Linda and John Rutherford want to age in place in their River Falls, WI home. Find out what they did to make it possible.

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Client Overview

Linda and John Rutherford want to age in place in their River Falls, WI home. 

With Linda at 4 feet 11 inches tall and progressively getting shorter and weakening knees on husband and wife, the time was right to remodel for accessibility. As a retired nurse, Linda has the experience to know what can happen. She said, “I knew it was best to get it done now, rather than scrambling to get it done when a crisis happens.” Step one was the kitchen and step two was the bathroom.


As a photographer with her eyes focused on color from the rooms of her home to the clothes in her closet, Linda wants to make sure that as the house becomes more functional, it remains fashionable. Multiple angles within the kitchen and bath presented some challenges, along with the bathtub being tucked behind the kitchen wall that would now be replaced with a walk-in shower and creating more space to move around. Supply chain issues also presented some challenges, but Linda says, “Everything was worth waiting for.”


Linda found backsplash tile for the kitchen that accentuated the copper toned, foggy morning sunrise painting on the wall. She also selected glass tile with blue waves for the bathroom. These tiles, along with Linda’s vibrant paint color selections became the inspiration for Access Design + Build Founder and Principal Designer Jeannine Burnett’s designs. “Jeannine was able to carry the backsplash tile onto the fireplace and it’s beautiful,” said Linda. “She also creatively worked with the angles and installed pull out cabinets and pull-down shelves, in addition to lowering the cabinets to accommodate my height.” The bathroom also meets the Rutherford’s needs with brighter lighting and pull-out shelves for aging in place. “Jeannine managed to create more space, even with unstacking the washer and dryer. I no longer need to use a stool to get clothes out of the dryer,” said Linda with a sigh of relief.


The kitchen and bath in the Rutherford home are set for aging in place, and the esthetics are pleasing. Linda said, “Jeannine enhanced my vision, and we love how everything flows together. Everything is functional and gorgeous!”