K+BB - October 2008 - (Page 64)

Access Bold Move Despite limitations, a kitchen remodel makes life easier and brighter With more empty-nesters moving into luxury condos in metropolitan areas, aging in place and accessibility in multifamily housing are becoming a hot topic. In fact, accessibility—or the lack thereof—in such buildings has been making the news of late. This past August, The New York Times delved into the issue in two separate reports. The first dealt with a federal lawsuit filed by the Justice Department in Manhattan alleging violations of the Fair Housing Act by AvalonBay Communities, one of the country’s largest developers, and the second discussed difficulties that tenants with disabilities still encounter in their own apartments, even though the buildings were designed to meet local accessibility requirements. But while the articles illustrated the persistent challenges of ensuring comfort and functionality for people of all abilities in the face of existing legislation and guidelines, both focused on buildings erected in the last 20 years. The same difficulties are compounded in older buildings, especially those that require board approval for remodeling work done on a unit. Designer Sarah Krautwurst, of Wentworth, Inc., can relate. When renovating parts of a condo for a woman in her 80s in Washington, DC, she was very much limited to working with the existing layout. Although the budget also helped define her solution, the issue of aging in place came to the forefront when her client suffered a fall during construction (not on site) and had to recuperate in a wheelchair. bins and storage compartments to keep the kitchen clean and the floor clear of obstacles. Krautwurst installed new undercabinet lighting, as well as ceiling fixtures, to ensure sufficient task and ambient illumination. The backsplash is also discreetly equipped with a series of outlets in response to a client pet peeve. LOOKS AND FUNCTION Fortunately, the three-bedroom, 3,000-sq.-ft. unit is one of the largest in the building, and the kitchen, “garden room” and laundry room, totaling more than 302 sq. ft. in size, are all wheelchair-accessible. The extra space, noted Krautwurst, was a key driver in her client’s decision to purchase the home. Originally occupying a smaller unit in the same building, “she moved to one with three bedrooms so she could have live-in help,” said Krautwurst. As a result, the renovation was designed for not only the client’s use, but also that of her nurse. This was especially true in the kitchen. Because her client does not cook, “she was really more concerned with how it would look and make her feel,” said Krautwurst. “Her live-in help did all of the cooking and ended up picking out the appliances.” To save money, Krautwurst opted to keep the existing countertops and refurbish the old cabinets with new doors and a fresh coat of black paint. Some of the wall cabinets have stainless-steel doorframes with glass inserts to offset the darker units, and on the backsplash, gray and white tiles in a random pattern add modern verve. All are dramatically contrasted by bold red walls that add cheer and reflect the client’s love of color. Although the kitchen seems to be the domain of her client’s assistant, it does contain features for the convenience of both. These include a variety of organizational accessories, such as built-in waste OTHER ROOMS An adjacent home office was converted into a “garden room,” as the client is fond of growing plants in the sunroom. Here, in addition to plenty of adjustable shelving and counter space for all of her gardening needs, the space is equipped with a utility sink that doubles as a place for the homeowner to have her hair done by a hairstylist in the building. Krautwurst’s effort also extended to a connecting powder room and laundry room, for which a key component involved moving a washer and dryer from the former into the latter. In the powder room, a new vanity and toilet were added, as were an access panel to conceal an airshaft and a marble ledge that serves as a shelf, as well as support (in lieu of grab bars) for someone using the toilet. The laundry room is furnished with a front-load washer and dryer set for easy access, ample built-in storage and, of course, outlets. While some of Krautwurst’s initial ideas for the remodel were edited out by the board, the outcome succeeds both aesthetically and functionally. Not only do the new rooms allow the client and her assistant to move about and work more freely, but vibrant and lively, they reflect a personality that’s still young at heart. s —Alice Liao For more images of this project, go to www.kbbonline.com/boldmove. 64 + K BB October 2008 / www.kbbonline.com / The Official Sponsor of K/BIS www.kbis.com http://www.kbbonline.com/boldmove http://www.kbbonline.com http://www.kbis.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of K+BB - October 2008

K+BB - October 2008
Contents
Online Contents
Online News
Editorial
Feedback
Dates
Digits
Focus
Consumer
Trends
Products
Options
Profile
Design
Paradise Found
Graded on a Curve
Green
Access
Additions
Practice
Education
Editorial Index
Ad Index
Favorites

K+BB - October 2008

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