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The inside matters

Interior design of Wind Crest’s Mill Vista Lodge, stunning and purposeful

Created date

April 23rd, 2013

The new continuing care neighborhood at Erickson Living s Wind Crest, in Highlands Ranch, Colo., is really taking shape. The construction is well under way and the neighborhood will open this fall. Now, designers at Lantz-Boggio Architects of Denver, Colo., have turned their attention toward creating the interior design in tandem with the building s architecture. According to MaryLou Parham, director of interior design for Lantz-Boggio, this process will benefit residents designing the two together helps create balance and flow.

From the ground up

Wind Crest s Mill Vista Lodge will have four floors, each one dedicated to a different level of continuing care. The first floor will house both short-term rehab and long-term nursing residences. The second and third floors will feature one- and two-bedroom assisted living apartments with kitchenettes. The fourth floor will be dedicated solely to memory care. Erickson Living has done a lot of research and has a lot of experience and therefore has a very clear, programmed response that they feel is effective for each level of care, Parham says. Parham has worked closely with her team, headed by Project Manager and Interior Designer Nancy Stelljes. A big part of what interior design does is incorporate furniture and fixtures into the mix. Lighting in the building is a fabulous component of design, Parham says. And this is a place where design and architecture work hand-in-hand. With natural aging, the eye adapts less to changes in the lighting, she says, so designers must understand all of the lighting in the building and how it works together, like natural lighting, window placement, lighting fixtures both architectural and practical, as well as aesthetics. When all of this happens at the same time, then both the right type and amount of lighting will be present in every area of the building, Parham says.

The design is the details

Color is also a big part of the design process, and according to both Parham and Stelljes, designers use psychology of color. Blues and greens are peaceful, restful colors and are more likely to be centrally focused on the memory care floor, while reds, oranges, and yellows create a more active and stimulating environment. Pattern, texture all of these things you take into consideration for the type of resident living, especially in continuing care, Stelljes says. Artwork and photography will further enhance the new continuing care building. The design team is focusing on artwork that s neither too traditional nor too contemporary. Artwork can be stimulating, encouraging, memory-invoking, and it also has the ability to inspire peace, Parham says. Finally, furniture is a big piece of the design puzzle, and Parham and her team focus mostly on familiar home items, like wooden tables, chairs, chests, and armoires. Chairs are made to accommodate every size and shape of a person while still feeling comfortable. One thing is for certain, a lot of care and planning has gone into the design to make Mill Vista Lodge homelike in every way, while also being structured to address each individual s specific health care needs. Everybody [at Lantz-Boggio] is passionate about the type of work we do, Parham says. The inside look, feel, and functioning of the building, as well as the people there, are important, and interior design can truly make or break the success of a building. Every detail matters from color, texture, and pattern to each piece of furniture and artwork chosen and has the power to impact how a person feels. That s why senior living design is so much more meaningful for Parham than the high-end custom residential work she used to do. It s an evolving type of project work, she says, and it s important.