Make It Your Own: 6 Tips for Decorating Your Senior Living Home

Decorating tips to make your senior living home your own!

Senior living communities offer a variety of living options – whether you prefer a studio near all the activities or a two-bedroom suite overlooking the courtyard, there is plenty to choose from. While the space may be smaller than a former home, there are many ways to spruce up your space to make it feel like home and reflect your unique lifestyle. Here are tips and ideas for making a senior living space your own.

1) Furniture that fits.

Bigger isn’t always better. Be sure to measure furniture to see if it fits and decide what pieces will and won’t be making the move. When furniture is the right size for the space, it both looks better and allows for safe navigation of rooms. To get a good idea of what will fit and what won’t, try one of the many room design software programs provided in thespruce.com blog, “5 Free Online Room Design Software Applications.” At Thrive, we offer a great tool to help you measure the suite and ensure that your favorite pieces have the perfect spot in your new home. 

2) Lighten up.

One of the least expensive and easiest ways to make small spaces feel larger and more open is to make the most of natural and artificial light. Let natural light in everywhere possible and then position table lamps and other artificial light sources in places where natural light can’t penetrate. More great lighting ideas are available in the homesandgardens.com article, “Small living room lighting ideas – enhance a compact space with a well-lit plan.”

3) Mirror, mirror on the wall.

Can you resist the urge to look at your reflection when you pass a mirror? We certainly can’t! A great way to make smaller spaces seem larger is to use strategically placed mirrors. Mirrors reflect light and give the impression of greater openness to create the illusion of even more space. Mirrors can be framed or unframed and larger ones can even rest on the floor rather than being hung on a wall. Find out how to choose the right mirror and hang it to maximize its power in a given space in the apartment therapy.com article, “7 Tricks for Using Mirrors to Make Your Small Space Look Lighter and Brighter.”

4) Choose light colors, but don’t be afraid to go darker too.

Whether it’s paint, upholstery, bedding, rugs, and even linens like tablecloths and placemats, the lighter they are, the more they will contribute to making a smaller home feel larger and more open and inviting. That is not to say that dark or bright colors cannot be used, especially when they reflect the creative and artistic style of the individual. Often light and dark can be combined with wonderful results, such as when painting one wall in a room a darker color that accents the remaining walls and creates a focal point. The truth is, there are millions of color combinations to use and the hgtv.com blog, “Color Rules for Small Spaces” can help.

5) Combat clutter.

Over time, “stuff” can pile up in a home until the place is bursting at the seams. In a smaller space, it’s important to keep clutter to a minimum, not only for the visual effect, but especially in this case, it’s safer for older adults. To get ahead of clutter, downsize before you move and give away, sell, recycle, or pitch items that aren’t going to fit or are unwanted. At Thrive, we believe in the Right-Sizing mindset. That means we help you free yourself from the items you no longer treasure. If something doesn’t bring you happiness, just move on – for example, your senior prom dress… it’s probably time to let it go. 

Next, create as much storage space as possible in your new home by adding closet organizers in bedrooms, linen closets, and kitchen pantries. Also great are wall shelves and furniture that doubles as storage such as a coffee table, armoire, and beds with drawers that pull out underneath. Be sure to make add-ons easy to access without having to use a step stool or ladder. For more beautiful ways to create storage in a smaller living space, the bhg.com blog, “19 Creative Storage Ideas to Solve Your Small-Space Problems,” is a great resource.

6) Make any window look larger.

You don’t have to replace windows to make them appear bigger… all you need to do is hang drapes higher so that their curtain panel length elongates the window and adds height to the room. This trick is simple, inexpensive, and is explained step-by-step in the zillow.com blog, “How to Hang Curtains to Make Your Windows Look Bigger.” 

No matter the shape or size of a new space, there are many great ways to decorate it to make it a reflection of the new resident – and a place they will happily call home! To find out about living options offered at Thrive Senior Living and how to right-size your space, please contact us today.