Lori Wiles with Mary Gehris from Four Oaks.

Lori Wiles Design has completed a redesign project for the Smith Center at Four Oaks of Cedar Rapids. Four Oaks is a statewide non-profit organization and residential center that strives to bring children and families through challenging circumstances into a successful adulthood.

Lori worked closely with Four Oaks staff and other community partners to redesign four rooms at the center.  She envisioned how the spaces could better serve the children and families of Four Oaks, as well as making them user-friendly for the staff.

“My goal was to make the rooms an environment well suited to the people and the moment,” explains Lori. The project required special consideration for multiple functions, safety, and accessibility. Furniture was selected based on aesthetics, durability, and ease of use for people of all abilities.  Rooms were arranged to

An activity room at Four Oaks Smith Center.

improve traffic flow and interaction. Surface finishes were selected for ability to clean and be long lasting.

Adaptability was key to the success of the project. Space that is used for small group activities can also be used for one on one counseling, presentations, and quiet interaction throughout the day. Lori redesigned the lighting plan, increasing the sources, types of lighting, and flexibility so the rooms could quickly and safely adapt to a variety of uses.

Lori sums up the project: “As an interior design professional I could see how a redesign could improve the atmosphere at Four Oaks. I wanted to use my skills to help them continue to serve the kids in the best way possible.” Lori is a Registered Interior Designer with NCIDQ certification and a professional member of ASID.