Successful retirement home design depends on a combination of key factors: visual design, lifestyle, flexibility, and durability. Visual design is essential to ensure that the home is a welcoming environment for the residents, by brightening up the space. Lifestyle is an important consideration, as residents often have different needs and desires, resulting in the need for multi-purpose spaces. Flexibility must also be accounted for, so that staff and residents alike can access everything with comfort and ease. Finally, durability is also essential, as replacing components can be difficult while serving residents. All of these components come together to create a beautiful, comfortable retirement residence, and we at Copper + Chocolate can walk you through exactly how to achieve this.
Retirement home design begins with visual design, as your residents’ first impressions will matter a lot in their decision to live in your home. Beyond just first impressions, visual design sets the atmosphere of an environment, which can make or break the comfort you want your residents to experience. Bright colours are the most essential element of visual design, as they evoke feelings of nature and youth that drastically change the mood of a retirement home. Moreover, they break up the monotony of beige-on-beige that is seen so frequently in retirement residences. Another crucial inclusion in visual design is art. This complements the use of bright colours well in evoking strong positive emotions, and simultaneously contributes to a heightened sense of luxury that will separate your residence from the rest. A good rule of thumb is that you want your residence to look more like a luxury hotel than a hospital.
Residents often have varying needs and wants, so accommodating different lifestyles is paramount to good retirement home design. The best way to account for all different lifestyles at once is to provide multi-purpose spaces. These are rooms or outdoor areas with seating options and furniture that can be easily reconfigured or removed to suit a number of activities. These activities could range from exercise classes to movie-watching, but it is essential that each option can be accommodated in a limited space. Furthermore, outdoor spaces are a wonderful inclusion, as they allow room for fresh air and alone time for residents, but can also be used as a space for social activities or exercise. However, security must be considered at the same time, depending on the level of independence of the residents (more on that in the next section).
Retirement home design varies significantly from one home to another, due to the variety of options and lifestyles possible in retirement. Therefore, flexible design is an excellent way to provide a retirement residence that can serve the highest possible number of residents without compromising for others. One element of flexible design is ensuring that all rooms and features of each room are accessible to people of different means of mobility. A simple example that is hard to miss would be an elevator for residents who cannot use stairs. However, smaller features are often overlooked, such as a cut-away entrance to the shower and light switches placed at heights accessible by both residents who walk or use wheelchairs. Finally, the home must be accessible to residents of varying levels of independence. Many retirement residences provide different levels of care for their residents, including independent living, assisted living, and long-term care. Designing a home that is safe, secure, and enjoyable for residents at all levels of care is the epitome of flexible design.
The final category of successful retirement home design is durability. Most elements of a retirement home are long-term investments, and ideally these will last at least a generation. This is especially important in a retirement residence, where the large number of guests requiring care and attention makes it extremely costly and difficult to renovate or replace foundational elements of a home. However, durability is just as important on a small scale as it is on a large scale. Retirement residences are often prone to messes, and making sure that individual furniture items can be cleaned easily and maintain their original appeal is essential. This can include aspects such as dark carpet to hide the aftermath of stains that are difficult to remove.
Overall, excellent retirement home design results from a combination of these factors, and the expertise to put them all together. Copper + Chocolate is a leading designer of retirement homes and residential spaces, and our team has extensive experience working with every element mentioned above. If you are looking to design a retirement home, we would love for you to reach out and discuss. If you found this article useful or interesting, please feel free to share the link with others who would enjoy it!