EP 108 | Living in Place with Erik Listou

April 15, 2019

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About this Episode

No one needs to be reminded that they are aging or have limitations. Our role as designers is to create functional, beautiful and safe environments for all of our clients, regardless of circumstances. In this episode we consider replacing aging in place with living in place.

In this episode we learn:

  • replace negative terminology such as “grab bars” with neutral phrasing such as “towel bars”
  • comfort is key at every age and stage
  • when to use contrast and when to avoid it
  • how we can do better work for our clients through education


Take Aways

Erik’s 5 areas of the home to focus on when it comes to safety and comfort for all. 

1) Entrance

  1. Create a no-step entry if possible
  2. Add outlets top and bottom of stairs to facilitate future chair lift
  3. Add lighting for safety
  4. Avoid a separate threshold

2) Powder Room

  1. Make sure door swings out or use a barn door
  2. Use wide door to accommodate wheel chair in future

3) Kitchen

  1. Use contrast to emphasize countertop but avoid contrast on flooring
  2. Avoid high-gloss counters which reflect light
  3. Use induction cooking
  4. Use a wall oven at eye level instead of an oven that requires bending

4) En Suite

  1. Minimal floor contrast
  2. Avoid shower curbs
  3. Use a linear drain

5) Stairways

  1. Add a handrail on both sides of staircase and extend it beyond the bottom step.
  2. Add lighting inside the handrail and connect it to a backup generator, which will kick on in the event of a power outage.
  3. Avoid bright lights, which diminish vision and choose low voltage lights on each tread or underneath each nosing.
  4. Avoid high contrast flooring choices.
  5. Install an outlet top and bottom of staircase in order to be able to install a chair lift in future.


Design Intervention

Smile and you’ll be amazed at how that impacts those around you.


Erik Listou has 50 years building and remodeling experience. He is a developer, subject matter expert, national instructor and co-founder of the Living in Place Institute. He also has a lot of credentials including: CLIPP, CAPS, CAASH, CGR, CGP, CLR, LDST. Erik has been published in trade journals and consumer publications including WSJ, NYT, WP and AARP. He is a national conference speaker and talk radio host of 125 shows. His expertise combines practical business experience and knowledge into education and awareness programs that enhance businesses and help provide the best service and products for all homes and individuals of all needs and age. Living in Place, not aging in place. www.livinginplace.institute  

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