Environments for Aging - Spring 2021 - 128

THE SPARK

Nod to
the past
LuAnn Thoma-Holec, principal
and founder of Thoma-Holec
Design, shares the journey of
her career and how she always
remembers where it started

128

EFAmagazine.com * Spring 2021

ties and à la carte personal care services.
After residents moved into the community, I
noticed the décor in one of the lounges had
been moved. While I was repositioning the
furnishings and accessories, a resident in her
jammies scolded me for putting everything
back in place. " This is my home. Why are you
changing it? " she said. I immediately realized
that what I was designing wasn't mine. I was
creating opportunities for residents to live with
purpose and dignity and a home where they
could socialize and thrive.
The project went on to win national
design awards and launched my senior
housing design career. I decided to pursue
a graduate certificate in gerontology from
Arizona State University to learn about
the social, physical, and psychological
aspects of aging and the various forms of
dementia. After moving to MGA Interiors,
where I became a partner, I continued

designing models for home builders, along
with senior housing. In 2006, I decided to
launch Thoma-Holec Design, which focuses
entirely on senior housing. Growing up with
a mom who was in and out of hospitals had
taught me the importance of creating meaningful environments that provide residents a
sense of purpose while also bringing them
comfort and joy. The knowledge of the ways
environments can support or detract from
a resident's physical and cognitive abilities
became the foundation of my design practice, which involves creating environments
that promote engagement in activities and
social interaction.
Today, at least one horse sculpture,
artwork, or figurine is integrated into the
design of every community that I or my firm
designs. This small touch takes me back to
my roots and always reminds me of how I
arrived where I am today. EFA

MARK BOISCLAIR PHOTOGRAPHY, MOCERI-BLOSSOM RIDGE

G

rowing up
in a small
Wisconsin
town, and living on a
farm to boot, I had no
idea what interior design or architecture
was. Still, if I wasn't
training or riding my
horse, I was working
with fabrics, either sewing my own clothes or
making neckties for every man I knew.
After a few odd jobs during high school,
including at a dental office and a leather
glove factory, I still didn't know what I wanted
to pursue as a career. Then I enrolled in a
general study course at the University of
Wisconsin-Madison where I was introduced
to interior design and museum arts. The feel,
texture, colors, and drape of fabrics always
intrigued me. And upon discovering textile
chemistry, loom weaving, and textile design
classes, I declared interior design as my
major and went on to receive a Bachelor of
Science in Interior Design and Museum Arts.
Following graduation, a friend and I packed
up a Ford Econoline van and moved to
Arizona with $500 in my pocket and dreams
galore! A part-time job in the home furnishings and custom drapery departments at JC
Penney during college had set me on the path
to my first professional job with Habitat Inc., a
large commercial design firm. I became vice
president of the model home merchandising studio, which encompassed multifamily,
hospitality design, and eventually senior living
design. Little did I know that a project for
Las Fuentes Resort Village in Prescott, Ariz.,
would change my life. The project was one
of the first of its kind: an independent senior
living community with full-service ameni-


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Environments for Aging - Spring 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Environments for Aging - Spring 2021

Environments for Aging - Spring 2021
Table of Contents
Masthead/eTable of Contents
Editorial/Board
Show Talk/Ad Index
Bulletin/Past And Future
Bulletin/Product Spotlight
Community/Shifting Mindsets
Natural Attraction
Historic Transformation
Showcase Jury
Showcase Trends
Showcase Nuggets
EFA Design Showcase Ad Index
The Spark/Nod To The Past
Environments for Aging - Spring 2021 - Environments for Aging - Spring 2021
Environments for Aging - Spring 2021 - Cover2
Environments for Aging - Spring 2021 - 1
Environments for Aging - Spring 2021 - Table of Contents
Environments for Aging - Spring 2021 - 3
Environments for Aging - Spring 2021 - Masthead/eTable of Contents
Environments for Aging - Spring 2021 - 5
Environments for Aging - Spring 2021 - 6
Environments for Aging - Spring 2021 - Editorial/Board
Environments for Aging - Spring 2021 - Show Talk/Ad Index
Environments for Aging - Spring 2021 - 9
Environments for Aging - Spring 2021 - Bulletin/Past And Future
Environments for Aging - Spring 2021 - 11
Environments for Aging - Spring 2021 - Bulletin/Product Spotlight
Environments for Aging - Spring 2021 - 13
Environments for Aging - Spring 2021 - 14
Environments for Aging - Spring 2021 - 15
Environments for Aging - Spring 2021 - 16
Environments for Aging - Spring 2021 - Community/Shifting Mindsets
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Environments for Aging - Spring 2021 - 19
Environments for Aging - Spring 2021 - Natural Attraction
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Environments for Aging - Spring 2021 - Historic Transformation
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Environments for Aging - Spring 2021 - Showcase Jury
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Environments for Aging - Spring 2021 - Showcase Trends
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Environments for Aging - Spring 2021 - Showcase Nuggets
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Environments for Aging - Spring 2021 - EFA Design Showcase Ad Index
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Environments for Aging - Spring 2021 - The Spark/Nod To The Past
Environments for Aging - Spring 2021 - Cover3
Environments for Aging - Spring 2021 - Cover4
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