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Coming Home

Our client came to us wanting to move back into her childhood home to take care of her aging father. Even though Dad was active and mobile, she wanted to make sure that Dad could gracefully age in place; living comfortably in a new, yet familiar, abode.


The home, originally built in 1957, was in dire need of a facelift. In addition, our client wanted to utilize aging-in-place strategies on the first floor of the home. Working with Meadowlark Design Director, Jen Hinesman, the two developed functional design solutions for the new family dynamic, that also reflected the client's strong design aesthetic.


The Team

Design & Architecture: Jen Hinesman & Rachael McClain

Project Manager: Meadowlark Project Management Team

Photography:  Sean Carter

Interior Furnishings:  Drew Weigandt of Ethan Allen, Ann Arbor


Schematic Design

Embracing an opportunity for early retirement, our client decided to move back to Ann Arbor and her childhood home to move in with her father to take care of him. Dad, in his early 80's was still climbing stairs to the upstairs bedrooms and our client knew that this was not a safe situation for him. Thus accessible living spaces on the first floor were primary in her design goals. In addition, moving back in with your father is not an easy undertaking as an adult, so creating spaces that were private also weighed heavily in the design process. Finally, the client had a wonderful design aesthetic that she wanted to be reflected in her new digs. Our design team addressed these needs and wants:

  • First floor master suite that would accommodate a wheelchair if necessary
  • Easily accessible open kitchen/living area
  • Additional storage and kitchen functionality
  • Rear exterior deck at same level as home
  • First floor laundry room
  • Private spaces upstairs for our client including an office, updated bathroom, bedroom and larger closet
  • Update exterior curb appeal
  • Incorporate the client's love of color both inside and out
  • Utilize aging-in-place design strategies both inside and out
  • Energy efficiency and ease of maintenance

Design Development

A appropriate-sized addition was put onto the rear of the home that allowed for a major update to the kitchen layout and created a beautiful first floor master suite with an office area for Dad. Upstairs was the client's realm - thus the bedrooms were re-worked to include an office, bedroom with a walk-in closet, guest bedroom and completely remodeled bathroom. Finally, the exterior was updated to address safety issues, improve energy efficiency, replace worn siding, and to update the curb appeal. Our designers delighted in the client's love of color and texture and embraced it throughout the entire design process.

  • Smooth Hardie cement board plank siding on exterior
  • Accessible, no-barrier bathroom in first floor master
  • Vaulted first floor bathroom ceiling with clerestory windows to bring in more natural daylight
  • Custom wood "Amoeba" shaped kitchen table by Meadowlark
  • Energy efficient upgrades including new Marvin Integrity windows, spray foam insulation and air sealing
  • Meadowlark custom cabinetry in kitchen, Holiday Cabinets elsewhere
  • Virginia Tile, Beaver Tile, and Ann Sacks featured throughout home
  • Red Oak flooring with Natural Urethane finishes
  • Quartz (Misty Spring) countertops in kitchen
  • Quartz (Onyx White, Dove Grey & Crystal Frost) in bathrooms
  • Kuzco lighting fixtures in kitchen
  • Purple laundry room cabinets with custom "kitty door"

The Results

Our client decided to break this project into a two phases. For the first phase, we focused on getting the interior spaces safe and comfortable for Dad and daughter. Phase II was all about the exterior updates. The result is a size-appropriate first floor addition added onto the back of the home which allows for a cozy ensuite for Dad and a striking kitchen and laundry room that truly pays homage to our client's wonderful sense of style. Finally, Chris Loveland from Ethan Allen Furniture worked with our clients to add pieces to truly make this home the perfect place for two generations. Coming home again can be challenging, but with the right plan it can be fabulous!

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