Check out what our team was up to in October!
Mesa, AZ: Thoma-Holec Design announced that Interior Designer Lisa Warnock will be joining Thoma-Holec Design as Principal, effective October 24, 2021. Lisa will lead the launch of the new Northwest Studio in Portland, OR, specializing in senior living, multi-family and hospitality design. She will work alongside LuAnn Thoma-Holec, Principal Owner, to further expand the Thoma-Holec Design brand into new sectors.
Lisa is an accomplished interior designer with over 20 years of experience in senior living, multi-family, and hospitality. Lisa earned her BA in Interior Design at Marylhurst University, and since then, she’s had much success as an interior designer leading various award-winning projects within senior living, multi-family, and hospitality. Lisa’s extensive design knowledge, experience, and work ethic led her to multiple promotions earning the title of Principal, and most recently, Director of Housing Interiors at LRS Architects, where she was responsible for client management, business development, and the overall design direction of projects.
Aside from her extensive interior design knowledge, Lisa is also a talented public speaker with the most recent speaking engagements at the 2021 EFA Conference. She is well recognized in the industry for her passion for championing better practices to serve our most vulnerable citizens. In 2020 Lisa was the EFA Design Champion for her innovation to improve the daily life of residents by incorporating lighting strategies that automatically distribute the proper color and output of light to improve comfort and safety. In addition to her design work, Lisa is a member of the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America and served on the Lighting for the Aged and Partially Sighted Committee.
” I have long admired the amazing work that Thoma-Holec Design does, and I am thrilled to be a part of it! I feel so very grateful to be able to learn from and grow with the best out there, and the very talented LuAnn Holec,” says Lisa Warnock.
“Thoma-Holec Design is so fortunate to have Lisa joining our team. Lisa brings a level of expertise that will open additional doors for us, as well as a wealth of knowledge to our current senior housing sector,” says LuAnn Thoma-Holec, Principal Owner at Thoma-Holec Design.
About Thoma-Holec Design: Thoma-Holec Design was founded in 2006 by LuAnn Thoma-Holec, FASID, and is now a national award-winning senior living design firm with passion and expertise for designing comfortable, functional, innovative, and dignified environments for seniors. Our team offers specialized skills in designing practical yet elegant environments for the senior living market and multi-family.
Judges for the ASID Arizona North chapter’s 2021 Design Excellence Awards have named Thoma-Holec Design winner of six distinguished awards in its annual Design Excellence Awards competition. This design competition recognizes projects by members of the Arizona North chapter that represent excellence in interior design by successfully addressing client objectives and demonstrating creativity and skillful problem-solving in the design criteria categories, such as “Senior Living Community,” “Universal Design/Aging in Place” and “Best of Show Commercial.”
We are incredibly proud of the hard work and innovative designs that have proven once again why Thoma-Holec Design continues to be at the forefront of design for Senior Living Communities. Congratulations to all who took part in these projects, including all our industry partners.
Please call 480-671-9307 or email LuAnn@thoma-holecdesign.com for photos and additional details on any of the aforementioned award-winning communities.
BEST OF SHOW COMMERCIAL
SENIOR LIVING COMMUNITY
1st Place- Harborchase of Stuart
2nd Place- The Colonnade
3rd Place- The Providence of Fairfax
UNIVERSAL DESIGN/AGING IN PLACE
1st Place – The Providence of Fairfax
2nd Place – Harborchase of Stuart
Recently we conducted a series of interviews with four of our clients Cadence, MorningStar, Liv Generations, and HarborChase. We wanted to know what protocols worked and which didn’t. Were there any major restructuring of living spaces and programming among their communities? What did they learn, and how will they continue to move forward in a post-pandemic world. As a design firm that focuses on senior living, obtaining this information was imperative to ensure we continue developing communities that enrich residents’ lives and promote a safe and healthy lifestyle.
Vaccine Policies, Sick Time and Pay
In the first round of questions, we focused on the communities vaccine policies, sick time, and pay. All clients took similar approaches concerning the vaccines; not many communities mandated the vaccine among their staff or residents. However, some clients stated that they provided incentives such as increased pay, gift cards, and raffles for their staff. The residents were very compliant in regard to taking the vaccine, so no mandates were necessary. However, some communities did require new residents or new hires to be already vaccinated.
Food Service and Social Distancing
As we continued our questions into foodservice and social distancing, our clients shared that due to the significant differences within the local government guidelines from county to cities, they had to adapt quickly and make rapid changes, but making unified operation decisions among all communities was very difficult. Many communities offered room service and meal delivery via carts during the initial lockdown. Other communities opened their dining rooms to residents during the lockdown, with strict social distancing procedures and staggered mealtimes, but it varied by local restrictions. The communities did not allow anybody that was not staff or resident inside, so they felt comfortable allowing their residents to have safe and socially distant interactions with one another. An enforced two-week quarantine was in place only if someone in the community contracted covid.
Functionality of Amenities & Spaces
Learning about the functionality of amenities and spaces throughout the communities was very important for us. We wanted to know what held up and what didn’t, whether it be furniture, fabrics, individual rooms, or space layouts. We were pleasantly surprised to hear that most furniture and materials did great at withstanding the daily use of harsh chemicals used to disinfect. They also expressed that spaces such as hallways and expanded intersections of each floor became a way for residents to gather around and interact while still socially distancing. These spaces proved to be more flexible than the closed-off game or activity rooms. Other areas that became essential were the outdoor patios, pools, and gardens. It permitted staff to hold more interactive activities for the residents while minimizing the risks.
However, there were challenges when it came to areas such as mailrooms and marketing rooms. People who were not residents or staff needed access to these rooms, but due to its location within the community and having no direct access from the outside, it created a risk factor and presented the staff with challenges when receiving mail. Various clients expressed that they would like to rethink the location and the outside accessibility to these rooms for current and new construction communities. They also mentioned that they would be revisiting the size and layout of resident’s rooms to allow for an eating area and more outdoor space such as private balconies.
The Future of Senior Living Design
We asked our clients if they consider moving away from a residential or hospitality design to facilitate their medical needs. They unanimously said no. They believe new architectural builds are still effective and can attend to all needs of the residents. However, there will be some changes, such as moving into more touchless controls in common areas and incorporating more indoor-outdoor experience to create better airflow. Selecting cleanable non-porous materials will also be a big push among communities. However, dining areas will likely remain the same as the design often includes dividers and booth seating that give the residents privacy and plenty of room for social distance.
In conclusion, although there will be some changes in senior living communities in the years to come, whether from new materials, finishes or technology. These changes will only further improve the safety and well-being of the residents. Of course, you can still expect to see vibrant designs and amenity-rich senior living communities that help create beautiful living experiences for the residents.