In 2011 I earned the title Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS) from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). The primary motivation for creating the CAPS designation was the fact that our population of elders is growing. The Baby Boomers began turning 65 in 2011, and there is a strong cultural preference to stay in the familiar surroundings of one’s home and community as we age.

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Right-Sized Appliances Make the Difference

In June my husband and I visited Santa Fe, New Mexico, for the wedding of an old friend from graduate school. It was our first time in the city, and what an amazing place it is — such history and art. In addition to the wedding festivities, delicious food, old friends, and the lovely city, we were fortunate to stay in a charming casita. Continue reading

Frank Lloyd Wright in the Southwest

Recently I spent some time in the American Southwest. I was happy to be able to visit two landmarks in architecture and design: the Arizona Biltmore Hotel, built by Albert Chase McArthur (a former architecture student of Frank Lloyd Wright,) and Taliesin West, Frank Lloyd Wright’s desert home, studio, and school in North Scottsdale, Arizona.

The Phoenix resort complex (on which Wright briefly consulted in the 1920s) is made up of low buildings — not taller than the palm trees — keeping the view of the sky and nearby mountains open. Though a luxury resort the Biltmore has a very comfortable feel, Continue reading

What’s Really Going On In the Kitchen?

Everyone knows kitchens are for storing and preparing food, but the story of the American kitchen has always been about much more than feeding ourselves. The kitchen is central to our homes partly because food is central to our lives, but also because the kitchen can evoke our emotions, desires, and hopes.

In 2011 I got to The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York to see Counter Space: Design and the Modern Kitchen before it ended. Through the museum’s collection of objects, posters, videos, books, magazines, and art of various media, the exhibition looked at kitchens through different lenses: historical, aesthetic, technological, political, and social. It was fantastic to see how kitchens — more than any other room in the house — have been the site for scientific research, marketing campaigns, reformist interventions, and feminist critiques.

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