ready to downsize into a new, smaller home that may require modifications to fit their lifestyle.
I sincerely hope you enjoy this guide and please do not hesitate to contact me to let me know how it served you. Simply email me at firstname.lastname@example.org