1. At what point in your life did you discover an interest in your current profession?
My parents tell me that when I was in preschool, I would go get my Dad and lead him upstairs to help rearrange my bedroom furniture. So obviously, it goes back before I can even remember.
2. Why do you believe that accessible and sustainable design is such an important concept?
We want to create a space where people can stay in place because we are all living longer. I know my clients in Southern California live active lifestyles because of our great climate and the availability of activities such as golf and tennis. We should all be thinking about accessibility when we remodel a house instead of waiting until it's too late.
3. What is the biggest single challenge in the implementation of accessible, sustainable design?
Denial. People do not necessarily want to face aging and loss of independence. Also, I think a fear of the style and how it might look in the end holds people back. Forget your impressions of that outdated handicap hotel room; functional sustainable design done right can be stylish and beautiful.
4. Considering your clients, what might be some of the benefits of “staying in place?”
It's an investment in the future. Not only for resale value of the home but the quality of your life improves by being able to stay in place. I don't know about you but I'd much rather be able to roll a wheelchair into my own shower rather than at a rehabilitation center or hospital.
5. If not this profession, then what other profession or career have you ever contemplated?
Believe it or not, Interior Design is actually my 2nd career. I spent my 20's working as a police officer. Although certainly considered an opposite field, I was in it for the same reasons I'm in design - I love helping people. Thankfully, I found a place to belong in the design community where I can do just that.
Patricia Lockwood is an award-winning designer who runs her successful design business in Palm Desert, California. Self-described as an Interior Designer with a twist, she passes along trade discounts and special pricing to her clients, making her services a true value.
She is a founder and past president of the Palm Springs IDS Chapter, a member of the national board of IDS, a member of the Design Alliance of Accessible Sustainable Environments ( DAASE ) and is a well respected, supporter and enthusiastic member of the Coachella Valley design community. Patricia also contributes to a regular column on design and design issues for the Desert Sun.
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