Forty-five of the nation’s top architects, designers, gerontologists, technology innovators and others join senior living designer and aging expert, Lisa M. Cini, to convert the Henry C. Werner House at 1640 East Broad Street in Columbus, Ohio into a showplace for the latest technological advances while also serving as a short term Airbnb/VRBO rental for those who want to try out the latest aging-in-place technologies and see what they may want to have in their own homes as they prepare for the future.
“Throughout the decades of designing senior-living residences and communities, I’ve long imagined what it would be like to merge the very best design with the most innovative technology for aging in place and senior living all in one elegant residence,” says Lisa M. Cini, who purchased the Werner House with that goal in mind. “I envisioned merging the mansion’s traditional beauty and grandeur with the most up-to-date technology in a home that would be a functioning inspiration for all ages.”
The Werner House mansion is being completely redesigned as what Cini refers to as a “soul space,” meaning those who visit can enjoy activities designed to recharge and refresh, while being surrounded and inspired by state-of-the-art technology. The renovation will allow people of all generations to experience the latest technology in home living while connecting with families and friends and experience firsthand what the future could hold.
Jane Rohde, founder of senior living design firm JSR Associates, is supportive of the Infinite Living Manor House, because, as she says, “it gives the public an opportunity to better understand the components of health and wellness that are related to the built environment regardless of age. It is a ‘sneak attack’ way of passing on understanding about preparation for growing older without any stigma and supporting creative, measurable outcomes for continuous quality of life.”
“The Mansion is not a senior center,” adds Cini. “It will be a place for community events, spa treatments, meetings, purposeful exercise, resilience and mindfulness classes, and will serve as a short-term vacation stay for those who want to try out the latest aging-in-place technology.”
More than 40 vendor partners were carefully curated by Cini to ensure they are aligned with the Infinite Living concept. Among the unique features of The Werner Home collaboration are:
- Airbnb style Guestrooms: The guestrooms feature the newest aging-in-place technology like Shaw’s Sole with SensFloor® technology, which incorporates discreet and unobtrusive sensors, lights, and integrated safety tools. When a guest moves around or accidentally falls, lights turn on to alert caregivers to assist.
- Welcoming Living Room: Samuelson Furniture provides comfortable and mindful seating structured for the perfect fit for the body, including the Samuelson Bluetooth built-in sound system, which allows users to be immersed in the comforts of sound with a touch of their hands.
- Premium Self-Service Spa: The HuSpa delivers technology straight from NASA’s space program for a relaxing, soothing experience, including an age friendly steam shower, sauna, hot and cold plunge, massage room, and fitness with Smart-Fit, which improves balance in the mind. Decoteak is providing unique spa furniture as well as bathroom accents for ease when showering. Ecore will provide flooring that reduces the risk of injury and falls while delivering sound control and comfort. Pro-performance surfaces will help energize the space by showcasing a dynamic twist to a traditionally boring fitness space to encourage mobility.
- State of the Art Bathrooms: Toto, Brondell, and Livewell will showcase the latest bathroom technology. Brondell’s Swash Electronic Bidet Toilet Seat is FDA-registered as a Class II medical device and is self-sanitizing, capturing, even eliminating 99.9% of the COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) airborne virus. Brondell also provides air sanitizers and purifiers for maximum cleanliness. Grabcessories by Live Well feature stylish grab bars that look anything but institutional and Pressalit provides sinks and toilets that move up and down depending on the user’s height requirements. Delta and JALCO’s age-friendly, touchless faucets and fixtures are as beautiful as they are functional.
- Ballroom and Creative Spaces: The gorgeous ballroom will feature the latest in Bose audio technology, interactive mural art, lighting and more, while community spaces like the high-tech creation studio will serve those who wish to lay down their latest track, record digital history, or create a podcast or video.
- Special Areas: Special-use spaces will accommodate activities like dining, conversing, reading, listening to music, and watching movies with the latest home theater technology. Pressalit provides tailored kitchen cabinets and countertops that move up and down to emphasize how accessible the kitchen can be for anyone. H Contract and Hekman seating is designed specifically for senior living applications, using styles typically found in the home furnishings market but with added functionality for senior living, and the home elevator is pneumatic.
- Outdoor Areas: Oxford Garden is providing beautiful furniture for a lush outdoor space with exterior dining, movie viewing, a reflecting pond, a bocce court, and an outdoor fireplace.
“The Mansion will prove to everyone that it’s possible to live on your own terms as you age with a little tech help,” adds Cini. “Once the current pandemic is behind us and boomers hit the road again, short-term rentals at The Werner House will provide multi-generational families an optimal home-sharing platform for vacation accommodations, reunions, and a unique experience for gatherings of friends. Located in Columbus, Ohio, the redesign will honor the eloquent French Opera style of the house but will incorporate the latest technology in a fun and interactive way for all.”
About Lisa Cini
Lisa Cini is an award-winning senior living designer, President/CEO of Mosaic Design Studio, and author of three books: The Future is Here: Senior Living Re-imagined; Hive: The simple Guide to Multi-generational Living; and Boom: The Baby Boomers’ Guide to Preserving Your Freedom and Thriving as You Age in Place. Lisa’s web site lisamcini.com provides information about Cini, her books and more. Her BestLivingTech.com site offers tech products that help seniors embrace aging and live independently.