Aging in Place Furniture


aging in place

A chair is not just a product of decorative art in a space, it is a form and a space in itself.

~ Finn Juhl


Aging in Place / Home Shorts Series

The architect Louis Sullivan is credited with the maxim Form follows function which is a principle of design associated with late 19th and early 20th-century architecture and industrial design in general. The idea is the shape of a building or object should primarily relate to its intended function or purpose (Wikipedia).

It is the pervading law of all things organic and inorganic, of all things physical and metaphysical, of all things human and all things superhuman, of all true manifestations of the head, of the heart, of the soul, that the life is recognizable in its expression, that form ever follows function. This is the law (Sullivan, Louis H. (1896). “The Tall Office Building Artistically Considered”. Lippincott’s Magazine (March 1896): 403–409).

Furniture in the aging-in-place home should provide support, comfort, accessibility, visual delight, social logic, wayfinding, safety, and identity.

Support- Arms on couches and chairs should ideally extend to the front of the seat to aid getting in/out.

Comfort- Seats that are comfortable, but firm are optimal, and 17” in height off the floor.

Accessibility- Add a chair with removable or no arms to accommodate a wheelchair user to slide into.

Visual delight- Chairs and furniture that visually delight add to our sensory experience of home

Social Logic- Arrange furniture for cozy spots that are conducive and inviting for conversation/gathering

Wayfinding- Strategic placement of chairs and furniture can provide steady balancing fulcrums and guide paths for inhabitants/allow space for wheelchairs.

Safety- Ottomans with non-moving feet and avoid sharp corners on furniture.

Identity- Often furniture is handed down from generation to generation, or a special purchase on past vacations or life event celebrations; these support identity and a sense of self





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