Editor's Note: This is an extended feature on Wellesley Design Consultants, as seen in the April edition of The Vista newsletter.
We are happy to introduce Wellesley Design Consultants as our interior designer for Project True North. As a leading design firm with 25+ years of experience, WDC has designed the interiors for more than 30 communities in the Northeast including premier senior living residences such as Piper Shores in Scarborough, Maine, Stone Ridge in Mystic, CT and The Hill at Whitemarsh in Lafayette Hill, PA .
WDC is selecting the full range of finishes, carpets, furniture, upholstery, curtain fabrics, artwork and accessories for the newly designed apartment homes available for residence today and our major commons renovation, scheduled to begin this winter. They are also selecting finishes for the future residences we will construct in the coming months which include 45 luxury independent living residences, 36 enhanced living apartment homes, 12 memory support suites and 72 private suites for rehabilitation and long term care services, all designed in a “small house” style - an innovative physical and operational model based on a fully resident-centered philosophy.
Anne Webb-Johnson, Design Principal, President, and founding principal had experience as a project designer in interior design and architectural firms in the Bahamas and in England before moving to the Boston area in 1973. Prior to forming WDC she was responsible for the original interior design for North Hill when we opened in 1984. Her architectural education was received in England at the School of Architecture, Kingston upon Hull. The Vista asked her to share some additional thoughts about North Hill and her personal experience.
What inspired you to become an interior designer?
My father encouraged me to go to architectural school and I have to thank him for steering me towards a career that I really love. The change to interiors was gradual, it offered me the chance to do more design and the work that I do now brings together all the aspects of my professional life.
What led you to senior living?
The first Senior Living project that I was involved with was Beacon House on Joy St. for Rogerson Communities. Soon after that I was interviewed by the North Hill board and awarded the contract to do the interiors for North Hill when it was first constructed in the early 1980's. Since then, the majority of my work has been for senior living. I enjoy the challenges and rewards of this field.
What are the major trends you’re seeing in senior living design?
It is becoming easier and easier to design senior living projects that serve the needs of older adults and to provide interiors that don't separate them from interiors designed for the general population. I find this very rewarding. My feeling is that the retiring baby boomers will demand more amenities and a higher level of finishes in the coming years.
There is a much greater emphasis on fitness and activities than we had 25 years ago. Dining venues are becoming more varied and there is a strong movement away from the large formal dining room of years ago.
What aspects of Project True North do you find to the most defining?
At North Hill we have incorporated all of the points mentioned above and I see this being a defining example of the future of senior living in the Boston Area.