About us

Drina Nikola announces her new enterprise – providing design, downsizing and moving services for Chicagoland’s boomer-and-beyond set.


Previously director of interior design for a national developer of upscale continuing care retirement communities, Drina saw firsthand the demand for aging in place and the benefits. With more than three decades in commercial interior design and project management with major Chicago-based architectural firms, her skills transition seamlessly to this emerging market.


A licensed interior designer and LEED AP, she has already left her distinctive design mark on top-level projects for Northwestern Memorial Hospital, the University of Chicago Medical Center and Advocate Health Care. She has consulted, and will continue to consult, on the planning, design and architecture of senior living facilities with owners, operators and developers.


An active member of her community, Drina serves on the housing committee for the Age Friendly Evanston! task force. She has helped develop sustainable environmental practices for both her church and hometown, including co-writing Evanston’s LEED Ordinance for Construction.


Drina and her team guide retirees, seniors and families through the time-consuming process of transitioning to
a new lifestyle or home environment. She is a member of NASMM – the National Association of Senior Move Managers.

The move management team of DWELLING Spaces + Placesincludes:

  • Trained move management supervisors
  • Licensed and insured movers for relocations
  • Licensed and insured contractors
    for home upgrades and repairs

At the client’s request, we can make referrals to:

  • Architects specializing in aging-in-place and barrier-free design
  • Registered financial gerontologists
  • Elder and special needs law attorneys for probate & estate administration
  • Local realtors experienced in selling family estates
  • Consignment shops, estate sale companies and auction houses
  • Personal organizers


Leveraging resources collected over the span of Drina’s career in healthcare design and project management, DWELLING Spaces + Placesdelivers widespread services, including:

Designing interiors for accessibility and aesthetics

  • Evaluating quality-of-life needs and choices
  • Remodeling, reconfiguring, and modifying rooms
  • Staging and decorating family home for resale

Opti-sizing for quality of life

  • Space planning for current or future dwelling
  • Identifying valuables and preserving treasures
  • Assessing what to keep, replace, discard or
    pass along

Organizing moves to make it easier on everyone

  • Sorting, professional packing, and setting up
  • Decorating and accessorizing a new dwelling


As the founder of DWELLING Spaces + Places,Drina is committed to helping clients make informed decisions
about how and where to best live.
She calls the pleasure of envisioning the optimal home for her client
Opti-sizing. It isn’t so much downsizing or simplifying as reconfiguring belongings and spaces without sacrificing design. Creating a dwelling place is a very personal combination
of fit and feel.

Willing and ready, or not, disruption
of residence is as much a heartache
as it is a headache for those involved. You can trust Drina to guide you through the transition – whether modifying for accessibility, opti-sizing or relocating – with sensitivity, care and expertise.