The Drawing Room Interiors and YTM furniture have won the prestigious SBID international Design Award in the section New Build and Development for the Design of this project. This project is a 80 bedroom Care Home for Care UK and is located on a former school playing ground. It is very important when designing a Care Home to always remember that this will be a permanent home for residents and it should therefore reflect this; care home interior design should surpass an institutionalised environment, the lack of inspiration can feel oppressive and impersonal, however it should not go as far as to look like a hotel as this can feel temporary and unsettling. The entrance features a Reception, café, beauty salon and cinema; these areas have been designed to reflect a modern high street. The café incorporates the latest facilities for residents, their families and the local community. The cafe interior is inspired by vintage school sport, bringing the history of the site to life. This is illustrated with a digital printed wall, gym bar wall features, as well as a bespoke sports locker unit, housing vintage sport equipment. The lockers are designed to be used as rummage cupboards, full of interesting items for a Dementia sufferer to find. The vintage theme designed to encourage memories.
Main lounges incorporate lounge and dining, however large rooms can be overwhelming to
residents due to resulting noise levels; consequently the furniture layout has been designed to create smaller, more intimate groups. This layout as well as using carpet and heavier fabrics for upholstery and soft furnishings, helps to absorb sound therefore improving the acoustics of the room. A combination of chairs provides varied posture support as well as creating a more eclectic (and less prescribed) styling; chairs are upholstered in a combination of fabrics using different colours and textures to provide sensory stimulation. The residential lounge incorporates more pattern, however the wallpaper was only used as a feature wall – a more cost effective option when faced with a limited budget. In contrast the nursing lounge (end of life) is painted bright yellow, a colour known for promoting happiness and positivity but helps to keep the room light as windows and natural light sources are limited. Designing for dementia requires additional consideration; pattern is limited as residents can misinterpret them as objects. However visual cues can be used to refer to a room’s purpose, for example dining areas include vinyl wrapped panels that display related symbols; these provide an alternative to wall art but also improve acoustics; quilted panels would be more effective but are expensive, these vinyl panels are a compromise using the budget available. End of corridor lounges have been designed as quiet lounges and hobby areas, each distinctively themed to provide location points and help residents with way-finding. For example a gentleman’s library designed with fully fitted bookcase and wall panelling provides a quiet room, in contrast hobby areas include a race themed games room relating to local attraction Newbury Racecourse to encourage interaction; a traditionally themed scullery decorated with vinyl flooring and wallpaper that are easier to clean for hobbies such as baking, cooking or art; and a music room featuring age-relevant music related wall art and including musical instruments for physical activity, designed with a red theme – a colour known for its stimulating properties and therefore great for a hobby area. Corridors are an area of frequent use and should not be neglected, in a care home that provides dementia care residents are often restless and pace corridors not knowing where to go; corridors here feature a chair and table for rest as well as interactive designs to engage residents, for example one area introduced Velcro strips on the wall for residents to attach and re-organise award rosettes, providing interaction but also once again relating to Newbury Racecourse. Corridors also display vintage images of the local area to stimulate residents’ memories and provide talking points that can be used for staff and visitors to engage with. Care home interior design requires creativity, an acute understanding of resident’s needs and the use of industry leading suppliers to provide a successful and supportive care home.