Designing a Bathroom for the Elderly with Safety and Style

Feb 25, 2015 by

95 years old, my grandmother opens my eyes to understanding the will to live, the faith to fight, and the hope to persevere.  Battling Alzheimer’s and strokes, she has bright days, where her spirit shines fiercely through her eyes, her mobility returns, and her mannerisms twinkle with the vivaciousness of her youth.   Then there are the days where she struggles with remembering how to swallow and using the restroom.  Seeing my strong grandmother – once found a play kitchen at a Goodwill in the Bay Area and then lugged it down herself via Greyhound bus to bring to me in Los Angeles – shake with trepidation with each step in the bathroom that she might fall again, opens my eyes to how imperative design is in the bathroom for quality of life.

The bathroom can be considered one of the most dangerous rooms in your house. According to a 2008 study by the CDC, there were approximately 234,094 nonfatal injuries in the United States that occurred in the bathroom area, and the majority were senior citizens.  However, no age group is immune to injury.

Rethink the Tub

stylish white walk in bath tub and shower bathroom design

via Design Style Home

One of the prime culprits in bathroom injuries is the bathtub.  Even I myself have fallen backwards out of one!  Because most bathtubs are made or acrylic and/or fiberglass, their surfaces are prime for slipping – not to mention that most feature curved and sloped contour lines. Those two factors—when combined—create a hazardous situation for anybody, especially those that are unbalanced.

Safer tubs have anti-slip floors and seats and built-in grab bars.   Walk-in tubs are much safer than traditional tubs because they eliminate the real danger of slipping every time you enter or exit.  We wish our grandmother’s senior living home had a walk-in tub!   Why don’t all senior living facilities have walk-in tubs?!  Isn’t that common sense?

Alas, in lieu of a walk-in tub, an alternative option would be to modify the existing tub by placing non-slick mats on the floor, as well as installing grab bars to prevent falls.

A Well-Lit Space

Vintage Chandelier Lighting Bathroom Design

via JPS Interactive

While installing a new tub or shower can fairly expensive, there are other ways to reduce the risk of bathroom injury that are relatively inexpensive and easy to do as well. One such way is to simply make sure your bathroom is adequately illuminated, both during the day, and more importantly, at night.   The more clearly you can see, the more easily you can stay safe from sharp corners, puddle of waters, and other natural dangers inherent in the bathroom environment.  A motion-activated night light has deterred many a midnight injury.

table lamp in bathroom design

Via Deb McBride Designs


Get creative with lighting!  You don’t need to hire a general contractor and rewire.  Add a slim table lamp next to the sink or use a free standing floor lamp in a safe corner.

Risky “Business”


It is the toilet that presents most difficulty for my grandmother in the bathroom, though now switching to a higher toilet has helped.   Due to her limited mobility, she also uses a toilet seat extender to raise the existing height of the toilet seat to a more comfortable and safer level for her.

She has also benefited significantly from the installation of grab bars. A grab bar positioned on the wall directly next to the toilet provides increased support and stability when sitting down and getting up from the toilet.

In times of difficulty is when we see the human spirit triumph.  What once we took for granted – an act as simple as using the restroom and bathing – becomes a challenge, but shows us that we can still live with dignity daily, as long as we are surrounded by love and faith.

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Airstream Gardens & the Tailor and Stylist Spring Lookbook

Apr 16, 2013 by

I’m so excited to share with you the Tailor & Stylist Spring lookbook!  We shot this lookbook at an artistic retreat, where artists live in Airstreams, bathe in outdoor clawfoot tubs, shower in an indoor/outdoor bathroom where airplants grow in the walls, and create amongst English gardens and koi ponds.  It was beyond inspiring that they created this special space in what essentially was a driveway and parking lot!   Here are some of my favorite shots from the lookbook shoot:

A green typewriter from my collection made a cameo in the Airstream, which we reimagined as a writer’s retreat.

Our Boardwalk Maxi Dress found the perfect accessory: the Airstream!

How gorgeous is this outdoor clawfoot bathtub?!  It was simply a perfect backdrop to our Butterfly Shirt.

I hope you’ll be just as inspired by this artist retreat as we were in our lookbook, which you can view in its entirety here:

The entire collection can be viewed on our Lookbook Page, and all Poetic Home friends get 15% off with the code poetic15, valid through April 22nd!

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Revel in a Retro-chic Kitchen Gathering Space

Apr 10, 2013 by

Kitchen retro-chic inspired conviviality is making a huge comeback.  The heart of the home is becoming a haven of activity again, even in the midst of the high tech gadgetry that we find ourselves to be bombarded with, which is supposed to speed every process from cooking, toasting, baking, mixing  and other forms of food preparation to dish and even clothes washing.  Whether millennials or baby boomers, many of us have a palpable fondness for grandmother’s warm and homey kitchen design. There certainly is a demand for vintage and retro-chic appliances which conjure up fond images of the simpler, less complicated days of the  early 20th Century.

Photo Source: Georgiana Design

Creating that vintage look with its vibrant pastel hues of yellow, mint green, soft blue or vivid red or orange stoves, ovens, refrigerators, mixers and toasters, and even nostalgic dish washers and top-loading washing machines can be accomplished by refurbishing the actual appliances, or having it done by a growing industry of experts, in order to get a real Magic Chef, Wedgewood, Hotpoint,Smeg, Frigidaire  or other “true classic” from back-in-the-day installed and operational once again, with all the sounds, sleek stainless trims, simple lines and silhouettes that evoked feelings of treasured gathering moments in a space where aromas mingled with lots of unconditional love.

Photo Credit: Filipe Dilly

Vintage restorations can be expensive and may require constant appliance repair or washing machine repair, depending on the age of these treasures and whether parts are still available.  Therefore, savvy seekers of these mod and compelling pieces of labor saving equipment, often choose to purchase retro-chic appliances which are new and have been designed to recreate the “vintage look” but  are manufactured with technology, based on the latest industry standards, for efficiency and cost effective maintenance.

Photo Credit: Lilla Blanka

To get the true retro-chic and mod feel you seek and create a space that is the perfect setting for great cuisine, fun feasting, and priceless memory making moments,  don’t feel compelled to purchase all the bells and whistles.  The simplicity of those days when less was more, suggests appliance sales of one or two major pieces, and a few smaller vintage items such as a mixer, blender, or toaster, in order to allow that special warmth and revelry to evolve gently and continue to be of invaluable significance in your kitchen gathering space.

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Mid Century Modern 60-Drawer Library Card Catalogs for Sale in Los Angeles

Feb 24, 2013 by

Friends, we are moving and unfortunately do not have room in our new home for my beloved mid-century modern library card catalogs.  I have three identical catalogs, and the measurements are 60″ tall x 40″ wide x 17″ deep.   The library catalogs have tapered MCM legs, are made of solid blonde wood, with 60 drawers each. They are in fabulous condition and are very difficult to find, especially in matching pairs. You’ve seen them before here as a display case for my air plant collection, and they are also so useful as art supply organizers, wine rack, and so much more!

The price is $900 for one or $1600 for a pair, and I’m happy to cut another deal if you buy all three. They are available for pickup in Walnut, in Los Angeles (zip code 91789), are very heavy and would likely require two men to move them. I’m also happy to accept payment via PayPal if you would like to coordinate shipping on your end. Please email me at if you are interested in giving these treasures a loving home!  Thanks so much!

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Tailor And Stylist: A Poetic Closet from Yours Truly

Dec 8, 2012 by

I’m so excited to finally share with you a project that I’ve poured my heart and styling into, and now we are celebrating the grand opening!  Tailor and Stylist is an online boutique featuring a tightly edited collection of feminine, flattering, and nostalgic clothing.  As many of you know, I’ve worked as a photo stylist for the last eight years with credits in magazines, catalogs, and national ad campaigns, but what you may not know is that my husband was one of the youngest tailors to ever work on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, designing bespoke wardrobes for celebrities and even royalty.  Combining our love for fashion and nostalgia, we’ve teamed up to launch the aptly named Tailor and Stylist, which brings high-styled, well-tailored clothing to you – all at affordable prices.

I think you’ll see my vintage decor aesthetic throughout the collection, lookbook, and photos.  You might also recognize a few of the vintage decor stars from Poetic Home.  I’m so proud to share the Tailor and Stylist lookbook, which was inspired by my favorite poem, “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost.

Here are some of the fun “Poetic Home” inspired pictures that I styled for our website.  Oh, but of course I had to repurpose my library card catalog for those shopping the Tailor and Stylist “shoe catalog”.

And I couldn’t resist having some of my favorite pieces from my vintage typewriter collection enjoy a moment in the spotlight too.  Here’s a photo from our “Find Your Shoe Type” concept, starring an Olivetti Valentine and Red Royal Quiet De Luxe. I promise no typewriters were harmed in the production of the photos.  :)

And why would a girl need a purse when she could accessorize with an Olivetti Valentine?  I thought this iconic typewriter fit well with our Broadway Bound Jacket and Polka Dot Tights and Red Velvet Art Deco stilettos.  What do you think?

And here are some of my favorite looks from our in-studio shoot, including our adorable Take a Bow Peplum Dress, which is a modern take on the style of the roaring 1920s.

Our Kingston Glamour Dress is just waiting to make a memorable statement at any holiday party this year!

And last but not least, my version of 50 Shades of Grey featuring our Pure Elegant Pleated Maxi Skirt, which coincidentally or not, also happens to be the monochrome it color of the season.

And now the best part – exclusive coupon codes just for Poetic Home readers!  Use code DressPoetic for 20% off through December 17th.  And the first 10 Poetic Home friends will also get a free gift of our antiqued namesake tailor scissors necklace!

I would absolutely love to hear what you think, and if you would like to host a giveaway or coupon code on your blog, please just let me know.  I would deeply, sincerely appreciate my Poetic Home friends helping to spread the word about Tailor and Stylist, a poetic closet from yours truly.

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