It’s no surprise the COVID-19 pandemic has greatly shifted the trajectory of Senior Living interior design – just take a look at the emerging Senior Living design trends from the pandemic.
In 2021, we expect senior housing design to promote the feeling of home, feature wellness-inspired trends and include a continued focus on cleanability and durability. Below, you’ll find the top seven trends in Senior Living design this year:
1. Holistic Wellness
The top trend in Senior Living: holistic wellness. After 2020, providers are looking to promote wellness through design choices and programming. Access to outdoor spaces, ample natural light and integrating organic elements help support innate feelings of wellness. Through strategic Senior Living facility design, you can help boost connectivity to the natural environment to benefit the health of everyone in the building.
Consider how you can incorporate fresh, clean and natural materials into the design. Another option is adding hardy plants to a popular window spot. Not only do they bring the outdoors in, but they can help with air purification as well.
Fostering holistic wellness also includes spiritual wellness. Some communities are adding yoga and meditation spaces to promote the mind-body connection.
2. Cleanable Fabrics & Surfaces
Cleanability will continue to be a huge trend in 2021. For surfaces that residents need to touch, consider materials with enhanced cleanability features, like antimicrobial fabrics and solid, nonporous surfaces. These can help make it easier for staff to keep the community clean.
For dining and accent furniture, faux-wood metal is an excellent choice for its ability to withstand the rigorous cleaning routines of today’s environment. The best part: it’s bleach cleanable, and a solution of up to 5% bleach and a minimum of 95% water can be applied with a soft, clean cloth. However, providers should always follow the manufacturer’s directions regarding bleach solutions suitable for cleaning.
For more cleaning insights, discover material-specific cleaning tips from our product experts.
3. Durable Furnishings
Senior Living communities have always been demanding environments for furnishings. In 2020, the most-used furnishings were located in resident suites, where residents spend most of their time. In 2021, we’ll continue to see the demand for durable, commercial-grade furniture that can stand up to wear and tear as well as rigorous cleaning.
In bedrooms, consider durable thermolaminate material, which provides a durable, seamless surface that better withstands cleaning and reduces the risk of cracks, dents and chipping.
Durable fabric is another key consideration. Solid vinyls stand up better to abrasion and cleaning than residential fabrics.
4. Safe Distancing
To help promote social distancing in Senior Living, consider flexible amenities that still provide beautiful spaces. For example, in dining rooms, you can add dividers that help create intimacy and safety while still offering residents a desirable experience.
Within larger common areas, creating small vignettes – divided by decorative screens – can create cozy spots for visiting family and friends.
In lobbies, one trend is reimagining the entrance sequence. In 2021, we’ll continue to see an emphasis on testing and tracking who enters the building. Some facilities may add small lounge spaces to congregate with family members adjacent to the lobby to prevent guests from further entering the community.
Another distancing trend is the elimination of double-occupancy rooms. If the community has them, it’s important to ensure they are large enough for social distancing. Private rooms and isolation rooms are becoming more and more popular.
5. Natural Colors & Textures
This year’s popular colors support the holistic wellness design trend by paying homage to nature and promoting a feeling of home within the community.
Denim, linen and leather are becoming more popular in Senior Living communities for their nod to natural environments and timeless elegance. Other nature-inspired hues, like blues and greens, provide the perfect complement.
While in years past popular colors trended cooler, we expect to see warmer tones in Senior Living palettes. Warmer shades, cotton textures and cozy fabrics all provide a layer of comfort that supports a homelike environment.
6. Playful Accents
While furnishings and fabrics are trending more natural and warm, wallcoverings, draperies and other accents have more freedom to be whimsical. Not only does an out-of-the-box color or pattern add interest to the space, but it can help create an exciting environment that distracts residents from current events.
For example, we’re seeing designers use neon green to spice up a multipurpose room or punchy draperies in a dining room. Unexpected elements can create a sense of light and excitement in the space.
7. Updated Staff Spaces
Creating relaxing staff lounges for overworked staff is top of mind for many Senior Living providers. Many of the same holistic wellness trends can be applied to staff spaces as well, including fostering a connection to the outdoors by bringing in plants or creating a dedicated staff patio.
To design a respite for staff, add a recliner or sleeper sofa in addition to the traditional table and chairs. Or provide ample charging ports for personal electronics so staff can connect with family and friends during their breaks.
Many providers are rethinking the way staff members enter the building as well. If the staff entrance leads into a shared resident space, providers may want to create a separate entry for staff to help with infection prevention. A completely separate area can allow employees to clean up before and after their shifts.