Each time the phone rings in my office, it seems, whether new client or old, it is all about change. While change is inevitable, it is also daunting for some and almost impossible for others. My world revolves around change – the changing of styles, colors, seasons, and lives. Our homes should change with us wherever we are in our lives. Why? Because it helps us get to where we are going and nurtures us when we get there.
In the recent gala journal for Celebrate St. James’ Night at the Oscars, of which I was one of the honorees, a dear client of mine wrote, “Natalie is great – so we keep moving!” This was written by a wonderful author, age 89, for whom I recently renovated an apartment at the Bristal Assisted Living in North Woodmere. He and his partner, a talented lady of 86, whose art adorns their new digs, have been my clients on and off for over 45 years.
The first time I met Herb was more in a cursory manner. A busy guy with a growing company, he left me and his dear first wife (long deceased) to our own devises and happily and diligently paid the bills. Years later, an artist called and asked me to help her design her new apartment and was referred to me by a gentleman she had met in a poetry writing class. Enter Harriet. What a joy to work with her and what fun to surround her with the things she loved – her special baby grand piano and her art. A few years later – re-enter Herb, who announced they were moving in together and asked if I’d help them merge their lives and interests. So happy to work with both of them once again, we created a space that fitted their needs and lifestyle. We shopped. They traveled. I got things ready for the move. When they returned, these octogenarians came home to their new world together – an art room for her, a writing studio for him, and of course, the baby grand piano.
Their most recent trip last winter was to travel around the world, but mid-way, a major heart attack caused it to be aborted. Herb, seriously ill, was treated in a NY hospital and he and Harriet realized that when he returned home, they would need to relocate. Change – not easy – but sometimes inevitable. The plan was to move to the Bristal and into a one bedroom apartment. The amenities were lovely in the facility, but a one bedroom? How could Herb write, and Harriet paint, and, oh – that baby grand piano!
After a few weeks, the apartment was closing in on them and more things were left behind than were actually brought. Through Herb’s persistence (and funding) the Bristal allowed me and my “A” team of Precision Contractors to renovate and transform a studio apartment and a one bedroom into their dream apartment. This – for a couple who understood change and how a home affects the quality of life at any age.
Now what about you? Does your home fulfill your wants and needs at your stage of life? Is it your safe haven? Have you done the things to make it so? Have you thought about your future in your present home or in another? Only you can answer – and only you can determine how the stages of your life can be enhanced by your surroundings.
P.S. – Thinking about changing my job description from Interior Designer to Life Stylist!