Thoma-Holec Design

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COMMERCIAL PROJECT SPOTLIGHT: Thoma-Holec Design LLC

  • Rep: Randy Gould
  • Multiple Projects

Thoma-Holec Design is a national award-winning design firm with a singular focus on senior living spaces. Their expertise and strong passion for designing comfortable, functional, innovative, and dignified environments for seniors is evident in all their designs.

HF: We understand that Thoma-Holec Design is committed exclusively to creating senior living environments. What drew your firm to this arena?

THD: I was hooked after my first senior living community I got to design. The impact that we have on the lives of the residents by providing them opportunities to live their lives with purpose was a primary reason why I decided to focus on senior living. Designing these communities involves everything, and it’s so much fun! From club rooms, roof gardens, salons, fitness, theaters, chapels, bars, restaurants, coffee shops, wine cellars, the list goes on and on.

thoma-holec design

HF: It must be both a joy and a burden to know that your design work can have a profound defect upon the physical and mental well-being of the residents of your projects. How does that affect how you go about your design concepts?

THD: It is truly a joy to know that our environments provide dignity, respect, and the opportunity to a safe and healthy environment for residents, staff, and families. Due to our 100% focus in this design sector, we are consistently doing extensive research to learn about all wellness aspects. Covid was a loud alarm for anyone in this industry. As a team, we immediately went into research mode to figure out how to change our designs, furnishings, and materials to create a safe environment. We reached out to our clients and offered help with new products, and whatever we learned was provided to them. We spoke on the topic virtually at multiple national conferences on what we learned and experienced. Senior housing design requires expertise, as there are many challenges and obstacles in our environments that, if not appropriately designed, can cause a resident to fall, psychological effects, or social limitations.

thoma-holec design

HF: When it comes to designing interior environments for senior living communities, how do you balance creativity with functionality?

THD: Our priority is always functionality; we adhere to specific established and proven design standards. These design standards are based on the understanding of how our designs affect the everyday lives of residents and staff. Once you own that knowledge, the creative part is much easier. As a team, we collaborate, and we are constantly searching for new and innovative products, suppliers, and materials, that enable us to a plethora of creative ideas.

thoma-holec design

HF: How does lighting play a role in your designs?

THD: Lighting is one of the most important factors of any design, including senior housing. An aging eye has limitations and critical vision requirements. We must always be mindful of the glare, the lumens, shadowing, and the color of the light output. If not designed properly, it can result in falls or residents who may avoid areas due to inability to see well.

thoma-holec design

HF: Your designers have often selected Hubbardton Forge lighting for a variety of spaces in your firm’s senior living projects. What factors go into that choice?

THD: Hubbardton’s products are beautiful in design, scale, and finish levels. We love to use Hubbardton in our designs. Due to varying style choices, we are able to use a variety of products depending on the locale of the community that we are designing.

thoma-holec design

HF: When you take a step back, after completion of a project, what aspect of it do you tend to appreciate most — the process, the final installed design, or something else —and why?

THD: Of course, we are proud of the final product, and sometimes it feels as though we have birthed the community. But, honestly, it is the joy of seeing the resident’s engagement and their ability to thrive and interact in a beautiful and meaningful home.

thoma-holec design

products featured: Solstice, Flux, Cairn, Disq, Quill, Arc Ellipse, Constellation