An appropriate, creative flooring system is only part of a project – but can become the design catalyst for an interior overhaul. This project began when our Studio was asked to provide “just” a flooring design pro bono for one of our favorite community based services, an intergenerational living facility called Grandma’s House. Under the guidance of the passionate, resourceful and tireless director, Julie Cole, this living/nursing program provides 24/7 care for severely disabled children from under 2 to 18 and their elderly, adoptive “grandparents”. This support system benefits both and allows them to create and share living experiences in this special residence wing.
We expected to donate time and effort, we expected we would have to persuade others to do the same, we expected the scope to grow, but what we did not expect was the overwhelming enthusiasm for participation and donation in the distressed economic atmosphere of 2011 – 2012. It seemed the partners on our team really needed the smiles we collected in Grandma’s House – where positive things were happening.
The residents loved the seaside boardwalk theme originally established with a donated mural in the residence lobby so our artist partner Sandy Bonus revised the scene with a focus on sea life for the young residents. Sandy preserved and incorporated small areas of the original scene and invited all the residents to participate in painting events. Resident artists enthusiastically contributed to their new environment. Our team enhanced the boardwalk theme specifying a durable rustic wood look vinyl plank, cleanable and low maintenance for art projects and lowering the noise level a bit.
The residence hall floor from nurse station on is waterjet cut rubber. Underwater sea life enhanced the children’s hall with turtles and fish swimming and bubbling in front of their bedrooms. The seashore theme extended to the grandparent’s side expressed in palm fronds, beach balls and seashells.
We chose rubber, a colorful, quiet, low maintenance, non-slip, naturally antimicrobial floor. Our installers, Hudson Everly Commercial Flooring, not only purchased this product at best price but donated their labor to install it, at premium times, and the waterjet cutting was donated by Intarsia. Everyone was excited, the project grew. The chipped, old laminate nurse station was reclad. The attractive new focal element features glass tile and solid surface, refaced to gracefully survive wheelchair abuse for years to come. The contractor from a sister renovation project in the facility, Douglas Development Corporation, agreed to paint and replace ceiling tile and fixtures to complete the renovation, providing a much needed element of coordination for the expanded project. An uplifting project for all participants, staff and residents, the look of the facility now complements the level of care provided. Ramski & Company provided the before shots, but the professional afters were donated by our photography partner, Ben Tanner.