Happy Black Friday Everyone!

Happy Black Friday Everyone!

This weekend for my American friends is a time spent with gratitude for the family and life of freedom they have.  

Being both a 35+ year Veteran Designer & Business owner I too am grateful for the wonderful clients I have had the pleasure to serve over the years and for the opportunities life has given me to meet many amazingly talented Interior Designers, Decorators, Artisans, Artists, Builders and Renovators. I am incredibly grateful for the passion they have for their chosen careers to make the world a more beautiful place to live in.  Thank you!

I live comfortably ‘Aging in Place – Resort Style’ in peace and happiness in the beautiful British Columbia, Canada area surrounded by family and friends.  As I reflect on my career and goals for 2018, I find myself moving into a different phase of life ‘knowledge rich and time challenged‘.  As my mother-in-law says, ‘I can’t think old‘! 

Moving forward, I want to connect with more Interior Professionals that are looking to Simplify and Streamline their projects and business. I have uncovered a few secrets and am willing to share.  

Visit me at my Training Site a send me a line of introduction.  

Until we meet – Happy Thanksgiving!

Jan Addams

(Designer, Author, Trainer)

Baby Boomer & Merma (Grandma)


Part 3-4 The Kitchen Flooring

Have you wondered what type of Kitchen Flooring you should use?

I get asked about my thoughts on kitchen flooring all the time from my clients that are either renovating or building new. I may be old school, but for me, if any water is involved ie: sink, dishwasher, refrigerator with water or ice hookup etc. I want to see a waterproof membrane over the substrate and flooring that is water resistant like tile or luxury vinyl on top.


We have recently ‘right-sized’ our life and are attempting to make an ‘Age in Place’ home but with a ‘Resort Style’ feel. The only thing I hated was our kitchen. However, the previous owners did put gorgeous Italian porcelain tile on the floor but installed the cabinets first and then tiled up to them.

This is an ABSOLUTE No No because if you are updating the kitchen now you have to use the floor’s template or replace the entire floor and risk damaging the in-floor heating system!

However, you can still work around that issue.

I redesigned our kitchen and kept the current floor space as it was along with the beautiful tile floor (which went with the rest of the Spanish/Italian house design. I simply increased the size of the island to include a breakfast bar and moved the fridge/freezer and storage to the other unutilized wall. You can CLICK on the finished photo above to see the before and after.


Kitchen Flooring is an important aspect of interior design as it literally is the ‘ground’ that we walk on indoors. It deserves special consideration including the substrate that is under it – plywood or concrete.

In-floor radiant heating is a wonderful feature especially if you have tile flooring though you should be aware of a few things like:

FYI: heat does not radiate through at the same temperature under insulated hardwood floor plus, you need to ensure that you select the ‘right hardwood’ to be installed over in-floor heating or your warranty may be void due to shrinking or cracking of the wood. Therefore, only certain engineered hardwood floors and laminates can go over in-floor heating but solid hardwood cannot due to its inherent properties.

Yes, many show homes and interior design magazine photos show beautiful kitchens with hardwood floors. They are stunning and make the space look bigger because there is no break in flooring material.

Nonetheless, I personally don’t like them for the ‘possible problems’ that can take place unless you live alone and have full control of what goes on in that space. I always recommend the ‘hardwood-look tile’ flooring that has become popular over the last few years.

My only concern is making sure that the edge of the tile has its colour go right through or has a straight cut edge because grout colour will be placed next to it. For hardwood-looking tile, you also want rectified tile which is precisely cut tile to ensure a small ¼” grout line.

Check out this website The Spruce for more info on tile types for kitchen floors.

In conclusion, the ‘Age in Place’ kitchen flooring should make this space look cohesive in colour and style to the rest of the home and have no transition heights between the areas. It should also be low maintenance, slip resistance and warm where you stand the most. Utilize radiant floor heating or heat mats to achieve this. They aren’t as expensive as you think and the comfort you get outweighs the cost. Also, because tile is harder to stand on, an anti-fatigue rug in front of the sink and/or where you stand the most would be advisable. Of course, if you are in a wheelchair this doesn’t apply.

Hopefully, this info has helped you narrow down the right flooring decision for your ‘Resort Style’ home!

Simply me by Design,
Jan Addams Designer, Author, Trainer




Part 2/4: Age in Place – Kitchen Cabinets

Part 2 /4: Age in Place – KITCHEN Cabinets 

By Jan Addams (Designer, Author, Trainer) 

Have you wondered why a Kitchen Renovation costs so much?  Do you get confused when trying to select Kitchen Cabinets with all the styles, colours and quality?

If you have been following me, you know that my husband and I have ‘right-sized‘ our home and are attempting to make it an ‘Age in Place‘ home but with a ‘Resort Style‘ feel.  After purchasing our ‘New to Us’ home and fixing several items that needed to be brought up to our needs, our attention turned to the room we both originally wanted to change – our KITCHEN.


It was time to put on my ‘design hat’ and begin the ‘compromise’ process once again. I often tell my clients that I am really just a marriage counsellor with a design sense!  So began my own self-applied marriage/design counselling.  My hubby and I had some very different views on what our new kitchen should look like. I should have brought in an outside mediator – oh wait – wasn’t that what all our friends and family were trying to be?  It was amazing how many ‘great ideas’ were thrown around 😉 


Wait a second... who’s the ‘expert’ here?  I felt like a little girl with her hand up and being totally ignored.  Nobody asked for my opinion.  It was like I didn’t have a clue what I was doing; that 100’s of clients never paid me for my ideas, floor plans, colour and design options and that I had never done a renovation before!  My ideas were being usurped at every turn.  What was going on?  I was beginning to feel inept!   I reverted back to where I know my strength is – Visual Concept Design.

My hubby liked a Transitional looking, medium to dark stained wood kitchen with an open concept design where the kitchen, dining and living areas were wide open. He wanted a sink in his breakfast bar island with enough work and sitting space to hold court (he is the chief cook of the family). 

This was fine but, this meant a full-on renovation that included removing the wall separating the dining room from the kitchen.  No problem, except… we had a lot of plumbing, heating and electrical in that wall; in-floor radiant heating and to top it off the previous owners put all the existing cabinets in place including the island and then tiled the floor!! An absolute no, no!

We live in a ‘reverse’ plan, meaning that the living area is upstairs not on the main floor. I thought out, created, designed and printed off dozens of floorplans.   I showed my concepts to hubby and friends both on my computer and in print form of the different options instead of trying to describe what I meant.    Apparently, I speak in ‘pictures’ and people have a hard time understanding what I am talking about.  The problem is that I always see the whole space in my mind up in full colour with all options chosen including its functionality or potential challenges. I don’t know where to start to describe what I see so it is like ‘the blind man and the elephant’ story, everyone was correct in their description of the part of the elephant they were touching they just couldn’t see the ‘whole elephant’ like I could.   

So… the type of kitchen I prefer is a more contained space (like the photo below) which is what we currently had. 

This is where I can close the door, feed my furry family and sit down to enjoy a cup of java on a delightful, cushioned nook bench that overlooked our outdoor living space and the beautiful morning sky beyond.  Early morning is my quiet time to greet the day with gratitude, reflect and plan out tasks ahead.  I always pictured sitting in a bright, distressed off-white French Country style kitchen with black accents, granite counters and brick backsplash that gave me a feeling of cosy, homey comfort.  As you can see this was very different my husband’s idea of a perfect kitchen.

Here’s what I learned about kitchen design and cabinetry over the last 35 years:


  • Floor space width, length and height
  • Windows & door sizes and their locations
  • Appliances /plumbing fixtures must be found and purchased first for sizing and electrical requirements.
  • Granite or Composite counters decided next for style and colour direction
  • Flooring material, style and colour is next
  • Lighting – both room and cabinet lighting – needs to be determined
  • Cabinet material (wood, melamine, MDF); style and colour


  • Kitchen base cabinets are 24”deep x 36” high with counter
  • Distance between counter and uppers is 18 – 20”
  • Standard Upper cabinets are either 15,21 or 24”H (above fridge) and should be at least 24” D
  • Standard Upper cabinet widths start at 9” up to 39” wide in 3” increments and are 12”- 15” D
  • Standard Base cabinets start at 9”, 12, 15, 18, 21, 24, 30, 36” to maximum of 48” wide 
  • Standard  Drawer cabinets start at 12, 15, 18, 21, 24, 30, 36”
  • Toe Kicks are 4” – 4 ½  high and 3” deep
  • Table height is 30”high with 18”high chairs, stools or benches
  • Counter height bars are 36”high and need 24” high stools
  • Bar height counters are 42”high and need 30” high stools


  • Granite or composite counters are 2cm =¾” built to 1 ½” with plywood and 3cm = 1 1/4” thick
  • Laminate counters = ¾” thick and come with the nosing built up to 1 ½” thick with plywood
  • Countertop overhangs should never be less than ¾” and more typically is 1 – 1 ½”
  • Islands that use granite should be built to the size of the granite and a portion raised or lowered if it is larger so that you don’t see the seam.
  • The backsplash type, style and colour is used to tie in all other elements 


  • Electrical outlets are usually placed at 42” high (6 inches above counter on the wall, in base a base cabinet, or in a drawer – technology plugs)
  • Light valances are attached only if there is a clearance of 18” between cabinet and counter to meet electrical code
  • Ground fault outlets should be used everywhere in the kitchen

The KEYS I  use to pick COLOURS:

  1. Wall and trim paint are the last elements chosen.
    • If your cabinets are white or off-white, colour match your trim to them
    • If cabinets are a paint grade colour, colour match your trim to your outlets/switches or if plumbing fixtures if white or off-white
    • If trim is stained wood, the colour should coordinate with the cabinets and flooring
    • Wall and accent paint should tie in the counter, backsplash and cabinets to create a harmonious space.

I thought that was a fair amount to know.  Here’s what I learned – ‘the Devil’ is in ‘the Details’ when it comes to Kitchen Cabinets:

  • All appliance specifications along with any adjusted electrical requirements.  IE a counter depth fridge is 25”deep only if the outlet is recessed. 
  • Appliances need to be on separate circuits ie Fridge, Dishwasher, Microwave, Range and ovens.
  • If a cabinet has glass doors the interior must be finished in the same material as the doors or a custom interior colour and the cost can double.
  • Glass ready doors cost the same as regular doors unless they have wood or metal details.
  • Finished sides are laminate, painted or stained wood and they are required wherever an edge is exposed ie: dishwasher panels, the base side of the sink cabinet next to dishwasher; sides of base cabinets next to a slide in range; wall panels next to refrigerators etc.
  • The bottoms of uppers, if they are seen from an eating bar and don’t have a light valance, should be finished the same as the cabinet.
  • The edges of fillers are also important depending if they protrude past cabinets ie: extended base sink front or upper microwave extended cabinet and over the fridge cabinets
  • Upgrading to plywood cabinets can cost 15 -20% more than melamine.
  • There are different grades of melamine and the commercial grade is much stronger and more stable than plywood which can warp over time.
  • Toe kicks can be recessed or a furniture style kick is topically applied (extra cost)

Type of wood used in the cabinets increase the cost:

  • Oak & Pine are typically standard
  • Hickory, Rustic Alder and Maple 5 – 9% upcharge
  • Cherry and Rustic Cherry 14% – 20% upcharge
  • Red Birch 20%
  • Black Walnut, Caramelized Bamboo, custom wood 60, 65 to 75% upcharge
  • Style of door adds to the cost: 
    • Flat Panel – lowest cost
    • Shaker style – standard
    • Raised panel – medium (mitred corners are higher in cost but are less strong than mortise and tenon corners)
    • Raised panel with applied moulding and/or beaded inset – highest}
  • Specialty paint and finishes cost anywhere from 15 – 50% or more
    • Chalked cabinets and glazed are the same – a brown, grey or black is placed in the edges to highlight
    • Antiqued is a glaze that changes the colour add character
    • Distressed cabinets have been glazed that can combine hand rubs on the corners, worn edges with added knife splits and dents.
  • Style of cabinet
    • Frameless
    • Face frame ½” to 1 ¼” Overlay (traditional cabinetry that is the strongest built cabinets)
    • Face frame Beaded
    • Flush Inset with bead or applied mouldings (often seen in heritage homes and is the highest in cost)
  • Appliance garages have many opening styles > hardware is a key factor
    • Tambour door
    • Two door
    • Lift up hinges so door opens upwards
    • Hideaway doors
  • Lighting – room, task and ambient
    • Recessed lighting, pendants, puck, linear, or strip lighting that is dimmable and can be used under upper cabinets but need designated circuits and/or electrical outlets to house the transformers

  • Hardware – costly but worth it!
    • Full extension brackets under mounted on drawers don’t encroach on interior space
    • Soft close on drawers is a hardware piece attached
    • Soft close on doors is a piece added to the hinge (note: you can’t have soft close doors with touch latch as they won’t close properly)
  • Decorative details really finish a kitchen design:
    • Furniture baseboard and custom kicks
    • Corbels
    • Brackets to hold up counters
    • Crown and light valance mouldings
    • Cabinet edge trim work
    • Island door panels or beadboard
    • Hardware – knobs and handles

Hopefully, you found all this information useful.
If you are curious about how it all turned out click on the PHOTO

Kitchen before & completed. Designed by Jan Addams


If you have any questions or comments – please comment below or on my Facebook Page:


Simply Me by Design, 
Jan Addams 
(Designer, Author, Trainer)


Part 1-4 of Age in Place KITCHEN Appliances

Hi Fellow Baby Boomers!
In the last blog post, I talked about Aging in Place – Resort Style ENTRANCES where I discussed
The ‘8’ AGE in PLACE – RESORT STYLE Features:

  1. High curb appeal exterior design
  2. Easy care driveway (non-slip stamped concrete, exposed aggregate, brick) with turn around
  3. Remote door opener in garage with no post divider
  4. Low maintenance Exterior including stucco, brick, stone or smart board siding (no paint)
  5. Easy sight line into home for security
  6. Security System or ‘motion lights’ – crooks don’t like bright lights or dogs 🙂
  7. Low maintenance yard with underground sprinkler system
  8. No threshold entrance with built in gentle slope that acts as a ramp





This week we are going ‘inside’ to the ‘Heart of the Home’ the KITCHEN.

Let’s start with the ‘Work Triangle’:

  • No leg of the triangle should be less than 4 feet (1.2 m) or more than 9 feet (2.7 m).
  • The sum of all three sides of the triangle should be between 13 feet (4.0 m) and 26 feet (7.9 m).
  • Cabinets or other obstacles should not intersect any leg of the triangle by more than 12 inches (30 cm).
  • If possible, there should be no major traffic flow through the triangle.
  • A full-height obstacle, such as a tall cabinet, should not come between any two points of the triangle.

Besides the work triangle itself, there are several rules of thumb to consider when planning a kitchen:

  • As measured between countertops and cabinets or appliances, work aisles should be no less than 42 inches (110 cm) for one cook, or 48 inches (120 cm) for multiple cooks.
  • A sink should have a clear counter area of at least 24 inches (61 cm) on one side, and at least 18 inches (46 cm) on the other side.
  • At least 36 inches (91 cm) of food preparation area should be located next to the sink.
  • A refrigerator should have a clear counter area of at least 15 inches (38 cm) on the handle side, or the same on either side of a side-by-side refrigerator; or the same area on a counter no more than 48 inches (120 cm) across from the refrigerator.
  • A stove or cooktop should have a clear 15 inches (38 cm) area on one side, and at least 12 inches (30 cm) on the other side.
  • In a seating area where no traffic passes behind the diner, allow 32 inches (81 cm) from the wall to the edge of the table or counter; if traffic passes behind the diner, allow 44 inches (110 cm).

CLICK HERE to get Jan’s 8 BEST TIPS for selecting Appliances and Plumbing Fixtures


With all my clients looking to renovate or build new I have them choose their appliances and plumbing first. This is the types of appliances both major > fridge, freezer, range, ovens, dishwasher; to the smaller but still costly ones such as microwaves, espresso machines etc.  that you want, need and can afford in your Kitchen.  This is your biggest cost and can make or break your budget.


  • Stove – $500 – $6000.00
  • Hood Fans – $250 – $6000.00
  • Ovens – $250 – $4000.00
  • Fridge – $500 – $40,000.00
  • Freezer – $500 – $30,000.00
  • Dishwasher – $450 – $3000.00

Consider the following 4 of 8 things when choosing your cooking appliance:

  1. How much space do you have and what is your budget range?
  2. Who is the main cook in the family?
  3. What type of food do you cook and how frequently?
  4. Do you need a separate oven, double ovens or an all in one style?

CLICK HERE to get ALL Jan’s 8 BEST TIPS for selecting Appliances 

Look for the following 4 of 8 items when selecting your Fridge / Freezer:

  1. How much space do you have – width (24, 30, 33, 36, 42, 48”) and depth (full or counter)?
  2. What is your budget range?
  3. What type of refrigerator do you like – full fridge; freezer top or bottom; side by side; French door; door within the door; water and ice machine (inside or outside) remember cubic feet of storage gets eaten up when you have an icemaker.
  4. How much fresh food (fruits, vegetables, dairy) do you store in the fridge?


  • Dishwasher – $450 – $3000.00
  • Sink (Main) – $200 – 3000.00
  • Bar Sink – $100 – $1000.00
  • Faucet (Main)- $250 – 700.00
  • Faucet (Hot / Cold) – $500 – $1500
  • Cooktop pasta faucet – $200 – $2200

CLICK HERE to get ALL Jan’s 8 BEST TIPS for selecting Appliance &  PLUMBING Fixtures

Look for the following 4 of 8 items when selecting your Dishwasher and Plumbing fixtures:

  1. Do you have an open floor plan – select a quiet dishwasher?
  2. Do you like to easily access the controls or prefer them hidden?
  3. Do you want a dishwasher that blends into the cabinetry (panel ready – limited items)?
  4. Do you want a full dishwasher or the new ‘drawer style’ dishwasher?
  5. Consider how you use your sink – pots, pans, and roasters require a large sink. I suggest a ‘smart divide’ or ‘low divide’ sink be able to easily wash and rinse all items.

As with any and all items you may purchase research is key.  Check out websites that rate appliances for you like


8 ‘Resort Style’ Entrance Features

Boomers want a resort style life

Baby Boomers are aging, this is no longer a secret.  Also, we don’t think we are getting old and we don’t think old!  We are younger looking, healthier, travel more and generally have more fun than our parents did.

Even Real Estate news websites are beginning to talk about it: “Our current generation of boomers doesn’t want to do those for-old people things,” says Jana Lynott, senior policy adviser on livable communities for AARP. “We encourage [people to consider] neighborhoods where you can walk to a variety of services you access on a daily basis, like banks, public transportation, shopping, restaurants.”

This is also happening in Canada. Instead of migrating south en masse to retirement communities more and more baby boomers—a particularly urban-savvy group of Canadians —are moving back to the metro areas they abandoned when they began raising families. And in leaving their suburban homesteads, these empty nesters are redefining the urban centers they now call home.  

My husband and I are examples of this.

Making the decision to leave our coastal home on the ocean was an incredibly hard thing to do.  We loved the area but our home was becoming more of a burden than a joy to look after.   Wanting a simpler home with less maintenance where we could enjoy our life became the utmost of importance to both my husband and me.  

Real estate was on the upswing and our home was worth so much more after 30 years of being in the same area.  We sold our character home to a lovely couple that moved from the city wanting a quieter life (the reverse of what we were about to do).

‘Well, the first thing you know we become millionaires… our kin folk said Jan & Glen move away from here… said the island is the place you want to be so we loaded up our trucks and instead moved to Burnaby!   Hills that is… swimming pools, movie stars…  (Music to the Beverly Hillbillies is playing in my head… ) 

We found another ‘character home‘ to begin our ‘Aging in Place – Resort Style‘ life.   We consciously ‘right sized‘ our home and maintenance level and upped our lifestyle!  We now had the added convenience of being within a 5-minutes drive from everything we used and walking distance to parks, stores, restaurants, and even a library! 

So you want to ‘Age in Place – Resort Style’?  

Let’s start with the ENTRANCE to your home.  Here is a checklist that an accessible entrance NEEDS:

  • Smooth, ground level entrances without stairs
  • Surface textures that require low force to traverse on level, less than 5 pounds force per 120 pounds rolling force (for wheelchairs)
  • Surfaces that are stable, firm, and slip resistant per ASTM 2047
  • Learn how threshold ramps and residential ramps can make stairs a problem of the past

Now take your lifestyle up a notch with these ‘8’ AGE in PLACE – RESORT STYLE Features:

  1. High curb appeal exterior design
  2. Easy care driveway (non-slip stamped concrete, exposed aggregate, brick) with turn around 
  3. Remote opening with no post divider in the garage door 
  4. Low maintenance Exterior including stucco, brick, stone or smart board siding (no paint)
  5. Easy sight line into home for security
  6. Security System or ‘motion lights‘ – crooks don’t like bright lights
  7. Low maintenance yard with underground sprinkler system
  8. No threshold entrance or add transition ramp 

Having a no threshold entrance way is optimal.






Or, have a beautiful a ramp added.

Or, have an elevator on the ground level accessed from the garage to all the rest of the floors.  
They really aren’t as expensive as you think. In fact, for about the same price as a ‘Thermador Fridge,’ you can have a 4 x 6′ residential elevator installed.  
This is similar to asking, “how much do cars cost?” There is a pretty wide range, depending on a number of factors. Generally speaking, in most parts of North America, two-stop home elevators start in the range of $20,000 installed.  Typical installations cost between $19,000 and $39,000 .
Below is a contemporary home I designed for my ‘millennial’ clients that have aging relatives.  
Due to the house to lot size restrictions, I designed the elevator in the center of the house with the staircase next to it.
Whatever you are able to do, ensure the floor area is non-slip and has a 60″ turning radius in the halls to allow for wheelchair access if needed.  
The key to ensuring a universal entranceway is to think about ‘all users’ remember ‘grand babies’ need to grab onto handles and don’t like stairs and trip when the floor transitions change height.  
Simply Me by Design,
Written by Jan Addams
(Designer, Author, Trainer) 
President of IMAGE To INTERIOR Inc.
If you have photos, comments or ideas to make an entrance feel like a ‘resort’  submit them to 

What is UNIVERSAL Design?

Universal Design and the Aging Society


Wikipedia States:  Universal Design ( a close relation to inclusive design) refers to broad-spectrum ideas meant to produce buildings, products and environments that are inherently accessible to older people, people without disabilities, and people with disabilities.

Stairs really?

The term “universal design” was coined by the architect Ronald L. Mace to describe the concept of designing all products and the built environment to be aesthetic and usable to the greatest extent possible by everyone, regardless of their age, ability, or status in life.[1]

However, it was the work of Selwyn Goldsmith, author of Designing for the Disabled (1963), who really pioneered the concept of free access for people with disabilities. His most significant achievement was the creation of the dropped curb – now a standard feature of the built environment.

Universal design emerged from slightly earlier barrier-free concepts, the broader accessibility movement, and adaptive and assistive technology and also seeks to blend aesthetics into these core considerations. As life expectancy rises and modern medicine increases the survival rate of those with significant injuries, illnesses, and birth defects, there is a growing interest in universal design.

There are many industries in which universal design is having strong market penetration but there are many others in which it has not yet been adopted to any great extent. Universal design is also being applied to the design of technology, instruction, services, and other products and environments.

Transition free floors, elevator behind stairs.


Curb cuts or sidewalk ramps, essential for people in wheelchairs but also used by all, are a common example. Color-contrast dishware with steep sides that assists those with visual or dexterity problems is another.

There are also cabinets with pull-out shelves, kitchen counters at several heights to accommodate different tasks and postures, and, amidst many of the world’s public transit systems, low-floor buses that “kneel” (bring their front end to ground level to eliminate gap) and/or are equipped with ramps rather than on-board lifts.”

Designing Spaces using Universal Design Principals


So… what has been done recently in the building and design world to bring this Universal Design concept to the average home whether it is a house, townhouse or apartment?  

As a veteran Interior Designer, I am seeing more homes incorporating this concept.  In fact, I have recently designed two very different ‘user-friendly‘ homes.  For one owner, is in his late 60’s,  I designed 2 elevators; plus several ADA compliant areas in the home by using side ramp into the main house, wider hallways and doorways with lever handles on the doors.  I also designed a transitional/accessibility vanity (where the cabinet was 34″ high and could be pulled out to accommodate a wheel chair) I also created a transition free 7′ shower in the Master ensuite.  

My other clients, in their late 30’s, had a keen awareness of wanting their home to be accessible to aging relatives. I designed their contemporary styled 2 story home with an open concept around a 3-floor access elevator, ADA  compliant washroom on the main floor and a ground access ‘in-law‘ suite with ADA compliant bathroom, kitchen and bedroom areas with access to the main and upper floors.

As I too am aging, I am doing more and more research on this topic.  However, I want to add another element = creating a Hotel or Resort feel to any home I design that has ‘designer looking’ products that are easy to understand and use; require low physical effort; spaces that have easy access to all areas of the home and are beautiful to behold and touch. 


Join me on this journey and let’s see how we all can embrace this ‘re-Newed’ standard of living!  If you want this info as I get it…  Go to my Training Site and Subscribe to my ‘Aging Resort Style’ – Newsletter >> HERE

 Aging ‘Resort Style‘ by Design,


Jan Addams
Designer, Author, Trainer

and fellow Baby Boomer


Are You Considering Aging in Place?

Hi there, Jan Addams here…

I know its been awhile since we last chatted. To be honest, I have been way too busy helping my interior design clients with their renovations or new builds and looking after my family. This included helping my loving mother-in-law with aging in place concepts until we ‘happily’ placed her in a wonderful care facility even though she constantly told us ‘I’ll take poison if you take me from my home‘ and then promptly forget what she said or was talking about. I honestly didn’t have enough time and energy for anyone including myself. I did however, learn alot in that process about Dementia and the mind; about security for our loved ones and accessibility design.  


In the midst of all the above, my husband and I also went through the horrible process of de-cluttering, depersonalizing and ‘staging to sell‘ our home that we lovingly called ‘The Lodge’ filled with many happy memories. Though we loved our home and area, we could no longer keep living and working on it as it required younger bodies and large cash inlay to bring it up to date. However, we didn’t want to ‘downsize’ our lifestyle so it was important to find a place we could spend at least the next 10 years in, and a condo was not an option.

We made a long ‘wish’ list; short ‘need’ list and found ourselves anothercharacter’ home that was newer and required lower maintenance. It has many ‘universal design‘ components in it (no threshold entranceway; tile and hardwood flooring; easy access to the outdoor living space) that was perfect for us. We changed all the knobs to levers; bulbs from incandescent to LED and have personalized our space (created an outdoor kitchen and new main kitchen). Our jobs now are doing enjoyable maintenance on our ‘little’ front and back garden area – awesome!

We are free to make more happy memories in our newer ‘Resort Style Home’ in the city! Time is precious, sharing it with family and friends in a home you love that is a reflection of your personal lifestyle, I believe is the key to happiness.

If you are like me, a fellow baby boomer, you and/or your mate may be already, or are thinking of retirement which creates two-edged, happy / scary thoughts for most of us.  We want more time to travel and enjoy the rewards of our hard work.  Unfortunately, we also realise that health issues and being physically able to do all the things we want may not be possible.  

So how do we ‘have our cake & eat it too?’

I am now turning my attention to sharing my 35 years of knowledge, experience and expertise in the field of Interior Design, Staging, Renovation and Building to helping those that are just embarking on these adventures and those, like myself that are now looking at ‘Aging in Place – Resort Style!’

The 4 KEY characteristics of  Aging in Place – RESORT STYLE:

1. Recognize that changes are necessary as our minds may still be young in attitude, but our bodies need a break!
2. Live a simpler, colourful, organized & inspiring life that has the ‘best’ of everything you can afford.
3. Surround yourself with your ‘happy colours’ & positive memory accessories.
4. Design your place with stylish & convenient accessibility products that are ensured to last 7 to 10 more years while you are enjoying your life.

Come along with me on my journey and learn from my experience to save you tons of money, sleepless nights, stress and frustration. I have the KEYS to prevent this. I have prepared 4 FREE Training videos to help you. Let me know what you would like to find out more about and I will research and post my findings in upcoming emails.


Jan Addams (Fellow Baby Boomer)
Designer, Author, Trainer

Let’s Get Started >  Aging in Place – Resort Style

The four views you will recieve upon subscribing will come like this:

Aging in Place - Resort Style
Video 1:

‘What is Aging in Place – Resort Style‘?
Learn about the rapidly GROWING Interior Design Trend!
Baby Boomers have, are in the process of, or are thinking of retiring and trying to decide what to do with their money, their home and the rest of their life.

3 Days later

Video 2:

The 8 KEY Deciding Factors
Should you stay in your home and Renovate, or Sell and Build? Jan asks all her clients to answer these 8 questions to help them make the best decision for their pocket book and life. Every decision requires thought & compromises.

5 Days later

Video 3:

The ‘Space Options Survey
Jan shows how your Personality, Body Shape & Colouring transition into your Interior Design and teaches you how to fill out this survey to ensure your ‘renewed or new’ space is functional, beautiful & reflects your style.

7 Days later

Video 4:

I walk through the 8 Steps I use with my clients on every Renovation or New Build. This 8 module ONLINE training system comes with a custom Interior Project Binder to keep them on time & budget while having FUN!
I am here to help you design a ‘Resort Style Life
Visit my new ONLINE training site to get more info.



Clients Say about Jan

Testimonials for Interior Designer – Jan Addams  LIIID, MIRM

December 2015

Nurmi Fireplace & custom sofa 2015Dear Jan,

Just a short note to thank you and let you know how very happy I am with the transformation you created for my (new to me) town home.  The master bedroom is a dream with the gorgeous headboard and bedspread a perfect match together with the lamps & end tables from long ago.  The carpet, wall colour and mill-work created around the window makes it a very warm & cosy room.

Your design skill in the living & garden rooms are amazing also!  Everything from the wall and accent colours, to the mill-work around the fireplace, my new custom sofas & window coverings.

One word ‘PERFECT‘!
My home is now a cosy comfortable place I love to come home to.  Thank You!!

Stina Nurmi
Pitt Meadows, BC

January 21, 2013

Interior Designed by Jan Addams

We have known Jan Addams for more than ten years starting when she lived in Calgary. Jan first helped us with a basement renovation which to this day we still love.

Most recently, we decided to renovate our 30 year old kitchen/family room and turned to Jan for her expertise. She has an outstanding knowledge of the planning and design of a room. From selecting kitchen cabinets, lighting and plumbing fixtures, wall colour, flooring and carpet, to window treatments and accessories.  Jan has the wonderful ability to understand the goals and expectations of her clients and to deliver what is right for their lifestyle.

The whole project turned out fabulous and with Jan’s help we have created a comfortable environment that we love.  Jan is very easy to work with.  She is knowledgeable, creative, competent and very professional.  The most amazing thing is that we did the entire project remotely, through emails, phone calls and photos.  On a recent visit to Calgary, Jan saw the finished project for the first time.  We think she was impressed at how beautiful it turned out!

We would definitely have Jan work on any future projects and have enthusiastically recommended her services to others without reservation.

Ed & Cathy Marchuk
Calgary, AB


March 31, 2012

Jan Addams – President of Image To Interior Inc. 

“Dear Jan,
I’ve written this recommendation of your work to share with other Consumers & LinkedIn users.

Jan came highly recommended from a friend. She was the third of several designers we spoke to. Immediately we felt comfortable with Jan. We liked how she could quickly focus on the task at hand, how she helped us fill in the blanks, and how she could communicate the vision effectively back to us.

We engaged Jan for a kitchen, familyroom, powder room,living room and office make over. The results were wonderful – she provided us the just the right amount of assistance.

Later we had her back to stage the living room. Wow, she accomplished in 2 hours what we could never have done. To watch her move items we already owned and transform the space was amazing.”

Don & Mary Gamble
Year first hired: 2011
As Interior Designer / Style Strategist

Top Qualities: Great Results, Good Value, Creative

May 5, 2010

Jan Addams of Image To Interior Inc.

‘My Lucky Charm…’

Jan was a lucky charm that I found at the beginning of my journey of building a new home with my husband!  Jan had the patience and understanding about how I am not a visual person – without seeing in person or in 3D drawings, the concepts and ideas that she and my husband are clearly experts at doing.  From the beginning, it was a thoroughly enjoyable experience for me to work with Jan.

The personal style questionnaire sheets that we filled out at the beginning were quite an eye opener on facts that I thought I had a pretty good idea of what my likes and dislikes were.  The Color Harmonics chart is amazingly correct.  The ‘Design Dominoes’ technique works like a charm!  It all coincides together and fits perfectly in the Contact To Completion Comunication binder we received and use every time we need to find information on our project.  I cannot rave enough about the great service and vision that Jan has.  She’s a beautifully artistic individual that is very gracious with her patience and assistance.

To our surprise, as an outsider she was very good at helping us put ideas and things into perspective when we didn’t agree.  Amazingly though, my husband and I were pretty much on the same page!  Jan did come to my rescue a few times and we even got more without asking for it!  LOL!  I strongly suggest everyone to read her book, DISCOVERING YOUR INNER STYLE!  It definitely rings true on pretty much all the steps, ideas and themes!

I look forward to saluting Jan for all of her work when we have our grand open house to toast the new home!  Thank you so much Jan for all you are and do!  Even during a difficult time, you still were dedicated and professional!


Diana & Ed Simas
Simas Design & Development Ltd.
Burnaby, BC (Landscape Design)
(Direct Buy Member)

To: Jan Addams of IMAGE To INTERIOR Inc. 

Townhouse Complex Before   //    Townhouse Complex After

Hi Jan:

“Thank you for the fabulous colours you have chosen for the townhouse complex.  The work is now finished and the complex looks fantastic.

Because of those colours the styling and charm of the architecture stands out noticeably.  The colours have added thousands of dollars to the value of the complex.

Great work!  We are thrilled with the results.”


April Marshall
Standard Holdings
Vancouver, BC

Our New Country Home 2007 – 2008

“Jan helped my husband and I have the courage to build our country dream house.  Through her patience, humour and design expertise we were able to build a comfortable retirement home for us to share with our family, grand children and friends.

Jan took the mystique out of the process by helping my husband and I make our own choices.  Her questionnaires and computer generated floor plans were practical and easy to understand.

Jan helped us visually walk through every aspect of the house as if we were living in it. With her guidance we were able to combine our personal styles to create a home that was unique and pleasing to both of us.

Jan’s good sense of humour, interpersonal skills and experience kept the process enjoyable.  We called her our ‘design mediator’. When we got stuck on an idea or, our personal choices got in the way, Jan would help us work through the issue until we were both comfortable with the decision.

Jan always looked for innovative and cost effective ways to produce a high quality interior look within our budget.  She saw potential costly problems before they came up and made changes when necessary.  She provided us with a variety of products and colours all within our price range and showed us how colour and design made the difference in the overall look and feel of the house.

When the house was complete, Jan continued to help us.  She was available to talk to when we need her expert opinion.  Jan showed us how to incorporate some of our sentimental treasures with new furniture and accessories for our home.  This worked out beautifully and our home feels like it has a history while being fresh and new and, our grand children feel like we have always lived in this home!”

Thanks Jan!

Judy & Erwin Karst

Garry & Wendy Mihaichuk recommend Jan Addams

Ken & Tannis Palmer recommend Interior Designer Jan Addams


TESTIMONIALS From BUILDERS for STAGING & Model Home Merchandising

SABAL Homes Recommends Interior Designer Jan Addams

Stepper Homes Recommends Jan Addams

Maxima Homes Recommends Interior Designer Jan Addams
Maxima Homes Recommends Interior Designer Jan Addams
















2016 Style Strategy

Style Strategy 2016 from IMAGE To INTERIOR - Pinterest
2016 – Style Strategy from IMAGE To INTERIOR

2016 Style Strategy

These styles may be here for a couple of years as Trends are defined as something that last for over two years…

Wikipedia says: Long-term forecasting is the process of analysing and evaluating trends that can be identified by scanning a variety of sources for information. It is a fashion which lasts over two years.When scanning the market and the consumers, fashion forecasters must follow demographics of certain areas, both urban and suburban, as well as examine the impact on retail and its consumers due to the economy, political system, environment, and culture. Long-term forecasting seeks to identify: major changes in international and domestic demographics, shifts in the fashion industry along with market structures, consumer expectations, values, and impulsion to buy, new developments in technology and science, and shifts in the economic, political, and cultural alliances between certain countries. There are many specialized marketing consultants that focus on long-term forecasting and attend trade shows and other events that notify the industry on what is to come.


Here’s a quick list for 2016 Style Strategy:

  • Clothing Styles for 2016 says Harpers Bazzar look like this – Spring 2016 – (hint ‘flared jeans’ and iconic purses are back!)
  • Decorating Styles for 2016 are mix-matched kitchen cabinet, black stainless steel appliances, formal dining rooms, (are the 50’s are coming back?)
  • Colour Direction for 2016 by Pantone are two colours combined Rose Quartz and Serenity.
  • Colour expert – Maria Killam says that trends in home decor in 2016 everything goes!

Finally!   I personally believe that your 2016 Style Strategy should be to follow your own ‘Unique G.U.R.U. Style‘  and incorporate some of the ‘trends‘ to update your look ONLY if they enhance your personal style, interior design and business brand and organizing style.

When you know your core inner desires, love and know how to enhance your body shape, wear your ‘power colours‘ to feel young and vibrant and transition all these factors into your living space – now that is your 2016 style strategy which will continue to grow more elegant through the years…

Take the IMAGE TO INTERIOR – Fill-in Mini Style Report  (on side bar >>) to find out what ‘Your Uniquely You Style Is’.  Post your comments below or on our FB page – love to hear how you are going to incorporate the 2016 trends into your style and space!

Simply Me by Design,

Jan Addams
(Designer, Author, Trainer)


Are You a Diamond in the Rough?

We are all Diamonds in the rough!

Mirror Mirror Personality - by Jan Addams

Our Inner Characteristics

There are common denominators that stay with us throughout  our life, and aspects of our personality that change with experience and maturity. By first knowing how you act, react and evolve (infinite), you then have a basis for understanding and getting along with others.

There are 4 Basic Personality Traits:
PLANNER – organizer
DOER   – action-oriented
MEDIATOR  – relates more to people
COMMUNICATOR  – initiates ideas

This  is  the  first  part  of  the  infinite  side  of  us.  Our  inner  character carries an essence of structure within that continues to change and evolve with education, experience and maturity.

The universe as we know it follows an expected degree of organization to function properly. We have all seen what happens when this goes awry as in hurricanes and earthquakes. We expect the sun to rise everyday giving us light and warmth and allowing us to differentiate between day and night. We look to our moon as it continues its journey non-stop around the earth, pushing and pulling the tides to create our days and seasons, pleasantly lighting our way in the darkness of the evening.

Structure  can  be  very  good,  but  structure  without  knowledge  and flexibility can also be very destructive. By being  too  focused  within  ourselves,  our belief structures can sometimes cause us to make costly errors.

Have you ever watched ants that have discovered a honey pot? Notice how the small lookout team runs back to announce their find and within minutes a steady stream  of insects arrive on the ‘sweet scene’.  They have mastered the art of pick-up and delivery to their lady queen who feeds and gives birth to  more  little  troopers  that  will  continue  their  lineage.  OK,  some would say that this structure or system isn’t very intelligent. All one would  have  to  do  is  follow  the  lines  of  ants  back  to  their  nest  and poison the lot of them!

Please don’t get me wrong, we need to understand and live within our  structure  and  its  limitations.  But,  we  also  need  to  continue to evolve. This is done through education and experience which transforms us into becoming well rounded human beings (I am not talking about physical  girth  here!).  Imagine  that  this  process  is  like  walking  up  a long and winding slope with many twists and turns. Finally you reach the top, look down and feel a renewed awareness and appreciation for the abundant life in the meadow below.  At that moment you come to the realization that beauty comes from four things:colour, consistency, diversity and continuous change.



1. I like to work by myself. My pace is slow and methodical. I love to handle details. Some think that I border on being a perfectionist. Who am I?

____ A. The DOER
____ B. The MEDIATOR
____ C. The PLANNER


2. I don’t like pushy, aggressive types. I enjoy warm, close relationships, and I am a good team player. Who am I?

____ A. The DOER
____ B. The MEDIATOR
____ C. The PLANNER

3. I don’t like to waste time. I enjoy challenges, taking control and solving problems. Who am I?

____ A. The DOER
____ B. The MEDIATOR
____ C. The PLANNER


4. I love to be the center of attention. I like to be involved with people. I do not like to work alone, and detailed work bores me to tears. I love to work with ideas, rather than data. Who am I?

____ A. The DOER
____ B. The MEDIATOR
____ C. The PLANNER
After answering these questions, how does it fit with this analysis of yourself. Does it confirm your initial personality type? Knowing your personality type and the personality type of others will make a big difference in how you get along with others. I would venture to say that after you have completed this section, you won’t look at yourself or others, in the same way again.
If you would like to learn more about understanding your ‘Diamond in the Rough‘ Personality CLICK HERE for the FREE Mini Style Report.