At 828id we strive to make a meaningful difference in the senior living industry. We serve aging adults and community owners and operators through our design work. Senior living design matters and it is our mission to make communities comfortable, stylish, and functional for residents to enjoy and feel at home.

Hear from 828id Founder and CEO, Keri Moore-Muñiz about how to begin a successful senior living community renovation. The passion and purpose behind why Keri does what she does is evident in this discussion:

Q: How does 828id work with owners and operators to determine the best options for design in a renovation project?

A: One of the first approaches we do is we like to walk and talk in person. We like to listen. Usually an executive director, operator or even a facilities guide, are some people that we work with. They know that, hey, our dining room flooring is failing or we need to get new dining chairs. A lot of it is geared towards dining and where residents are using spaces the most. That’s where you see the most wear and tear. So we start there, we have conversations, we ask questions.
Occupancy drives a lot of where we try to spend the money too. If you’re a lower occupancy, is there a barrier at the front door for a first impression that may be a harder sell for your marketing? What is that marketing and experience for potential residents and families, and why are you not selling or filling up? There’s lots of different factors. If you’re fully occupied and you just need to refresh, I think it’s a series of interviews, a site walk, understanding the budget and resources that they have to determine the best path forward.

If we can stretch a project and budget over several CapEx years, we’ll develop phasing plans based off of best case scenario for the community. We try to evaluate conditions, financial resources, and stretch client’s dollars as far as we can. If we know we can’t totally break down a reception desk and redo completely, what we’d love to reimagine what they can do. It’s a balancing act, and CapEx projects are something that is not going away. New construction has slowed tremendously. We’re seeing that we’re set up for a lot of interior renovations. We try to balance the dollars and design choices. We approach all projects just like if I was spending money in my home. How far can I get? I want to make those dollars stretch! For all projects, we listen and we site walk with a marketing lens.

Q: What is your process of understanding an owner/operator’s vision and how do you see that vision to reality?

A: A lot of times people don’t know their vision, but some people have very strong ones. Usually with visioning, executing gets a little more tricky when you are trying to change a program. For instance, a big change in a food service program. That’s something that we see a lot, maybe you’re doing traditional dining or you’re not delivering table service, things like that. So anytime we update spaces, we really try to understand the program. Unless it’s a transient space, and it just needs new art, or a new lounge chair for waiting for your car ride. But a lot of times we try to understand the needs of staff and residents, and how they use the space so we can throw designs out, and give a furniture plan. We really try to explain the process and the why behind what we do. Whether that’s redoing the layout of your dining room or redoing the layout of your lobby because you can add bistro and activity components into it to activate the front door.

We really tried to explain to our clients “the why” behind why we’re doing things and not just say, “this is the layout and this is the furniture we think we need”. And we really try to imagine with them to give them the most flexibility on their spaces, and show them how their staff can rearrange furniture and reprogram it throughout the day.

I think it’s critical in the success of a community for the executive director or any kind of administrator to give feedback to their staff about the why and the how they can really use the space. I think it’s just really understanding the program, pushing the program, and giving clients and communities some flex options.

We can do something pretty all day long and tell you why we love this tile or this paint, but it’s deeper for us, it’s more than just the pretty. We love the pretty. We’re designers naturally, but we’re just so passionate about completely transforming a space and making it usable and liveable. So to me that’s more of a vision than just a color palette because we care about how you use the space. When we leave, once our team leaves the site at the install, we want to make sure it’s working.

Q: What sets 828id apart from other designers when it comes to remodeling an occupied community?

A: Everybody would say experience is what can set designers apart, but at 828id, it’s our passion. I think passion starts at the top of leadership, it starts with me. The way I train our team to care about making choices and design decisions, and being careful around people, how we communicate to a director or even a resident who approaches us. We’re not the designer that’s just going to walk by and be a face in the croud. We truly care about holding the elevator for a resident who’s getting in on their walker. If we have artwork parts in the way, we’ll unload a cart, we’ll unload an elevator just so a resident can get to their room.

Communication and passion sets us apart through the way we handle and conduct ourselves on site. We encourage our designers to show up and see faces so we’re not so foreign when we get in resident’s and team’s space and start renovating. We’ve had past experiences where we just show up on the day and then we feel like we’re running around with targets on our back. Change is hard for anybody. We are communicative and compassionate to residents and team members, we understand that renovations are hard. Reiterating how nice a new space is going to be, and help explain to them certain things. I think true success is just communication.

We’re very involved and we support our clients as much as possible. If you’re looking to renovate your senior living community, contact 828id.

“Knowing the direct impact I’ve experienced with seniors, just through the basics of design, fuels my passion for improving the lives of people who mean the most to us.”
— Keri Moore-Muñiz, President