Interior design for senior living has changed significantly in the last several decades. While many people associate senior living with the sterile environments of the mid-century nursing home, the reality is that today’s senior living facilities are more closely linked with hospitality design than with hospital design.
Work your way. Sit your way. Learn your way.
Learning commons, maker spaces, break-out rooms and HOMAGO (Hanging Out, Messing Around, and Geeking Out)—these are just a few of the terms to describe rapidly evolving educational spaces. Critical thinking, communication, collaboration and creativity are the four C’s of 21st century learning. Furniture manufacturers have developed a wide array of innovative selections to help create zones that foster these skills and allow students to work, sit (or stand) and ultimately learn in the manner that works best for them.
In 1987, Ronald Reagan was our president, Margaret Thatcher was elected Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Alan Greenspan took over as chairman of the Federal Reserve Board. American Motors was acquired by the Chrysler Corporation, Microsoft released Windows 2.0 and Fox Broadcasting made its prime-time television debut. We listened to some of the top hits that year by Whitney Houston, Madonna and U2, and flocked to the box office to see Lethal Weapon, The Princess Bride and Dirty Dancing.
And in 1987, the first interior designer was brought on board at RLPS! The goal to provide a full range of integrated architectural and interior design services remains our mission today. A few of our interior designers shared photos of themselves in 1987 for the header photo above.
There are several theories as to the origin of Valentine’s Day. The Catholic Church recognizes at least three different saints named Valentine or Valentinus, two of whom were martyred on or around February 14th. The holiday may also have been initiated as a Christian alternative to a pagan festival associated with fertility. Although the roots of Valentine’s Day may not directly relate to the love and romance we associate with February today, a few of our designers are sharing some of their most beloved current trends or design elements that remind them of the spirit of the holiday.
Since our team works with a lot of senior living communities and college campuses, we are frequently challenged to provide design solutions to make individual residences “live larger” than they really are. Incorporating ample storage is critical to achieving this goal. Finding the right storage solutions is particularly of interest this time of the year when many of us strive to declutter living spaces in our homes. There are so many options out there, it can sometimes be overwhelming, but here are a few guidelines we have developed for these critical functional spaces.
Typically we concentrate on the commercial end of things since that’s our daily focus, but for the holidays this year we’re getting a little more personal. Several of our interior designers share a few of their favorite things when it comes to holiday décor. Hopefully some of the concept images, personal photos and trends that have inspired us will provide new ideas to help make your home or business festive and inviting.
With the advent of cell phones, smart watches and other similar technologies, the fundamental need for clocks to guide the patterns of our days has surely diminished. However, that does not mean they have become obsolete for residential or commercial interiors. In fact, clocks are enjoying a design resurgence with an emphasis on style and variety making them a valuable design tool for a wide range of settings.
As the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia have been steadily increasing, the demand for specialized settings is likewise on the rise. There is also a growing movement to empower our towns and cities to better support those with dementia, so they can choose to remain in their personal homes and fully engage with others (not just others with dementia) for as long as possible. In either scenario, we believe careful and respectful design strategies can function as a silent “enabler” to support dignity, personal expression and independence to the greatest extent possible.
The word hospitality traces its origin back to the Latin words hostis, which means stranger or enemy, and the more positive hospitem, which means guest or host. The English terms hospital, host, hostel, hotel and hospitality all come from these same roots. Interestingly the first hospitality venues were hospitals, which in their initial inception provided lodging and entertainment for pilgrims traveling to religious shrines. This eventually led to our current concept of hospitality which encompasses friendly reception and generous treatment of guests or strangers.
We take many of our design cues for a wide range of senior living, healthcare, educational and other commercial spaces from today’s hospitality venues, the best of which set the standards for brand identity, style and guest comfort and enjoyment. The following hospitality trends are examples of contemporary interior design techniques and finishes that will add visual interest, subtle sophistication and personality to a wide range of settings.
Whether you love it or hate it—and you are likely to fall into one of those two categories—purple is a color option that makes a statement. Combining the calming qualities of blue and the energetic properties of red in varying proportions, purple rarely functions as a neutral tone. Whether a light lavender-gray or a deep plum tone, purple makes an impact.
Despite the fact that it’s fairly rare in the natural world in comparison to other colors, purple (or violet) is the most powerful wavelength of the rainbow, just a few steps away from x-rays and gamma rays. Purple is often associated with royalty and luxury, probably because the earliest dyes were primarily reserved for the garments of emperors. This was due to the cost and complexity of extracting dye from thousands of shellfish for a single garment. Purple can also be associated with decadence and excess, however in many cultures it is a color of mourning.