Is Your New Granny Flat Truly Grandmother-Friendly?

Accessory dwelling units, often called “granny flats,” are exploding in popularity. One of their latest uses is housing seniors on their existing homesites. The older homeowners will move their adult children’s families into the main house and retire to the ADU. (Or the kids will build an ADU on their property for their parents.) These smaller, single level homes are often more comfortable, manageable spaces for them, and ensure that their kids are close for safety and love. The pandemic probably accelerated that trend, with so many families separated for a year.

The challenge is that many so-called granny flats are not designed to be grandparent-friendly. What does it take if your family wants an aging in place compatible ADU? I checked in with two pros in my latest Forbes.com piece for the answers. You can read it here.

This ADU’s exterior steps were designed to accommodate a chair lift if needed for future accessibility.



What are you planning for the moms in your life for their special day? Mother’s Day is coming up on Sunday, May 9. I shared some ideas on Forbes.com last year that can still work today, but here’s one that wasn’t available then, but is now! My WELLNESS BY DESIGN book is perfect for all moms, whether homeowner, renter or assisted living resident! Considering how many months she spent at home in the past year, you know she’s looking for ways to upgrade her living space. Millions of Americans are right now!

The book is pretty, practical and chock full of inspiring pictures. It works on a nightstand or coffee table, but mostly as a handy guide to healthier homes. If you’re not sure this is the right book for her, you can check out two excerpts, one on fitness spaces and one on primary bathroom improvements. (Scroll to Page 76 for that one.) You can also read some reviews here. You can buy it on Amazon, or at Barnes & Noble, Bam.com or independent bookstores. Go to my publisher’s page for links to those.

My latest book is the perfect Mother’s Day gift this year!

PS: Son-of-a-gun, I just found out that my book is available on Target.com.



One of the aspects of my career that I absolutely adore is getting to research and write about pretty much whatever intrigues me — often with the help of amazing experts. In honor of Earth Day last week, I decided to weigh in on the differences and similarities between sustainability and wellness design. Here is that piece. Let me know what you think!

Designing nature into built spaces enhances their sustainability and wellness potential.



As I noted in last week’s Gold Notes, I’ve been in the homebuying process. I thought I found “the one,” but I let it get away. It wasn’t an easy decision, by any means, especially since I loved the floor plan and there are so few listings available now, but I walked away for self-care reasons. While I’m eager to personalize a home to my wellness design preferences, I don’t want a fixer, I realized. There were too many expensive problems with that property, too much product inflation in the remodeling sector right now, and too few good contractors with free time. (Big sigh!) Call me a fatalist, but I believe that things work out the way they’re supposed to. I walked away from a condo before buying my current place, and from another in the LA area before I bought my Playa Del Rey condo. Both decisions have worked out extremely well! This Garth Brooks’ song pretty well sums up my feelings about it all.





Is Your New Granny Flat Truly Grandmother-Friendly? - The challenge is that many so-called granny flats are not designed to be grandparent-friendly. What does it take if your family wants an aging in place compatible ADU? I checked in with two pros in my latest Forbes.com piece for the answers. You can read it here. Continue Reading
Triple Treat — 2021 Virtual KBIS Trend Spotting, Wellness Design Telehealth Tips and Grandmotherly Inspiration! - Let's look first at the most design-oriented feature, which was my Trend Spotting look at the 2021 online-only Kitchen & Bath Industry Show. This is online now in the current issue of Kitchen & Bath Design News. Man, that was a tough one to cover! There's simply no substitute for spending three exhausting days spinning… Continue Reading
New Infrastructure Plan Boosts Wellness Design Potential For Nation’s Homes - Last week, President Biden introduced a $2 trillion infrastructure plan chock full of healthy home ideas. I share those ideas in my latest Forbes.com piece. Continue Reading
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Six Wellness Design Trends For 55-Plus Homebuyers - I'm shopping for a new home with a yard that I can enhance with wellness features, and enjoying my wellness design consulting career. How about you? Do any of these six trends for 55-plus homebuyers fit your life and wish list?  Continue Reading
What’s Hot in Kitchen & Bath Surfaces for 2021 - It's probably not surprising that Covid has had an impact on the choices we make in cabinetry, appliances, countertops, floor and wall, and the other finishes we have in our homes. This is especially true in kitchens and bathrooms, where low maintenance and comfort are key. The finishes you select can have a tremendous impact… Continue Reading
Jamie Gold, CKD, CAPS,  MCCWC

Jamie Gold, CKD, CAPS, MCCWC
San Diego, CA

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