Austin firm making mark in senior housing design market

Dec 31, 2014
Austin American Statesman

The silver tsunami — those estimated 10,000 people a day who reach retirement age in the U.S. — is spurring major growth for StudioSix5, an Austin firm that has grown into one of the nation’s top interior design firms for senior living communities

In the past year, the company has nearly tripled its workforce from 16 to 45. Most work in an 8,000-square-foot office on Barton Springs Road, with five employees based in the firm’s San Antonio office

Dean Maddalena co-founded the company 11 years ago after leaving the Austin architecture firm Graeber, Simmons & Cowan (now called GSC Architects), where he was a senior associate. With revenue of $4.5 million a year, StudioSix5 has now become the nation’s largest interior design firm specializing exclusively in senior living spaces, as well as one of Austin’s largest interior design firms, Maddalena said

More growth is ahead for StudioSix5, which is benefiting from the surge in the nation’s aging population and the return of construction lending to pre-recession levels, said Maddalena, the firm’s president

Currently StudioSix5 has 58 projects underway, with another 40 to 50 in the pipeline, Maddalena said. He said he expects to grow the staff by 10 percent in 2015

This year, Interior Design magazine ranked StudioSix5 No. 28 among the nation’s 40 largest design firms based on revenue from health care-related design work

“We’ve done projects in every time zone in the U.S., from Seattle to Miami and Massachusetts to San Diego,” Maddalena said

StudioSix5 differs from most of its industry peers in a key respect: In addition to designing interiors, the firm also designs its own lines of furniture, flooring and carpeting and currently works with four vendors that manufacture them

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